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Diablo III Review and Primer

10 years and it’s finally here. Evil is back and it’s taunting you to slay it. One of the most anticipated games of the year has finally been released and we could not be more excited to play it and review it for all you, mga kapatid. So, want to find out if its worth a buy? Read on!

2001 was the year the last Diablo game was launched, Diablo 2 expansion Lord of Destruction. There we embarked on a journey to slay Baal, the last of the remaining prime evils after having slain his brothers Diablo and Mephisto. Now, years later, Azmodan and Belial, the last 2 remaining lesser evils are threatening to invade Sanctuary, our little world, and rule over it with gusto. Cain is older now, much older; poke him with a stick and he’ll die, older. But now he has with him his adopted niece Leah who is helping him, well basically walk and continue his work. 20 years after the story of Diablo 2, a star falls over tristram and heroes flock to it like moths to a flame.

Graphics

Diablo 3 is not really a wonder to the eyes but to many it does look good. A number of players are disappointed since they were expecting mind blowing graphics especially since the game has been in development for a long long time. Blizzard has stated that they intended to give Diablo 3 a more painterly feel to make it last longer. This reviewer agrees with their assessment. Though graphically it’s not at all that demanding (a 3 year old video card can run it no problems), it still looks good. Parang antique, luma tingnan pero maganda parin. In dungeons its still dark and dank but they’ve expanded on the universe to open fields and large castle walls. So there are areas with more light.

Sound

Aside from the iffy voice acting, Diablo 3 sounds impressive. Blizzard has done an outstanding job in their musical score. It gives the whole game an epic feel especially with the clips with choirs in the background. As for the sound effects, they make the skills sound very visceral. Each hit feels gut wrenching, clubbing and even gruesome at times.

Back to the voice acting. I am impressed by a lot of the voice acting but I am very much irked by some of them. For instance, while the voice of Leah did an excellent job the voice of Diablo makes me cringe everytime he says the word “terror” (play the game and listen to him to find exactly what I”m saying).

Gameplay

Classes. This time around Blizzard gives us both standard classes and not so standard ones. You have the barbarian, the basic HULK SMASH class, wears large pieces of armor and wields even larger weapons.  The Demon hunter, basically the agile ranged class with a twist, they can wear plates now. The wizard, your magic pew pew caster glass cannon.

The other nonstandard ones are the Monk. He’s the dexterity based, very agile, melee class that has group buffs. Also we have the witch doctor, a summoner much like the Necromancer of Diablo 2, only a lot weirder, think holding up a rotting shrunken head weird.

All the classes use different resources. Yes, mana for everybody is gone. So no more mana potion spamming. Even health potions have cooldowns now, so you don’t have to spam your potion button anymore, you need to play smart to stay alive.

Skills. Skill points, GONE! You no longer get a skill tree where you decide to place skill points, you get ALL the skills as you level incrementally. How do I make a unique build then? Well here they introduce runes. Runes are, well, attachments to each skill that makes the skill function differently. And if you make a mistake, don’t worry, you won’t need to reset, you can change your skills anytime, just don’t do it in combat. This allows players to try new skill combinations as they play. You are not bound to a decision.

Stats. Stat points, GONE! Well, not really. They are there, but you can no longer assign them manually. But, how do I make that super duper melee wizard and ranged barb build I always wanted? You can use items for that. All modifying stat points beyond the ones given to you as you level can be had through your items. You can still build that really weird build you’re planning, you just need to find the items for it.

Monsters and items. Aside from the standard scripted bosses, you get elites and champions that are randomly assigned modifiers. These modifiers give elites and champions monsters abilities that either make them harder to kill, or they can kill you faster. For example, waller. This modifier allows for a monster to create a wall infront of you and wall you in so it can tickle you to death once trapped. You never know what elites and champions get what modifiers so every game, a surprise is waiting for you in every corner, with a smile.

These monsters drop great loot as well. Although all items drop randomly throughout the entire game. You have a higher probability of getting items from these elites and champions.

Replay Value

This is where Diablo 3 excels. There is a randomness factor built right into the game. Aside from the random elites and champions, maps are created by random as well. So everytime you create a game, it will be a totally different game from what you played before. Aside from that there are 4 difficulty levels; normal, nightmare, hell and inferno. Each one more difficult than the other, testing your skills, your build and your items. After getting to 60, most people will be playing Inferno since this is where the best items and the greatest challenges are found.

However, this reviewer thinks that the best replay value can be found in the real money auction house. Yes, you read it right. In an unprecedented move, Blizzard is now supporting you selling your items for real money. Dollars mga kapatid, dollars. For us in the Philippines, since we’re holed up with the Americas servers, we can sell our “hard earned” items (yokyokyok) for real dollars in the AH, and it’s all legal! I can see it now, sleepless grinders whacking at demons at 3AM for the chance to earn real moolah.

Conclusion

If you loved the previous Diablo games, this is worth a look. Yes, there have been a lot of changes but the basic concept is pretty much the same. If you are looking for a game to play ’til you age another 10 years, my bet is, this is it. Even with the launch problems and  some problems that are still being fixed currently, it is still worthy of a buy, we just have to be patient and wait for the fixes, Blizzard is known to support their games decades after launch.

Graphics – 8

Sound – 9

Gameplay – 10

Replay Value – 10

 

 

About Sir David

3 comments

  1. Very good review, Sir David – I cannot agree with you more.

    I’m currently a 53 Wizard in Hell and I still can’t get enough playing! The freedom you have to boost your characters with items via farming in the game or the Auction menu is quite addicting.

    Your characters will never seem strong enough as those random modifiers of the Elites and Champions will hit you right back at the kisser most of the time. Me and my friends found ourselves resetting the game most of the time since we can’t kill those yellow bastards. But it’s a fun challenge.

    Anyway, here’s a thumbs up for your review! See you whenever in the depths of Hell.

  2. lol ALL 10 The graphics is Epic. the goal of blizzard is to make everyone play and i dont see uglyness to the graphics its epic! i am hoping for GOOD PVP MATCHMAKING and DOTA DIABLO or maybe DIABLO ALL STARS i have a really good idea for DIABLO ALL STARS HAHA if only blizzard will hear my idea! har har har

  3. 2 weeks in and here’s the story so far. The game’s difficulty is fine from normal to hell. But once you move past act 1 inferno, the game just gets retarded really fast and not in a good way. Blizzard wanted inferno to be a challenge, that’s their press release. Well getting 1 shot by mobs regardless of how much vitality you stack and regardless what class you’re using is not really a challenge, it’s just redundant.

    Items are weird as well. Most items for specific classes have attributes for other classes, and take note this happens really often. Just to wrap up, aside from what I’ve written so far, 1) there are still some skills that are bugged/imba and there are still bugs with the auction house.

    So in my opinion Blizzard made an above average game. Not as good in regards to it’s predecessor (D2 was a masterpiece), but still good. Yeah most of the issues will be fixed with patches, but I still didn’t appreciate paying $60 on release week to be a beta tester for a semi finished product until it’s fixed by patches. That should’ve been done during beta testing. But regardless the game is still fun in it’s own right.

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