Review: Diablo 3

Oh Diablo, it's been so long. How have you been? I see you've gotten a bit of a facelift. Oh and you've kept true to yourself with the same satisfying gameplay...Wait a second...Error 3007? Can’t connect to the server?! But I'm...trying...to…play...a single...player...game…?

Welcome to the new world of DRM in PC gaming, where it's impossible to play a game on your own because the servers are being slammed. Yes, people like me that are forever alone. You cannot play single player without connecting to Blizzard’s servers. You would think companies would learn the value of load balancing by this point. Granted Blizzard is new to running and maintaining servers...What’s that? Blizzard runs an MMO?! The biggest selling MMO that has the largest subscription base?! They had the exact same problems on said MMOs release??!!

Well there goes that defense.

Diablo 3 is of course the third in the series of Diablo games, a RPG hack and slash game but now with MMO elements thrown in for some horrible unfathomable reason. Long gone is the adding of points to Attributes and skills in your Skill Tree so you can tweak your character the way you would like, granted this prevents players from placing points into useless skills and characteristics which could negate their effectiveness in battle, but in my opinion it’s what gave Diablo 1/2 its charm because you had to be careful in what you chose.  Another MMO-like audition is the Auction House and oh ho boy, I’ll get to that in a little bit.

Combat is what you would expect for a Diablo game and that is definitely not a bad thing, some of the coolest moments in the series were the battles I had in this game. A much welcomed addition to combat was physics. It was awesome seeing a barbarian slam into an enemy, knocking its lifeless body back 50 feet while destroying the surrounding environment. While the combat was visceral and fun the removal of skills and attributes by relying solely on leveling up and unlocking static class based skills has pretty much reduced the game to the following: 

I can’t ding the game for its story as the series has always been about gameplay. Diablo is the ultimate evil and it’s up to you to defeat him, or he will take away all of the world’s happiness. As you progress through the different environments you will notice that Blizzard does what it does best with making caves and barren woodlands look good and most objects in the world have physics to them (re: destructible environments), a nice touch but not worth the price of admission. 

The different classes do have a different feel in terms of how you will kill the demons of hell: The Barbarian is your tank, the Witch Doctor being your summoner, the Wizard is your magic user. Adding to this are the Monk and Demon Hunter which felt like hybrids of the above. They all have skills and powers that will unlock at specific levels which negates the whole “this character is my own” feeling you used to get from customization.  

RMAH (Real-money Action House)

The Alpha and the Omega of dumbest ideas ever: At the time of writing this article I saw no reason to use it and even now I see no reason to use it. As I understand it, to mitigate cheating at the auction house as well as to prevent pirating of the game, Blizzard made the game online only thus not allowing me the first three days of playing because of the server issues on release day.  Google “Real money auction house Diablo 3“ and see how awesome this idea has been working out for them.

Final Word

I enjoyed Diablo 3 for what it’s supposed to be a hack and slash RPG with random dungeons to mix it up. The lack of customization and now forced reliance of the auction house has neutered the only series from Blizzard that I enjoyed. For those of you that are huge fans of the first two be prepared for the lack of customization, required farming and/or utilizing of the RMAH. For those of you that are just joining, you’re in for some fun but ultimately should look elsewhere as this game does not have the bang for its buck.