Even if I was a great fan of the original Diablo and D2, I was late in deciding to take D3 on. It was a combination of factors, from the bad reviews the game kept getting, to the constant servers errors I kept hearing about and to me being too busy to take up such a time-eater. However, I came across it at a great discount and, on an impulse, decided to give it a try. Three weeks of (casual) gameplay later this is what I think.
The game is beautiful to look at and a visual pleasure to play in. The environments are meticulously rendered and yet they loose none of their details when zoomed in or acted upon. Blowing up tree trunks or exploding bodies of enemies is both fun and physically accurate. Sure, some heads or pieces of wood can be seen to spin for too long, but that is part of the game's appeal, right? You are become Death, the destroyer of Worlds!
YOUR CHORD SOUNDS FAMILIAR
The sounds are better than the music but they are both quite well made. What I found strange was that, at least once, throughout Act I, the background music clearly reminded me of the main theme from Baldur's Gate. Let's chalk this one off as ...tribute.
GRINDING BUILDS CHARACTER.
The bad news is that it builds exactly the same kind of character for everyone. There are no choices when leveling up. Everything eventually gets unlocked for you and you only get to choose what 4 skills to use and which runes to combine with each one. Your strength, dexterity, intelligence and vitality get automatically increased, depending on your class. No more making a tank out of a ranger I am afraid. And this is where the game looses its first star.
The fact that you get to have a sidekick that does practically little more than keep the mobs occupied until you dispense of them, does not help either.
CULTURAL PHOBIAS DO NOT A GOOD STORY MAKE
Yes, the story plot is infantile, disrespectful to the original games (I will refrain from spoiling it) and it offers very little help in immersing into the game world. It is unfortunate because, BLIZZARD has proved in the past that they can produce games with a very good back-story, such as Starcraft II.
However, this a game franchise that is heavily invested on the Judeo-Christian culture of the Devil. Just read the name on the box! So, taking away demonic pentagrams and most religious symbols (some crosses can still be found) fools no one. Because once you go down that road and then decide to backup, you should make sure not to step on yourself and trip. As in: if a golden-eyed Fallen Angel (Hello!) is helping you fight Diablo, are you sure who is the Devil and who is not?
LOOT. LOOT NEVER CHANGES.
Well designed and clearly labeled items make all the difference in the world. I would love for Borderlands 2 items to have such a clear Damager-Per-Second (DPS) number to make comparisons easier. Pair this with an inventory that is big enough and free of the need to play item-Tetris in (all items take up either one or two vertical squares) and you have yourself almost loot haven. Almost because you still get too many unusable items, mostly because of class restrictions.
You can stash such items in your common stash to share with your other heroes (on the same BattleNet account) but make sure to find the necessary...700,000 gold to pay for all the extra stash space. Hint: use the Auction House while you still can.
The only thing I found missing is the ability to add sockets to magical items and enchant regular ones.
THE AUCTION HOUSE: BRILLIANT! (WHEN IT WORKS)
I am going to go against the current here but here it is: I found the Auction House a brilliant idea. Well designed and decently executed. I am going to be sad to see it go on March, as announced. I can only hope they change their mind before then.
In all honesty, I am currently a Demon Hunter at Nightmare difficulty. And I have heard the complaints that it is impossible to finish Inferno without Real-Money Auction House (which is clearly not how it is supposed to work) but up to Nightmare, using the Auction House is the only way to get enough money to be able to do the enhancements you want, craft or buy the items you covet and unlock the precious extra stash space you need.
CHAINS IN NEED OF BREAKING
I withheld the second star because of the always-online requirement. Because it is indeed a hassle and a hindrance (just try pausing in town for longer than half and hour and see what happens). Yes, the game does offer some gameplay features (namely, the Auction-House) to compensate for the inconvenience but they all give way to anger and frustration whenever BlLIZZARD's servers go down and you are unable to play a Single-player game for days at a time(!). Take away the Auction-House, however, and the always-online requirement becomes a severe and now unjustified hindrance!
THE ORIGINAL SIN
No, D3 looses its third and final star for being both short and boring at times. There, I said it. Yes, it is a well balanced eye-candie, with tons of loot, problematic character development yet the gameplay feels like at chore at times and it is over before you know it. I even found Act I (the one offered for free as a demo) to be better designed and longer than the rest.
It is like that old Woody Allen joke: two old ladies are complaining about their retirement home catering. "The food was awful, barely edible", "I know", her friend replied, "and such small portions!".
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2012
I hope Blizzard is happy they rode the coatails of Diablo 2 to sell a boatload of copies on day one. Diablo 3 can be described as many things:
-Unrewarding (You will never find a good item on your own)
-Time-waster (There are cooldowns for everything, identifying items, town portals, 90% of the skills, rez timers etc.)
-Cash grab (The whole game pushes you towards the RMAH through crap drops, cheap enemies etc.)
-Gear check (The game requires zero skill once you have the gear after spending real money or billions at the gold auction house you just click click.)
-Bug riddled mess (They didnt do a proper beta and now this game is a glitched/bugged mess just yesterday two methods of god mode became public in a game where real money is involved. Worse off they had been reported a month ago a Blizz ignored them.
-Cheap (The monsters k ill you using methods you cannot dodge. They hold you in place and you cant move because all your skills are on cooldowns and kill you in seconds then you have to wait for the res timer cooldown too.)
-Solo only (No incentives to play with friends)
-Unfinished (PVP was functioning in 2010 yet we still dont have it. They also spent the last year cutting features to sell in expantions (3 gems, Mystic, talisman system, followers used to have more skills, nephalem cube etc.)
-Random (You never know when you cant play because of weekly maintenace, random downtimes, etc.)
-Nerf (Their first patch made the game worse, chests dont drop loot, the environment doesnt drop loot.)
-Linear (Oh you enjoy travelling between acts fighting your favorite bosses and clearing your favorite areas? Well too bad. This game has an incredibly dumb linear approach where you are stuck on wheels doing quests which give out disgustingly uninteresting rewards)
-I can go on but why waste any more time on this turd.
Do not buy this game. There are a ton of alternatives on the horizon that are worth your hard earned cash to name a few Torchlight 2, Guild Wars 2 , Path of Exile (its free), Borderlands 2. Avoid this game at all cost and save yourself the dissapointment. We waited 10 years and this is what we got a game that is several steps back from one that came out in 2000)You spend time searching for fun and it just never arrives. RIP diablo franchise you will be missed.
29 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2012
I bought Diablo 3 opening night. Glossing over the fact that Blizzard was entirely unprepared to handle the server strain from everyone attempting to login simultaneously, I had fun with the game at first. And then that romantic twelve-year-wait fuzzy feeling subsided and I saw the game for what it really was.
Diablo 3 is Blizzard's master plan to make as much money as possible. And it is brilliant. The entire game revolves around the Real Money Auction House. In fact, it feels as if the game itself is just a side-bar to the auction house. Here's the kicker: for each item transaction, Blizzard takes a 15% cut. To put this into perspective, there are items listed for $250 on the auction house. When one of these babies sells, Blizzard takes $37.50. Item drop rates are horrendous, forcing players that want to continue in the end-game to use the auction house or spend hours upon hours farming in the hopes of lucking out with the random number generator. In the last patch, Blizzard completely nerfed an item attribute. The problem with this was the real money auction house had already been out for a few weeks, and people had bought items specifically for this stat. This is the equivalent of buying a sound system in a store only to have the company knock on your door a few days later and take away one of your speakers. People are beginning to realize the sheer capacity for Blizzard to make millions of dollars from the auction house.
The only problem is they forgot to make a game that was worth playing. In order for people to use the real money auction house, there must be an excellent game along with it in which players want to use the items they buy. This is where Blizzard went horribly wrong. Twelve years in the making, and Diablo 3 is inferior to its predecessor in nearly every way except for graphics. The storyline is horrendous, filled with overused cliches, characters lacking basic common sense and laughable villains, both in appearance and action. Each act gets worse, showing less and less polish and thought. The city hubs are nothing like those in the previous game which were filled with detail and life. The music is so lackluster as to be almost entirely unnoticeable. Character customization is non-existent. Every character of a class gets access to the exact same spells and spell variants which they can switch out at will. This means the only distinguishing feature between yourself and another character of the same class is the items you don yourself with. While in theory the variety of spells is a good idea, in practise it fails- most characters stick to the same set because it is required to make any progress in inferno mode, rendering all other skills useless. There are four difficulty levels in the game. This wouldn't be a problem if the storyline were half-decent or there was an open world mode where after beating the game on normal difficulty you could roam free, unchained by the extremely linear game design. Alas this is not so- you have to suffer through it multiple times, and skipping cutscenes has never been more of an annoyance. Even after hearing player complaints, Blizzard continues to make poorly thought out changes to the game.
If you are curious to experience for yourself the failure that is Diablo 3, and the extreme degree to which a company I used to love sold out, then by all means buy this game. Otherwise stay far, far away. Reading all the articles slamming Blizzard is more fun than you'll have playing the actual game.
42 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2012
Look. This is a Diablo game. Which means it's a good game.
But enough about that.
This game needs a always-on internet connection to play. In single player. That's right. My internet was out all day today so I had to sit and stare at the game disc, wishing in vain that I could play a SINGLE-PLAYER game. This is pathetic. It's anti-consumer. It reeks of a lack of respect for customers. They want our money and yet they want to control what we do.
Stay away from this game. We have to make a stand against such policies or very soon you will find yourself stuck at home with a stack of single-player games that won't work because your internet connection is out.
Ridiculous. Shame on you, Blizzard.
33 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2012
This is a great game overall, the mistaken impression that it's too easy quickly goes away when you play far enough into the game. There is one major problem with it though: you must be online and connected to their server to be able to play, even as a single player game. A few issues stem from this:
**If your internet is down, or if you want to take your laptop on holidays, or to a more remote area without a connection, or on a plane, or in many other situations where you might find yourself without a connection, but would like to pass the time by playing it, you can't do it at all.
**If you have a connection but their server is down, or the game is being "patched" or "updated" on their end, which can take the whole day , you can't play either (Actually, the server is down as I write this, so I can't play right now). This can happen in the middle of the game, at which point you start to get little warnings that the server will shut down in so and so many minutes.
**If in some 15 or 20 years you want to revisit the game, or show your kids etc.., but by then the company has decided to take the server down because the game would then be too old, or if the company is out business etc.., the game would be lost. It feels like the $60 is for a long term rent, rather than a tangible ownership of a game than you can physically install on your machine and boot it whenever and wherever you want it.
Bottom line: I don't regret buying it and recommend it to anyone (casual and experienced gamers alike), because the game itself is great, well developed, providing hours and hours of fun (when you actually get to play it) - However, be very aware of this limitation and be prepared for some sighing when you can't connect to their server. I know nothing about computer programming and this is probably not even possible, but maybe one day there will be a patch that will allow the game to be played offline too, the old-fashioned way?
on August 11, 2014
Playing it now as a Monk, and I'm loving it. The story is engaging and the gameplay has improved since Diablo 2. I've had fun every time I've played it.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2012
Shame on you Blizzard for a "money hungry" game concept/design in a struggling "real world" economy.
I refuse to sit in a dead-end game and farm countless hours of nothing. I also refuse to be frustrated and pressured into spending my time in the auction house with gold I can barely make in order to marginally gear my characters. I waited for patch 1.03 in hopes that would fix WoWablo's woes but Blizzard just dumped another load of garbage onto my lawn.
Too bad people had to pay money in order to find out they will have to pay more money. Sure there's no monthly subscription fee but the RMAH is there to make up for that. Lesson learned, I will never purchase another Blizzard product or Blizzard affiliated product. After having played WoW since it's inception I'm done with that too. Too bad I can't cancel my Battle-NET account outright. But until that time comes, not playing will suffice.
Diablo 3 is not a game for gamers. It's a tool to exploit them.
on February 6, 2013
This is an excellent sequel to the previous Diablo games.
you will get lost in the story, challenges and loots it provides.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2012
The simplicity and fun of this game is probably going to keep me hooked for a long time. I love the animations and the scenery.
Had some issues with the digital install but I'm not letting this affect the review as I'm reviewing a product and not the product delivery.
Awesome game, love it.
Kind of boring compared to diablo 2. Didn't hold up to my nostalgic memories and the story was really cheesy.