Diablo III (2012) Review

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The Devil You Know

Diablo III (2012): 9 out of 10: is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. The game is set in the dark fantasy world of Sanctuary, a realm caught between the forces of Heaven and Hell.

The story begins twenty years after the events of “Diablo II”. The Archangel Tyrael has destroyed the Worldstone, a powerful artifact, to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. However, its destruction has caused a meteor to fall near the town of New Tristram. The player character, known as the “Nephalem”, investigates the fallen star and discovers that it is actually a person – Tyrael himself, now mortal and suffering from amnesia.

Meanwhile, the seven Lords of Hell have been consolidating their power, and Diablo, the Lord of Terror, seeks to free his brothers and rule over all. As the Nephalem, the player embarks on a journey across the Sanctuary to prevent Diablo from enacting his plan. The player encounters a myriad of different enemies, as well as a few allies, including Leah, the adopted daughter of Deckard Cain, a scholar and a key character from previous games.

Diablo III’s story is expanded in its expansion pack, Reaper of Souls, where the Nephalem must confront Malthael, the fallen Angel of Death, who has seized the Black Soulstone containing the essence of the Prime Evil and is intending to use it to end the eternal conflict by eradicating humanity.

“Diablo III” features seven different playable character classes, each with unique abilities and play styles. The original game launched with five classes, and the remaining two were added in expansion packs. Here is a brief synopsis of each class:

  1. Barbarian: Barbarians are brutal warriors with a focus on melee combat. They rely on their incredible physical strength and toughness to crush enemies. Their skills include powerful area of effect attacks, the ability to leap into the midst of foes, and shouts that can buff allies or debilitate enemies.
  2. Wizard: Wizards are masters of the arcane arts, capable of casting powerful spells that can control the elements and time itself. They can summon fire, ice, and lightning attacks, slow down time, and even teleport across the battlefield.
  3. Monk: Monks are martial artists who focus on speed, precision, and spiritual powers. They can dash through enemy lines, heal and buff allies, and unleash powerful combo attacks. Monks rely on their spiritual energy, or Spirit, to execute their powerful abilities.
  4. Demon Hunter: Demon Hunters are vengeful warriors who rely on ranged attacks and tactical cunning. They use a combination of crossbows, traps, and shadow magic to fight their enemies. They have a dual-resource system, utilizing both Discipline and Hatred to execute their abilities.
  5. Witch Doctor: Witch Doctors draw upon the power of the spirit world and command the forces of life and death. They can summon pets to aid them in battle, cast curses to weaken enemies, and use poisons, fire, and the undead to dispatch foes.
  6. Crusader (added in the Reaper of Souls expansion): Crusaders are holy warriors, heavily armored and wielding weapons imbued with righteous magic. They have a range of melee and ranged attacks, protective shields, and consecration abilities that heal allies and harm foes.
  7. Necromancer (added in the Rise of the Necromancer pack): Necromancers are practitioners of the dark arts, capable of controlling the power of death. They can summon undead minions, curse enemies, and manipulate the essence of life and death to heal or deal damage.

Each class offers a unique experience and allows players to approach the game in a way that suits their preferred style of play.

The Good

The Good: There are some hidden delights in Diablo III. One of the biggest I found is how balanced and enjoyable all the characters are to play. I am usually a ranged kind of guy in these types of games, but in my last run-through I played the Barbarian and had a delightful time. It was a very different experience gameplay wise than say the Necromancer.

Diablo III is one of those games you pick up and play and quickly wonder why you stopped playing before. Everything comes easy and the various classes and thier considerable alterations that can be made by the player create an opportunity for truly varied gameplay.

Sometimes a video game is simply fun with little more depth on the subject.

The Bad

The Bad: Diablo III is not really all that much different from Diablo II. It is a lot prettier and has some quality of life improvements. But the game itself is about the same.

Which brings us to what kind of game is Diablo III? One calls it an Action RPG, as does Blizzard and Wikipedia. But is it really? In my many hours with Diablo III, I am scratching my head to recall any roleplaying. Sure you choose your starting character, but all playthroughs are the same collection of locations and “Plot points”.

Diablo III more resembles a clicker game (Or more academically an Incremental game) than a roleplaying game. I am not sure I even mean that as a criticism, as I greatly enjoy the gameplay. But anyone coming in expecting a role playing experience outside of a baked in story being told to them is in for a disappointment.

In Conclusion

In Conclusion: Diablo III is a blast. Turn your mind off and enjoy yourself for a while. It is not a game where that narrative or gameplay will get its hooks into you. There is no stirring the plot romances of Mass Effect or the just one more turn addiction of Civilization. No, just the pleasure of better loot and numbers go higher.

More the confidence of a game that is enjoyable to play in either short bursts or a long session. At the default difficulty, Diablo III will give one little trouble but gives one just enough resistance and change of scenery to never seem tiresome. An excellent game balanced and crafted to perfection.

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