Before we begin, you need to know what Diablo is, it’s a ‘Hack’n’slash’ dark-fantasy dungeon crawler, where groups of heroes (that’s you and me by the way) can team up to smash the faces off thousands upon thousands of demons and un-dead. Sound good? Read on.
I’ll set the scene, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Diablo III for YEARS, the last few months have been painful, but finishing my degree has kept me busy enough to avoid me becoming a complete shut-in, sitting at home, in my pants, watching the days pass until release day.
Imagine, if you can, the joy I felt upon discovering that I was lucky enough to be getting a copy posted to me to review! I nearly exploded.
So, the date was May 11th 2012, and my copy of Diablo III arrived. I eagerly tore open the jiffy bag, stripped away the cellophane and took a moment to admire the artwork on the box. It’s beautiful. Blizzard have gone to great lengths to show you just what you’re in for with this game, the attention to detail is amazing, from the embossing on the cover, to the image on the disk, this is one beautifully presented game.
I fired-up my P.C. and slipped the DVD into the drive, I was greeted, as expected, with the install window, I clicked the button marked “install” and was presented with a message which read:
“The fire from the sky still falls, Diablo III has not yet launched.”
The three days following were like waiting for Christmas as a child, time slowed down, I used my time to decide which class to play as first. I came to the decision, Barbarian to get familiar with the game and then Witch Doctor.
May 14th arrived, only a few hours until the servers were live at 00:01 CEST (I’m in the U.K. so that’s 23:01 for me) I was determined to be one of the many, scrambling to be logged in as soon as possible… and scramble I did.
The time was actually 00:01 (my time) when I managed to log in, but the hour trying was worth the wait. The game is STUNNING, I hastily created my Barbarian and jumped into action, smashing my way up to level 11 before pausing for a moment. As 3am neared, I decided that it was about time to try the Witch Doctor out, whilst the Barbarian was indeed fun, I was craving something more… bizarre. After all, in a game where hordes of demons are attacking you constantly, why not try commanding your own zombies?
As I write this, I have yet to play the other three classes, but each looks to have their own individual charm, the nimble and deadly Demon Hunter, the powerful Wizard and the lightning fast Monk will all be a joy to play no doubt.
Now, what the Diablo series really is for me, is a multiplayer, mad-dash through dungeons to grab loads of loot before your friends. Whilst the competitiveness is somewhat lost with the “your loot is your own” rule, let me say right now, the overall feel has not been lost in Diablo III. It does have a brilliant and engaging storyline, but I found that my second time through the early missions allowed me to simply storm ahead at whatever speed my character was capable. Which is great fun!
Now, I feel like I need to make sure that I’ve been fair and mentioned the good AND the bad, but honestly, I’m struggling to find any bad. One thing I will say is that like all online games, the release is not without bugs, I’ve been disconnected a few times and experienced some interesting bugs, but Blizzard aren’t the kind of company to let that stay that way. Give it a week or two and the majority of issues will be patched and all will be good.
So, if you’re new to this kind of game and think a few bugs may spoil your enjoyment, maybe hold off a week and save yourself some frustration.
Signing out, a sleep-deprived and excited, Dave Whitehead.
Platform: PC & mac
Rated: 15 – Moderate Bloody Violence
Release Date: May 15th 2012