Jun 9, 2012

Diablo 3 Review

Home of the greatest evil known to gamers: Error 37!

Diablo 3 broke records when it came out, being one of the largest PC games to date, selling over 6 million copies and proving that PC gamers are still out there. But you guys don't want to hear about the game's achievements, so let's get started.

In the town of Trstram, a star has fallen from the sky. This event marks a prophecy that predicts the end of days. You, as whatever class you chose, have gone to the accursed town for redemption, promise of prophecy or whatever, and will soon find yourself in a battle that will determine the fate of mankind.
Aside from that, there's not much else. I mean, yes, you have small side quests that take the form of events, and there are a few twists in the story, but really, there's nothing special about the story aside from the classic go fight evil because you must save the world. However, where Diablo 3 loses points in original storytelling, it more than makes up for it in its mind numbingly addictive game play.

Before I get into the review, you should know Diablo 3 requires you to be online at all times. Every time you start the game, you'll have to log in with an email address and a password that you'll have to create on Blizzards BattleNet before you can play. Why this is required, I don't know. What I do know is that it can be annoying. When the game first came out there was the whole "error 37" fiasco, even spawning a t-shirt. This strange need to get online actually became the bane of my existence for a while and plays a major part on why this review has come as late as it is. However, I am here to talk about the game and thus will for the sake of Diablo 3 and the fact that I knew what I was getting into when I bought it, will ignore the "errors ruined my first PC experience" bit.

You'll tackle Diablo like so: You venture out into the wilderness, diving into dungeons in search for your objective. Hordes of monsters will assault you as you progress, shambling toward you with one goal in mind: to die.
 They will take many forms, from zombies to wild beasts, from demon lords to simple shambling sword fodder. They will all assault you with the sole intent of dying in the most bloody, goretastic way possible. Upon their spectacular deaths, the creatures may drop items and gold for you to collect and use, or simply place in your inventory. After so long, you'll run out of room to put things. You'll summon up a town portal, find the nearest merchant, sell all that useless junk for some gold and more room in your inventory and you will repeat this process for untold scores of hours.
That is the beauty of Diablo 3. This process never breaks, never falters, and is so insultingly simple that a child could do it. But it's so ridiculously fun, it's strange. However, the goal of Diablo is not to get gold but killing ability. You won't go seeking hordes of treasure to simply stack up and sit on and occasionally wipe your butt with, it's all about buying new weapons, getting new abilities and finding what tactics and skills work with your play style.
Each character will have access to six skills at a time. At any given point you can look at your skills, decide you want to change them up, and do so quickly and easily. Each skill has six different enchantments/changes called "runes". Theses runes are so diverse and so altering that even though two players have the exact same set of skills, they can alter their runes and have completely different play styles. This allows a wealth of customization, letting you set your character as a "tank," a "glass cannon," and every type of play style in between.
Ultimately, the fun of Diablo 3 comes down to simply killing things. It's the moment when you fire a new spell and watch as over a dozen enemies explode in a intestine-filled fireworks display that you really start to enjoy yourself. Finding that new item, watching your stats climb, and seeing tough enemies become little more than bodies filled with lit dynamite is where Diablo's fun really lies.

As well as being incredibly fun and addicting, Diablo also has an amazing cast of characters with some great voice acting (including a certain Decepticon that we all know, love and, sometimes worship[I'm looking at you Dro]). Your side characters will each have dialogue to present to you and your character, each holding an interesting past and story to tell. A Templar with a forgotten past that could potentially damn him, a thief with some serious family troubles and love issues, and a enchantress of a forgotten age struggling to adapt to today and the reality she once knew being gone. Really, at times I wished I could drop what I was doing and go on an adventure with my side-kicks. What they had to say was far more interesting than simply "fight evil because it needs fighting". Even my blacksmith had a more interesting story than I did!

Another perk of Diablo is the auction house. I feel like I need to mention this just because it's something I've never seen before. In the auction house, you can take time in your inventory and set it up for auction. You can use in-game gold or real world currency. Blizzard will take a cut of all profits, but it's still cool to see that you could do that. If you want, you can search for a particular item, whether it be a weapon, some new boots, or just a shiny pair of pants. You can get really specific, asking for unique attributes of the item, like 32+ intelligence or at least 12 regenerating health points per second. The search will bring up all the items with your qualifications and display the current bid and a buyout price if there is one. If you win an item, it will be placed in your stash and you can equip it to your hero.

Overall, Diablo 3 is just a fun game. After you've beaten it once, you can play three more times on increasing difficulties that are unlocked after you've beaten the lower level. The game will pick right up on the difficulty level where you left it and newer and better items will be dropped the higher you progress. While the story may be lackluster, and at times getting into Diablo can be a hassle, that doesn't stop it from being one the best PC games I've ever played, and one of my favorite games to date.



  1. All I can really say... There's a good chance I would have gotten this game if my computer could handle it. It looks absolutely amazing. I can certainly imagine that the whole "Error 37" ordeal would be frustrating as heck, and the fact that you need to be online at all times is total BS, but the game itself does look great enough to make those flaws seem more tolerable.

    And yes, Steve Blum makes everything better. XD

  2. Great review Galvin! As for why Blizzard wants you online at all times: "This way they can continually check to make sure you have a non-pirated copy of the game and can then sell you downloadable extras and, depending on the game, monthly subscriptions to play multiplayer. They also want you to buy all of your games via download so that you won't trade a physical copy in to GameStop (who will resell it and not give a penny to the publisher)."