Review: Diablo 3

[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”Diablo 3″ developers=”Activision Blizzard” publishers=”Activision Blizzard” platforms=”360/PS3″ genres=”” release_date=”Out Now” version_played=360″]
Diablo 3 is an action role-playing game set in the world of Sanctuary. You participate as one of the 5 hero classes: Barbarian, Wizard, Monk, Witch Doctor and Demon Hunter. Combat is fast as you assault various dungeons and bosses all for that shiny loot

diablo story
Burning hell demons have lust for the world of Sanctuary and a mighty group of demon lords have been sent to crush all of mankind, turning them into servants and poisoning their minds with deceit. Cities crumbled, thousands died and the all mighty Worldstone which lay in the mount Arreat was destroyed. Without it Sanctuary became vulnerable to the Prime Evil invasion who have now come to unleash havoc. This is where you come in, an aspiring level one hero ready to be the Saviour of Sanctuary. The storyline plays out with spectacular cut scenes and talkative quest givers which keep you updated on what’s going on storywise.

diablo presentation
Diablo 3 is  Blizzards first release in this gen on the console and they’re really pushing the limits of the 360 and PS3. Visually, I find this game exquisite. With the vast array of hero spells and enemy abilities, it can be hard not go all starry eyed when a wizard joins your party and electrocutes everything to death before you can punch a mob of your own. Blizzard’s art style always seems to always hit a sweet spot of mine. The backdrops are beautiful and the creativity in monster design set my imagination on fire.

City hubs are quite easy to navigate around with obvious map icons and quest givers standing near by. A lot of loot shares the same skins and the quests aren’t anything that we haven’t seen before and are merely there to move you between zones. The frame rate seemed to stutter in later levels on the 360 but nothing that kept me from having an awesome time. Behind all of the big monsters, flashy spells and fat loots is the games soundtrack which really sets the tone and moods of the locations you travel through.

Gameplay is fast and addictive. The combat is fluent and everything feels good under thumb, loot is easily accessible and the growth of your character is rapid. You feel yourself become more powerful with each level and it really is rewarding for your hero and abilities to come together nearing endgame. A lot of this consists of loitering around mobs that will kill you with one shot otherwise, depending on the difficulty of course. Diablo 3 was the most rewarding for me playing on hard with a group of friends who were communicating the whole time discussing boss strategies and what skills had synergy. The meta game was a great aspect of it and i thoroughly enjoyed the multiple playthroughs.

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The matchmaking isn’t exactly anything amazing but it does the job. You’re mostly dropped into local games where lag isn’t prominent, but there were times where it wasn’t so easy to find fellow Australians to play with. There’s two crafting professions to take part in; Blacksmithing and Jewel Crafting. Both cap out at level 10 and requirements are a lot of various mob drops to acquire the max level. Both professions are put in place for upgrading gear with different tiers of gems with various scaling stats that benefit your hero in addition, rare and legendary recipe/patterns can be purchased and crafted into loot. The only I time really found blacksmithing useless was early in the game when trying to fill out my gear with somewhat better items.

Diablo3 Screen
The console version features a new quick equip system. You can now cycle through the last few items that you’ve looted and quickly equip them based on a preview of Damage, Health and Defence. This works extremely well with a controller and alleviates our concerns about how the inventory would work. Upon picking up a weapon you are also presented with a damage difference which you can quickly swap out and quickly keep playing if it meets your requirements.

Unlocked abilities are mapped to the face buttons, bumpers and triggers. You control your character with the left analog stick and the right analog stick is used for dodging attacks.  You aim by simple looking in the direction of the enemy you want to attack. They are painted in red when they’re selected. Whilst this worked quite well, it didn’t quite provide the precision that can be gotten with a keyboard and mouse. This is especially the case when playing on harder difficulties in later levels.

diablo conclusion
The console version of Diablo 3 has been in development for a considerable amount of time since the PC version was released. It is clear to me that this is the way that Blizzard wanted the game to be played on the home console. I was extremely addicted over the past week and couldn’t put the game down. Playing with friends was an amazing time and really let the game shine.  Diablo 3 is most praised for its streamline nature of content, the addictive combat, loot in abundance and pretty spells. The game had very few bugs and I look forward to hearing news about the upcoming possible expansion Diablo 3. Taking all of this into account I could comfortably recommend this to any PS3 or 360 owner.