Diablo 3 is a fairly engaging game and scores in terms of excellent gameplay and beautiful graphics, writes Bruno-Dieter Chan
FEW game titles can match Diablo 3 when it comes to getting fans to gobble like geese or faint like a tween at a Justin Bieber concert, but under all this hyper-hype, does it do windows too?
Diablo 3 follows the story of Dark Wanderer (Deckard Cain) and his niece Leah after a star falls from the heavens. Needless to say, anything that falls is not good news, and all manner of undead and demonic creatures decide to hold a massive rave to celebrate the event.
The Wanderer arrives at the scene with the aid of a cosmic dowsing stick, in time to see New Tristram under attack from the undead and deals with them. The plot thickens to implicate Leah’s mother Adria, who is somehow involved in all this mess.
Okay, now let’s get to the part you are waiting for: Character creation and development. The procedure is fairly painless, choose the character class that you are partial to, then select your primary attack type (left click) which charges up your ability’s resource pool, i.e. Mana, Hatred, etc.
Next, select secondary attack type (right click) which uses your ability’s resource pool.
In addition, you have quick slots for four special abilities and three passive abilities. As you level up, you gain access to more attack types, special abilities and passive abilities which also gain upgrades called ruins to help with particular dungeons or enemies.
Along the way, you pick up armour, weapons and articles of clothing. Each, adding bonuses to your impressive stats, comes in a few varieties: Non-magical, magical, rare and legendary. If you are not satisfied with what you find, you can craft yourself a new gear by sacrificing some magical ones for the raw ingredients.
Now come to the part all you fan boys dread: What do I think of Diablo? Honestly, speaking, I hate the Diablo series. I did not play the first and second instalments of the franchise. But to the credit of Blizzard, it has streamlined a lot of the gameplay mechanics of the game. One of the biggest improvements is that Town Teleportation is now available as ability.
Another thing I enjoy is the ability to change the upgrade to my abilities to fit my type of combat, allowing for lower upgrades should I want or need it. Which, when it all comes together, lead to some epic battles with the hordes of enemies from low level bosses.
But it is not all smelling of roses in the land of Sanctuary. I got issues and you will hear them.
First, the story is extremely short and boring. Playing through normal difficulty, completing all the quests and killing every thing that is not a red highlight takes only 12 hours.
Once you have finished the first run though, you can’t be bothered much with the story anymore.
The different classes have very little variety in terms of dialogue, so do not expect a plot twist somewhere.
Since you have to grind a lot to get some useful gear, you will have a mass of magical and most annoyingly non-magical items laying around. Which is a shame, since you cannot use these high quality non-magical gear to craft into excellent higher grade stuff. Instead, they go for mere pennies and are better left on the floor. That is a pity because it would be nice to encounter some enemies that are totally immune to magical equipment like that of Skyrim or Baldur’s Gate.
What is most disturbing is the Auction House and the economy of it. Since you can buy and sell items for cash, it feels more of a bankrolling system for World of Warcraft players to support their addiction rather than any meaningful ecology of the game.
Diablo 3 is a good game but after hitting the 40-50 hour mark, all that’s left is spending the additional time to make some cash. But for me, I may just sell off my account after hitting 40.
If the game is cheaper and has several downloadable content that will expand the story or plot a good 20 hours, I will hang on for a bit more. But the greatest appeal so far is those huge single player tactical battles against the hordes of enemies. I find multiplayer co-op cheapens that experience, the big boss battles time wasters and the finding, crafting and auctioning nonsense just leave a bad taste in my mouth.