Diablo III (2012 Video Game)
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From the color palette, to the dialogue, to the areas you get to see, to the graphics that look like a Renaissance painting, to the music and atmosphere, this games is an absolute jewel.
When you first start the game, you are greeted with the most impressive interface, with frames, skulls, ripped curtains and the beautifully animated backgrounds of each act. The game's story line is one of the most complex ones you will ever encounter: it first takes you on a journey through the dying New Tristram with it's dark and anxious atmosphere. Here, the thing I like the most is what the non-playable characters will tell you, what their point of view is regarding the situation that they and their families find themselves in. When you leave New Tristram, you start exploring its surroundings, which are beautifully crafted, accompanied by the greatest of atmospheres. I was struck by the beauty of the Highlands, every time I get there, I just stop on the edge of the cliff and just watch the valley, the river on its bottom, the clouds, the waving grass.. it is just beautiful. One thing I didn't like about the first act is Maghda... she looks out of the Diablo universe, but at least she gets to die for what she's done.
The second act is just as marvelous, with its Caldeum, and its surroundings, my favorites being the Desolate Sands and Alcarnus. There is just so much mystery about every location, and getting those lore books with their explanations, takes everything on a much deeper level. The whole idea of Belial being in Caldeum somewhere and all this conspiracy pushes the story line of the second act further and further, which is a feeling I love.
The third act is, I think, the most thrilling, with its Battle of Bastion's Keep, going back to Mount Arreat and entering the most visually striking hell you will ever see in a video game. The Towers of the Damned are just... very uneasy to watch.
The fourth act is something that doesn't enchant me very much, with its High Heavens destruction, but at least it is a thrilling adventure.
And, at last, the final act, the one that brought so much change to the game: Reaper of Souls and West March. There could be an entire review I could write about the expansion of Diablo III... All the changes that were subdued to the game, just made it so much better, improving the game play experience, bringing the adventure mode, the bounties, the rifts, the loot, the new interface, the seasons... So much has changed, and I am happy to see that all the "problems" with the game have been solved. It finally seems like more and more people are starting to enjoy the game, which warms my heart! I start to see more and more positive comments, with even the haters admitting that... they finally enjoy the game.
The cinematic sequences, the actors, the music, the depth of the story line, the loot, the game experience, all the things you can do make this game... one of the best ever made, and, in my opinion, THE best ever made.
So, enough "staying a while and listening", nephelem! Go get your gear and finish that season! You have the head of a demon lord to put on a pike!
Compared to Diablo 2, the game is much easier. It is convenient how controls are better-designed, and the inventory holds more stuff, lots of little improvements to the user-interface. In Diablo 2 the game was frustrating or even impossible if you made the wrong choices in developing your character, but in Diablo 3 the pendulum has swung too far the other way, and it is impossible to mess up, and the game is way too easy until you are in Hell Mode.
The worst part of the gameplay is the loot. There is way to much loot, and it's ALL crap. Sometimes I just sell it all without even looking at it, that's how bad it is. Even the Legendary Items are usually mediocre. The best items I have are equipment that other players just gave me for free for some reason.
In the the game eventually you have three mercenaries to choose from. They were pretty useless at first but the patches to the game have made them more powerful. The mercenary dialogue is amusing. The voice actor for the Scoundrel in particular is great!
In Diablo III the plot seems thrown-together, not much worse or better than the previous games. It has a couple of interesting twists though. The plot for Diablo games has never been what has drawn gamers in. Personally, for a long time I just enjoyed the pretty cinematics and did not even pay attention to what was going on in the plot.
My biggest criticism of the plot is how they handled Act 2 with Zoltun Kulle. This is a seriously bad-ass dude who achieved immortality, built a massive epic library, and was so powerful the Horadrim banded together to defeat him and spread his body parts across the desert. His story evokes the myth Osiris, the important Egyptian God who also was dismembered and scattered about, and even Jesus, him being a regular man who achieves immorality and is resurrected, and yet in this game he is just some little side-character that the writers blithely introduce and summarily toss aside in the middle of Act 2.
And what is with the NPC character Leah? I don't understand what the game designers were going for with her. An NPC who is so central to the plot and with you throughout the game should've been designed better. She's pretty irritating, and doesn't fit into the Diablo universe at all. She has a bow in her hair - wha?
The graphics are pretty, but are an unfortunate mismatch for the dark, gritty atmosphere that fans had come to associate with Diablo. The game has you traversing horrible torture-dungeons filled with dead bodies and zombies and rivers of blood, yet the graphical style is so colorful and cartoonish, the graphics and dialogue are reminiscent of Saturday- morning cartoons - the mismatch is downright jarring.
Next year they are slated to release an expansion. I think they should just reboot the franchise. They should make a 3-d game like Borderlands, but with realistic graphics, and melee combat, and reboot it in that format. And retell the Diablo story, fixing up the weak points of the plot.
If i were to recommend a game similar in play style, Torchlight 1 or 2 (though i have briefly touched upon the games they are miles better than diablo 3)
The expansion allowed you to get many more tailored item drops to your character. The item drops in the expansion were so improved that it makes most of your old items from vanilla Diablo III basically useless. The expansion is more fair to play through if you do own it. You actually don't feel as hopeless when you're finding items from monsters. The items you'll find a lot of times are actually good, tailored to your specific character.
Well that's some good changes they made stated above. What I still dislike though is that you can't trade unique items to people unless you found that item in the same game session as that other person was in. Also, after 2 in game hours have passed, the item becomes account bound.
If you want to duel your friends, you have to duel in a very small area. Unlike Diablo II where you are able to duel literally anywhere as long as it's not town, in Diablo III you're heavily restricted where you can duel your friends or others. Diablo II also had a much higher max player cap. In Diablo II, you could have up to 8 players in a game session. This allowed team duels in the Blood Moor for example. You could have 2v2v2v2, 4v4, 3v3v2, or even a straight out free for all, a 1v1v1v1v1v1v1v1. In Diablo III, game sessions are limited to 4 people only. This means you lose a lot of possible social interaction that you would have had if you were with more players at once.
If you're looking at this game for mainly PvM or Person vs Monster action, it fills that role well. If you're looking for a true successor to Diablo II, I've heard many others suggest a game such as Path of Exile which is free as far as I know.
I still do play Diablo III however. It lacks many elements that I wanted it to have but it still plays solid enough to play to pass the time. It's only worth playing at this point if you have the Reaper of Souls expansion pack though.
It does get repetitive without a true duel system and that is a pretty big flaw to me. Diablo II's duel system is what kept people constantly farming up bigger and better items so that they would dominate on the battlefield against other players.
Oh well, there's always hope for if or when Diablo IV ever comes out.
I give this a 6/10. Playable but not ideal in my opinion.