Diablo III Reviews

18 May 2012

While some of the biggest sites such as PC Gamer and IGN still aren't done with their own reviews, a first batch of positive reviews for Blizzard's long-awaited third chapter in the Diablo franchise is out. Scores are overall very positive, but for such an incredibly anticipated release, I can't help but feel like they're also slightly lower than expected.

RPGamer, 5.0/5.
Despite all the outrage over the first-day server problems, the fact that everyone is getting so upset over not being able to play just shows how great the game really is. While legacy certainly has something to do with it, Diablo III goes beyond a mere nostalgia trip; it's a fundamentally improved experience that may once again change the ways developers look at creating RPGs. It takes the core experience that made Diablo II great and makes it less frustrating and, more importantly, much more accessible. Where Diablo II encouraged careful planning and forethought, Diablo III encourages experimentation and fun. And hey, if you're not down with that, Torchlight II is right around the corner.

The Guardian, 4/5.
So the key question remains, was Diablo 3 worth the 12-year wait? That depends on how you play it – for single players, it's an entertaining and gorgeous-looking dungeon hack but it's a bit short, extremely linear and hardly pushing any boundaries. Playing online (and Blizzard isn't really giving us a choice) makes it a better balanced and more compelling challenge, with all the potential to be the kind of lifestyle substitute that Diablo's legion of hunter-gatherer fans should relish.

With global demand still in a feeding frenzy and PvP levels under development, let's hope the servers can cope.

EDGE, 9/10.
To the disinterested, Diablo III’s another game about hitting monsters and looting their corpses. Such a characterisation misses the wider point, however. It’s also the best game about hitting monsters and looting their corpses that has yet been made.

Bit-tech, 85%.
Really, we just wish there was something in Diablo 3 that justified the enormous wait and hype that's been built around it over the years. There isn't, though that doesn't make it a bad game - it is, in fact, quite a good game. It's playable and fun and exciting and interesting; it's taxing on hardcore mode, easy when played solo and designed to be played by groups of friends together. It's fun, even if it's not ground-breakingly so.

Videogamer, 9/10.
This is not the most adventurous action RPG on the market, then, but its razor-sharp and uncompromising focus on structure and mechanics ensures it's one of the most playable. Diablo III quite simply revels in being a video game, and when a game is this well-executed it's impossible to resist those charms.

Cheat Code Central, 4.5/5.
Because of the length of production and repute of the developer, many gamers had extremely high hopes for Diablo III. These hopes might be dashed a little with server issues, visuals that aren't as cinematic as the cutscenes, and a somewhat constrained skill system. However, Diablo III is still amazing, and after you've poured countless hours into numerous characters, you'll find the purchase price fully justified. It has a great story and pertinent quests, it maintains the honor of being the best loot series ever, and it's just simply fun to play over and over again.

Check back after the PvP release for another comprehensive look at Blizzard's latest hack and slash. I'll review the new multiplayer mode, explore the Hardcore and Inferno difficulties and the epic-level content, see if the Auction House has crashed, and weigh in on any new and persistent technical issues.

Metro, 8/10.
We feel they're right about the changes to the customisation features too. They're more intuitive and accessible, and they take the focus away from purely number-crunching. Now you no longer have to worry that you've made a mistake upgrading your character because you can instantly change their entire move set, adding greatly to the sense of variety and experimentation.

Which is not to suggest there's any great advancement here. The details may have changed but this is still fundamentally the same game as the 1996 original. But that's kind of the point. Diablo isn't interested in innovation or subtlety; it's interested in empowerment and cheap thrills. It knows that clicking on monsters to bash their brains in with an axe is fun and its only concern is ensuring it stays that way no matter how, and with whom, you play it.

Quarter to Three, 4/5.
At least the events, which are hand-made vignettes that may or may not appear, lend a bit of unpredictability to repeated trips down the same hallways. Diablo III doesn’t have the wide-open replayability of a tile-based randomly generated world, but neither does it have the occasional awkward slapdash of a tile-based randomly generated world. It’s all very handbuilt and it shows. And the events are a lot more exciting to discover than a passageway that goes left instead of right.

Then there’s the fact that Diablo III is an online only game, even if you’re just in it for the single-player. I understand this decision from a business perspective. But I don’t play Diablo III from a business perspective, so it’s a real thumb in the eye to have to suffer through a launch that was exactly like any MMO launch. It’s a sad reality that too many of us have accepted DRM with gritted teeth and open wallets, so this is likely the price of AAA gaming for the foreseeable future. Us sheep get what we deserve, which is a Diablo III, a fine game for playing solo, with all the pitfalls of an online game. So I reserve the right to replace this review with an angry screed if I ever lose my hardcore character to lag.
 
 

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