|All screenshots beyond this point are my own. Diablo 3, Blizzard Entertainment, etc., are properties of their respective owners.|
Story: It feels like something from the Diablo universe, which is definitely a plus. Twenty years have passed since the events of Diablo 2, and Deckard Cain is doing research in the old Tristram cathedral with his niece, Leah, when something falls from the sky and all heck breaks loose. Once again, the player has to rescue the last of the Horadrim, and set out to defeat more of the Prime Evils.
Characters: First of all, I was very happy to hear the same old voice for our buddy Deckard Cain. Michael Gough is back for another round of voicing the sage old man. Even when he's not with your character, you'll hear his voice, such as in journal notes about the various monsters you encounter. Horray.
Each class has the option of playing a male or female, and each offers a unique take on the story. That's a neat touch. It actually sounds like the haughty wizard has totally different reasons for being there than the curious witch doctor. Also, the hero will make small talk with his or her follower. My female barbarian gets compliments from her Templar follower about her fighting, and how it must reflect the purity of her heart. It's little stuff like this, that gives the game a lot of its flavor.
Button mashing: It's a top-down RPG like its predecessors, with fairly similar mechanics. There's a whole lot of mouse-clicking going on. One change I'm not crazy about, though, is that you cannot choose which skills you want to assign to which buttons. More importantly, you no longer have skill trees with which to customize your character. That's probably one of the biggest flaws to the game. If you also play D&D and don't like how there is a set "right" way to play a given class in 4th edition, this game may not be for you. The only real customization you get is what armor and weapons you give your character.
Visual effects: Is this game shiny? Oh yes, it is! The landscaping is quite lovely. Developers put a lot of time into this game, and I appreciate it.
|Somewhere, over the rainbow ...|
|When not captured in a screenshot, it reminds me of bowling. Monsters make satisfying pins.|
|You must assimilate.|
This leads to an excellent point brought to my attention by that great boyfriend of mine, who bought this game for me even though he has a love-hate relationship with Blizzard (for more on that, visit his blog): When Blizzard decides that it's made all the money it's going to on Diablo 3 and takes down the servers supporting the game, the game will no longer be playable. Over a decade after its release, I can still play Diablo 2 since my computer is running a compatible version of Windows. That might not be the case with D3.
That's a sobering thought.
I would like to end on an upbeat note, however. So, in sum, Diablo 3 is a fun game that I am enjoying playing. It's by no means perfect, but it overall gives me what I wanted from a game in this series.