Diablo 3 - An Epic Disappointment?

It took Blizzard over 8 years to release another part of the Diablo series. They needed to make sure it's going to be exactly what they'd pictured it to be, and that the Diablo fans will get a product they deserve. Did they manage to do that?

First of all, Diablo III follows the same story line as the two previous parts. The gameplay is exactly the same, except you can also use a game pad to play on a console. But the classic point and click - left to move, right to attack - stayed. That's the thing, it's basically Diablo 2 with new graphics and enemies - no new mechanism, because it's a typical hack'n'slash. There's no riddles or mini games. I guess that's what the fans of the previous part expected, but, being a Diablo fan myself, I find the concept boring. The same hordes of enemies flood the screen and you click on them, levelling up with time and getting better items and spells/abilities. Standard. Used soooo many times in different games.

As for the improvements and new stuff... there's not many. The graphics isn't top notch. That's one of the flaws you can notice from the beginning - the inventory is rather ugly and flashing with colors. Instead of mixing with the gothic/gloom locations, it looks silly. The enemies are colorful too, which adds to the "clownish" aspect of the game.

Perhaps the characters and gameplay are what makes the game great? Not at all. If you're a necromancer fan, you'll probably be surprised to discover that... there's no necromancer class in Diablo III. You get a Witch Doctor, which is a caricature for black people you sometimes see in old movies - you know, the African cannibal that uses voodoo and herbal medicine. Every class has a female and male version, but the faces stay the same. It's especially comical with the barbarian class, where the female looks like a teenage redhead on steroids, and the male like an old bum (on steroids). Playing online means you get no customisation of your character other than the armor/equipment you use. Another thing is the characters are more or less the same - you get leap attack or teleport skills, attacks that have the same range and damage, but used by different classes and having a different animation, but, basically, every character has the same set of potential, which makes strategies with/against certain classes unavailable.

The main attraction, mainly the Blizzard store, which is a revolution in the MMO industry was a great idea. The result? The concept was to allow players to sell the items directly in the game - for real money. Blizzard would get a percent of the prices. Brilliant. Kind of, because the Chinese players flooded the market like on the third day after the premiere. Since Blizzard set the stores to regional, it wasn't long before the players in China had set up a dedicated proxy in America and made it available for all the slave camps in China, where the gold-farming in Warcraft has been mastered.

To sum up, I wouldn't recommend the game to anyone but the Diablo series fans. Players new to the series would most probably find the game pointless, boring, repetitive and not up to date with the graphics. The standards set by games like Dragon Age or The Elder Scrolls have not been reached. Character creation, visual effects, alternate solutions, great story - they had 8 years to produce a great game and they didn't include those. Is the game great? Far from great. I have no idea how a studio like Blizzard could be responsible for a failure like this
Uploaded 02/18/2012
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Tags: neko blog