Diablo 3 review (at last)
It only took twelve years to make, but last month the world was treated to the release of Diablo 3, the long awaited sequel to Diablo 2. I was very tentative about this game; I did not see a reason for it other than a cash grab since I felt that Diablo 2’s ending was pretty final from how I understood it.
A few problems plagued the game right out of the box. First up is the always online DRM (Digital Rights Management). This means to play even the single player portion of the game, you need to be connected to the internet. DRM on its own is an almost unforgivable clusterfuck of anti-piracy that just frustrates legitimate users and makes pirates go LOL. What this means is that if something were to happen to Blizzards Diablo servers, no one could play the game until the servers came back up. The immediate effect of this was that there were massive log in issues on release day. That’s right, if you wanted to play the single portion of the game, you couldn’t. Too bad so sad. The other two problems were that two key features, one advertised and one expected, were not included at launch and still not implemented as of this writing; These are player versus player combat and the real money auction house. Player versus player was very big in the previous two Diablo games, but got delayed for balancing purposes. The real money auction house is kind of ingenious; players can sell their digital loot for real dollars and pennies to other players and blizzard gets a small percentage of the profits. In theory, this is to help reduce spam and people ripping off other players. This addition is the most likely reason for the always online DRM (to prevent hacks and whatnot).
After finally getting into the game, I was surprised to hear my character talking. A first and welcome addition to the series, I was no longer Barbarian #146092, but I was Reginold, the Demon Hunter! The thrill of this wore off around act two when I realized that all the characters had about the same dialogue (or the exact same in some cases) and took away my feeling of being a unique flower. I could live with that in the long run because my armor would look different because of armor dyes, woo! On the bright side, all of the characters felt very distinct with their play styles; From the “come at me bro” of the Barbarian, to the “Not the face” of the Wizard, there was a strategy to be effective at your class.
At the end of the day I feel that Diablo 3 did not bring as much to the table as previous entries and it was hard to force myself to start the game again on a higher difficulty. While a good game, there’s enough I don’t like to caution other gamers who might be interested.