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Diablo, the titular baddie of Diablo III seems to have spent allot of his time and effort attacking Blizzard’s servers the last week, but is his game worth fighting him for?
The short answer is, yes. The action is very fun, and considering that the action is over 50% of the experience that is a very good thing. Clicking on baddies with your chosen attack can be slightly unsatisfying at times when they don’t seem to die as fast as you think they should – I’ll explain later – but the varied attacks of the five classes are, for the large part, a blast to use. My main character is a witch doctor and he basically stands off, summoning everything from frogs to spiders to zombies to zombie dogs to a gargantua and still more that allow me to spam the screen with hellspawn-killing creatures. I spent a large chunk of the game with my zombie dogs and a gargantua always by my side, summoning a giant spider in combat and then filling the screen with exploding frogs. Those plus my follower – of which there are three, but only one can follow at a time – meant I wasn’t on the front lines… unless a rare or a champion pack tears through my summoned force and gets in my face, which happened often.
I mentioned that 50% of the game is the frantic action. The other 50% is the loot system, which is frustrating and exhilarating at once. For me it’s mostly been a pain because I simply have no luck with gear drops. That makes the game much harder, which ties back to comment I made about monsters not dying as quickly as it feels like they should. My problem there was simply that my gear was so far below my level that neither my damage nor my protection was scaling in line with the areas I was fighting in. I was kind of rushing through the game, avoiding fights but as it turns out that’s not a great idea. I hardly played Diablo II and never the original, how was I to know? By trial and error, it seems. In the end it isn’t a bad thing, since any gamer should be able to pick that up easily. My only complaint is having to fight everything I pass, which slows me down. I have Lords of Evil to kill dammit! Stop interfering, hellspawn!!
Visually the game is solid but not spectacular. The graphics are clean and sharp but kind of low-poly for this day and age. The lack of fancy post processing and shaders doesn’t help this at all but thankfully Blizzards artistic design trumps it in the end. The worlds are well designed and laid out, and the color choices are often brilliant. The sounds are ok, but for the love of goodness, someone explain the sorry voice acting to me. I haven’t found a single voice that I enjoyed and some (most notably Deckard Cain) are especially bad. The music isn’t a huge highlight either.
The biggest issue is simply server instability. If they’re offline or slow, you’re screwed. I hear some people claiming that it’s not a single player game because that’s playing the game wrong, and to get over it. They are wrong on multiple accounts: D3 can be played solo, it is not ‘playing the game wrong’, and I will not get over it. I understand Blizzard’s stance on keeping cheaters out of the game but it almost seems like they just want complete and total control over everyone’s experience, which is a little overbearing. They also claim that cheating items in will break the auction house. How about this then: separate local and online accounts? Local and online characters can’t play together, can’t share equipment or money, local can’t use the auction house and the online ones can only be played while servers are live so Blizzard can keep tabs on them? That wouldn’t work?
Speaking of the auction house, I’m not a fan of it in many ways. It has it’s value, but I dislike it for one main reason: I suck at it. I haven’t sold anything yet – not for a lack of trying, mind you – and everything I could use is so far beyond my budget I can’t even think of buying it. If you’re able to use it, good for you. I’m not someone who claims it will ruin the game, partially because of my loot drop luck I talked about above.
In the end Diablo III is a very good game that is great fun with allot of creative variety and awesome action. If and when Blizzard settles down their erratic servers it will be a must-have for most gamers. Even now, I would highly recommend it.
|Good artistic design; Great action; fun variety in spells and abilities||Always-on internet connection requirement is a pain; Grinding is a requirement|