Thursday, May 17, 2012

How About "Mr. Satan"?

Some first impressions on Diablo III

First of all, I have to state that I haven't followed the series. I played the original Diablo a little bit when I was younger, and got bored that there was nothing to do except go into the church basement with the things that kill you. I missed the Diablo II boat entirely partially because I didn't have a game-ready computer and partially because I wasn't into the horror genre.

So how did I end up with Diablo III?

Well, we can thank World of Warcraft for that.

Ah, WoW, is there nothing I wouldn't do for you? Well, I won't PvP unless I need a holiday achievement, but anyway....

WoW offered their annual pass last winter, which was advertised as Diablo III, A Diablo-Inspired WoW mount (though I wouldn't get that connection until the opening cutscene), and guaranteed access to the Mists of Pandaria beta test in exchange for a one-year subscription.

So this is what I read: If I do what I'm doing anyway, I get free stuff I don't care too much about otherwise and ACCESS TO THE MISTS BETA!!!!!one

Naturally, I signed up right away. I didn't give much thought to the Diablo part until the release date started ramping up. I figured "I'm getting this for free, I may as well give it a shot."

What's the verdict?

Well, aside from Launch Day shenanigans (i.e. getting booted off every five minutes thus needing emergency maintenance by midday), my experiences have been fairly positive.

I've only gotten a Witch Doctor to about two-thirds of the way (I think) through Act 1, but its much clearer on what needs to be done. It plays very much like the X-Men Legends/Marvel Ultimate Alliance series; same camera angle, same picking up cash and health globes from enemies. There's more of an RPG element here, but its still very simple. I don't know if it's just radically easier gameplay than D1 or if I'm just more used to it now that I'm older.

The story is great and the cutscenes are fantastic (done in the style of sketches from old tomes). It is a little monotonous the way the enemies never seem to leave you alone, and companion AI needs a little bit of work though it's not bad.

Overall: I'm glad I have it, I'll have fun with it, but I'm glad it was free and if I had to pay for it I wouldn't bother.

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