Diablo III – Review



 

Diablo III finally released on 5/15/12. Many news sites were quick to get their review on the web and as such failed to comment on certain aspects of the game’s existence. Aspects such as longevity, updates, and other future changes. In the month since it’s release Diablo III has already received 2 hotfixes, and 3 official patches. Thus far the majority of the patches have delved into bug fixes and balancing issues. However, Blizzard has stated that it will be near impossible for every character to be 100% equal. Instead their goal has been to make each build more viable, each character stronger, and overall the game easier. Some argue against this, some have argued for it. I haven’t decided on my stance in this case, but I have determined that I enjoy Diablo III immensely, and I can’t wait to see what Blizzard has in store for the future!

Diablo III kicks in 20 years after the events of Diablo II. Diablo has been defeated, Baal corrupted the World Stone, Tyrael destroyed said stone to prevent corruption from spreading… blah, blah, blah. Do not get intimidated by all of this, the narrative in the previous 2 entries in the franchise was laughable at it’s best. All you need to know is that evil is re-emerging and it’s up to you to stop it! Diablo III does a great job of telling it’s story, and even that of the original two, in some very interesting ways.

You see, it’s been 15 real years since the original Diablo was released and Blizzard is fully aware that the monotonous story of the originals has long since been forgotten, and that the majority of their audience are now in their mid to late 20’s. To remedy this issue Blizzard has upped their storytelling ante. Somewhat frequent, and fairly short cut scenes litter the game to help explain the main storyline to the players. There appears to be hours of voiced dialogue in the game, much of which is optional. It’s more or less a get what you want kinda thing, which works out surprisingly well. I skipped most of the side dialogue on my first play through the game, and didn’t miss a beat with the main story. On my second play, I opted to listen to every bit of side dialogue, and felt a greater weight on my shoulders as I battled my way to the Prime Evils.

Spoken dialogue and cut scenes aren’t the only way to get story elements from Diablo III. One of my favorite additions to the franchise are the lore and books you find throughout Sanctuary. After killing a new enemy, even bosses, you’re given the option to listen to a bit of Lore on the creatures you’ve just slain. It’s optional and often nonsensical information that won’t help you defeat future versions of these beasts, but it certainly adds to the immersion. You’ll also happen upon lore books, such as diaries, that help explain the story from other perspectives. However, I find it a little off putting to think that Deckard Cain, last of the horradrim and coolest conspiracy theorist ever, would have accidentally left his journals scattered throughout all of Sanctuary after scribing less than a paragraph of information in each one. It’s absurd to think he would not have devised some sort of storage device that prevents further loss of his, seemingly, insane rantings from falling into the hands of evil. Yet, I find it rather enticing to find each book and listen as Deckard remarks on different events within Sanctuary, furthering my knowledge of the land’s history. It’s very BioShock in nature, and works well to keep the action flowing while you continue to learn about the world you’ve been asked to save.

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is not a boss.

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