Diablo III

The king of loot is back. Diablo III, much like its predecessors, will fulfill your need to hoard and collect everything you can get your bloody mitts on.

If you’re familiar with any previous Diablo game then you know what to expect here. In a lot of respects this is a faithful sequel, even down to the fixed camera angle above the character. For those unfamiliar, Diablo III is a hack’n’slash RPG, with randomly generated areas and enemies. You’ll have to battle your way through hordes of demons to complete the various quests laid out before you, collecting better equipment as you go. In fact if you’re interested in how this compares to the originals, have a look Phillip’s Re-view of the original Diablo and Diablo II.

Each area is colourful and has its own sewers and dungeons to explore.

Starting the game and creating a character, you’re presented with five classes: Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard. Every class feels unique and has their own strengths and completely different skill set. There is no class better than the other, it depends entirely on your play style and personal preference. Once chosen you get the difficulty screen. What are you expecting? Easy, Normal and Hard? No, there are a total of eight difficulty levels, ranging from Easy to Master V. As expected the harder the difficulty the greater the rewards and loot, but even normal will provide ample challenge in some places.

You’re treated to a stunning cutscene at the start, and there a few more of these throughout the game. They help to aid the story along, a story which involves a falling star, angels, and most definitely demons. While in game your quests generally just involve fighting your way through an area for various reasons. You aren’t really dragged into a complicated story. Don’t expect to be watching hours and hours of cutscenes here. There’s nothing complicated asked of you, but the beauty of this game is the sheer size of the world. Each Act – there are five in total – is held in a completely different part of the world and each area is colourful and has its own sewers and dungeons to explore. The world is just massive, but there are a lot of options for fast travel. There are various checkpoints you can travel to. You can also at any safe point press right on the d-pad to temporarily go back to your camp, with a portal to take you back exactly where you left. Great for selling/modifying equipment.

Graphically the models probably aren’t as great as most games, but the beauty comes into play when the game is in motion, Enemies and debris crumble and are thrown across the screen realistically. Foes, magic, and blood fly all over the screen with virtually no drop of frame rate. It’s actually a very good looking game. The only times I have an issue with the frame rate are occasional moments of screen tearing, but that’s really just a minor gripe.

Foes, magic, and blood fly all over the screen with virtually no drop of frame rate.

With the game itself you get a good challenge and there is plenty to do. Hardcore characters are very interesting. When you create a new character you have the choice of making a Hardcore character or standard. Hardcore meaning that if you die, that’s it. No respawns whatsoever. It really adds a whole new element and I found myself being overly cautious. On top of that once completing the game on normal mode, you get a few other modes, such as Hell and Inferno, adding larger groups and tougher enemies (yes this is additional to the various difficulty levels). This game is tough. For the more difficult levels you’ll certainly want to fine tune your equipment. Additional to this are various challenges that you can unlock by performing certain tasks. There are challenges for simply leveling up every 10 levels, and there are challenges for completing certain tasks like getting a boss to kill a certain number of his minions before you take him out.

The interface is built really well for a controller. All the equipment and skill menu’s use a wheel based system, making it easy enough to quickly compare and equip items. There’s also a handy feature for the more casual player. Whenever you pick up a new item it’s listed in the bottom left of the screen briefly. With a couple of green or red arrows it indicates whether it’s better than your current load out. Press up on the d-pad and you can scroll through all recent pickups and equip, without going into a single menu.

Now typically Diablo has been a single player game previously, and this plays really well as a single player game. Along your journey you meet various NPCs that you can take along, equip with new weapons and level up, selecting new skills. You get your own blacksmith and jewel merchant that you can use to make better equipment or enhance your current equipment with extra powers. One nice feature is the Local four player co-op and the online co-op that can be played with friends or randoms.






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