Publisher Comment “That’s a lot to get through. Well done on such a thorough job!“
It’s been 12 years in the making and finally on the 14th May 2012 at 23:01 GMT, Diablo 3 went live. However it was met by a brick wall due to Blizzards servers crashing, another launch from Blizzard where the technical department did not consider the overwhelming amount of users that would be trying to login, you would of thought by now they would of learnt their lesson.
The Back Story.
Before we go into Diablo 3 and what we think about it, let’s fill in the gaps with the backstory. The Diablo series is set in the world of Sanctuary where the High Heaven and the Burning Hells are in an eternal Conflict. The Arch-Angel ‘Inarius’ gathered a handful of angelic companions and left the battlefield as they all were growing weary of the never ending conflict. On their travels they met ‘Lilith’, daughter of ‘Mephisto’, and a group of demons who had also had grown weary of the conflict, so the unlikely group banded together. Over time though, the bond of friendship between angels and demons soon changed to attraction, for the first time ever their where unions of both Angels and Demons and as time passed Lilith and Inarius fell deeply in love with each other. Time passed and eventually after manipulating the very substance of the universe Inarius had created Sanctuary. Inarius also created the ‘Worldstone’ which is bound to the world of Sanctuary and Inarius himself, the Worldstone allowed Inarius to hide the world of Sanctuary from the hoarding eyes of the heaven and hell.
The union of Angel and Demon blood managed to create a being with great powers these where are called the ‘Nephalem’, however Inarius, feared that they would upset the balance of Sanctuary and planned to destroy every last one of them. The other Angels and Demons pleaded with Inarius not to destroy their children, so he packed his bags and went away for a while. During his time away Lilith decided to raise the Nephalem to become her servants and make herself the overwhelming ruler of Sanctuary and kill all the other Angels and Demons.
When Inarius returned home and seen what Lilith had done he banished her and killed most of the Nephalem, he also altered the Worldstone to lower the chances of the nephalem’s powers becoming any stronger. Over time Lilith returned with the Nephalem this time an army, but was stopped in her track by an unlikely foe, a Farmer named Uldyssian-ul-Diomed, the farmer turned against Lilith and Inarius and destroyed both there cults and killed himself to protect the world of Sanctuary.
Soon later Archangel Tyrael has heard of what had happened and established the Horadrim, this would prevent the lords of hell from ever taking over the world. The horadrim managed to capture the three main evils; first to be captured was Mephisto “Lord of Hatred” second was Baal “Lord of Destruction” and finally Diablo “Lord of Terror”. For many years they were imprisoned until one day Diablo reached out to the citizens of Tristram, this allowed him to start bringing minion of Hell into the world of Sanctuary.
Over time a Hero arose and managed to slay Diablo and contain his soul within him, he was unsuccessful and Diablo soon took the warrior and set about freeing his brothers. Again overtime a new set of heroes banded together and set out to kill Diablo. First they managed to kill Mephisto and then Diablo himself, during this time Baal set off North to the Worldstone, this was Baals final stand as the band of heroes stood in his way and killed him, but they were too late, as Baal was able to corrupt the Worldstone. The Arch-Angel Tyrael sent the heroes away, then destroyed the Worldstone, which caused consequences to Sanctuary that even he was unable to foresee.
Short story about Diablo
So begins Diablo, set in the town of Tristram the capital city of Khanduras. The game actually took place beneath the town in a maze of dungeons and caves that lead to the depths of Hell. Diablo is centred around players taking on a series of quests to free the town of Tristram and eventually taking on the Lord of Terror ‘Diablo’ and one of seven Evils that once ruled the depths of Hell.
Short Story about Diablo 2 plus Diablo 2 Lords of Destruction
Diablo 2 carries on the storyline which last saw us with the warrior trying his best to contain the soul of Diablo. As we already know the warrior was unsuccessful and Diablo was able to take control of him and set off to free two of his brothers, Mephisto and Baal.
Diablo 2 is centred on playing through each act and taking on one of the bosses of Hell and right at the end you face Diablo once again. Blizzard then released Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction, this follows on the story from Diablo 2, as players carry on their search for Diablo’s brother Baal.
So now we are up to the present day, 20 years have passed since the events of Diablo 2, 12 whole years of waiting for us, the time has come to band together new heroes and take on Hell once again. The world of Diablo is always changing thanks to the randomly generated regions and dungeons. The game comes with a massive amount of content to get through with plenty of loot to get your teeth into, from standard loot to the class specific loot. Blizzard has introduced a Real Money Auction House in addition to the all so familiar in-game Auction house. Along with this is a new crafting system that will take you plenty of time to work your way through and unlock all the items and Jeweller’s in the form of NPCs allow you to equip gems to your gear increasing the overall stats. Adding to the games experience, along the way you will sometimes have a companion, these include the beautiful and elegant ‘Enchantress’, the Range Damage Dealer ‘The Scoundrel ‘and finally the ‘Templar’ a Tank & Healer. The town hub portal has been changed from the scroll that was used in the original games to a Portal that is set to your interface from level 10 onwards.
Act 1 is more of less a starting ground to get you used to the game, with a its colourful fantasy style gameplay it is a far cry from the original’s haunting atmospheric version. Act 2 keeps us wanting more by offering us increased difficulty and a change in setting, which for me was more or less reminiscent of Diablo 2 but with better graphics, dejavu or what? (Maybe that me but only time will tell) Act 3 & 4 seemed to fall downhill, nothing stood out to me in anyway ‘Boring and Bland’ to say the least, it’s like Blizzard just run out of ideas or passed the game over to a brand new team.
When it comes to gear, there is a load to be found from white, blue and yellow type gear; of course white being the basic rubbish and yellow being rare as hell and the best you can get in the game. Gear also loses its durability when you die on average of 10% so you will need to fork out for repair, well not all time just some of the time.
What is Diablo 3
The Witch Doctor a character reminiscent of Diablo2 Necromancer, but more associated with voodoo. Witch doctors are spiritual warriors who summon dead souls and crawling creatures to do their bidding. By surrounding themselves with conjured zombies and vermin, witch doctors are free to assault their enemies with exploding skulls, acrid poison clouds, and wasting curses.
The Witch Doctor Video Footage
The classic Barbarian who returns with a totally new revamped set of skills. Barbarians are savage wanderers who never flinch from close-quarters combat. Mighty ground stomps, leaping attacks and dual-wielded slashes leave a barbarian’s enemies dead in their boots and send any survivors fleeing for cover.
The Classic Barbarian
The Wizard a newer and better version of the Sorceress from Diablo 2, but not just an elementalist this time, Wizards are renegade spellcasters who use their bodies as vessels for arcane energy, forsaking the more careful path favoured by other magic users. They manipulate all manner of forces to disintegrate, burn, and freeze their foes, and they can control time and light to teleport, create powerful illusions, and deflect oncoming attacks.
The Monk as pure melee class which uses martial arts to take down his or her enemies, with a great set of skills, Monks are sacred warriors who channel divine power through sheer force of will. Healing waves, mantras of protection and attacks empowered with holy might are all within their purview.
The Demon Hunter and range class, Demon hunters are relentless vigilantes who execute their infernal targets with an arsenal of ranged weapons. They crouch and take aim far from danger, relying on bows, deadly traps, and projectiles to swiftly bring an end to the creatures that haunt their world.
The Demon Hunter
General graphics lookover
Diablo 3 keeps its top down view point and its standard point and click system which allows you to control your characters movement and abilities. The game’s graphics engine has gone through an overhaul, which gives more vibrancy to the world and its characters. The world of Sanctuary is well detailed and interactive, with Blizzards new physics engine built in you will get to see some sweet effects – from the likes of exploding zombies, that sees their body parts fly all over the place, sometimes even past your field of view. The best thing for us would have to be the drop dead gorgeous cinematics that Blizzard have created for this games outing, something we have come to expect from them.
Final Thought on graphics
To us, even though the game has seen a graphics overhaul, we seem to think it’s more or less a re-skin. We also found the gear in Diablo reminded us of World of Warcraft, as nothing is unique. Towards end game everyone would be wearing the same gear due to all gear being class specific, the only real alteration would be the colour of the gear thanks to the dyes in the game.
User Interface, Skills, Crafting & Auction House
The skills in Diablo 3 have totally changed, gone is the point based system and in comes the “Get what you are given system”, as you level up you will unlock new skills and abilities. You are also given runes that allows you to upgrade your abilities and a bunch of passive skills that does allow you to give your character and little bit of personalization.
As you level up your character you will start to unlock your active and passive abilities. For us we tested the Demon Hunter more than any other class, we were given a primary, secondary, defensive, hunting, devices and archer, when these unlocked so did slots on our action bar which allowed us to equip one of the many skills available. Swapping your skills can be an absolute bitch as there is no way in knowing what you have unlocked unless you have it written down in front of you, so you will find yourself constantly looking at the skills panel wondering what is best to use for each situation. The whole user interface consists of buttons 1 through 4 and left and right mouse button for all your abilities, the user interface also includes the health pool and pool specific to your class.
We have found a little secret on how to unlock the whole skill tree customization, instead of only choosing 1 from each skill you can choose from all seven skills.
Step 1: Click the Game Menu button or hit Escape
Step 2: Click Options at the top of the list
Step 3: Open the Gameplay sub-menu on the left side of the UI
Step 4: Check the box labelled Elective Mode in the bottom right
Step 5: Click Apply and exit back to the game and finally
Step 6: Right-click a skill in your action bar.
You can now use the arrows to select Skills from every category.
The games also comes with its own crafting system, and once unlocked you will have a rather large variety of recipes to choose from; most of which will be a lot better than what you can get from standard drops while questing. Keep all your Magical Items as these are the only items that will allow you to create any of these recipes from the blacksmith. You will have to spend money to level up your blacksmithing by purchasing the level as well as the items, all learnable from the blacksmith. If you are a little bored of your gear, you are able to use dyes to change the appearance, simpler put the colour of your gear.
Blizzard have chosen to introduce the Real Money Auction House which is to be launched on the 30th May 2012, so we are unable to review as of yet. For now we have the standard in-game gold Auction House which is relatively easy to use and navigate.
Multiplayer aka Co-op
Co-op mode also returns to Diablo but with a twist; gone is the separate character (Bad move in my opinion) and in with one character for all. The game does a great job with up-scaling the combat based on the party size and where players are on the map this makes combat fluid and varies in difficulty. The game also has a great way to empty your bags if you are in the middle of a dungeon “you will be doing this a lot in the game”, just use a portal back to town, sell everything, and then click on the flag and portal right back into the combat.
Speaking of loot and there is a lot in this game, multiplayer comes with a great feature, every players has his or her own loot for all adds and bosses, so there is no “need or greed” or “ninja everything logoff and ignore” happening. The only exceptions to this are herbs and health wells throughout Sanctuary’s many dungeons.
Our final thoughts about the new Co-op features
Co-op is a great idea if it was done correctly which frankly Blizzard simply has not done, why is this you might ask? Well, is it considered right to join your friends on a level 3 character while they are currently level 15 or higher and have already opened a great deal of the content? Yes it would be good. But is it right to join a co-op game where you get all the lore, achievements and experience that these players are opening up further into the game without your participation? No this is not right, is it right that all this content is AUTO ADDED to YOUR ACCOUNT and you haven’t even left the first town? No of course not this is just pure cheating; I would think that you players out there would like to get these things for yourself, I know we would.
You are able to go to go back and do it yourself but this is just simply not the same? We personally feel that if you are in a town hub, you should not be able to get anything from any of the games that are happening with your friends. We reckon that you should click on a player’s flag and join them within their game and vice versa. Your game should be your game and your friend’s game should be their game and we should be given the choice to jump directly in to any game, we should be getting any lore, experience or achievements we have earned.
If you play with classes of the same level as you, then the game is a lot fairer, this still comes with its issues though. As you are grouped up with either friends or random people, when one of them hands in a quest, everyone’s journal will be updated and the quest will be completed. What if you went for a quick AFK for a coffee, coke or the normal toilet break and there was something very important that your friend initiates, like a cut scene or lore and you miss it, tough shit, cause it’s now been done. Of course you can go back and do the quest but yet again there is not the point. We believe this needs to be altered as well to be more efficient, maybe to something like they do in MMO’s, where each member has to hand in their quest to move on with the quest line and have an individual view of the cut scene/lore.
The overall sound is perfect from the music score used in the game to the general sound effects from enemies and spells and other abilities. The voice overs are not 100% perfect but are suitable for the game. The sound effects from the walls falling down, to the chandeliers falling from the ceiling on to enemies or even the body parts flying around and blood spraying across the floor and walls are all very pleasing.
So what else has Diablo 3 got to offer us, how about the great cast of voice actors from Jamieson Price, who voiced such characters as Lu Bu ‘Dynasty Warriors’, and Malik and Nier from the ‘Tales of Graces’. Other actors include Michael Gough who plays ‘Deckard Cain’ and once again ‘Jennifer Hale’, who we all know as the female version of Shepard from ‘Mass Effect’. These are just a selection of the best actors that blizzard have employed to voice their new game.
One of the best things within this game has to be the constant lore that is to be found and opened throughout your gaming experience. Lore comes from books or enemies across the world, a small box would pop up for you to click and a voice actor would discuss an array of things, such as characteristics, motivations and origins. Everything will be added to the games compendium for you to listen to again if you feel like it.
There are plenty of reasons to get your teeth back into Diablo 3, the upcoming PVP patch should be a good addition; they have removed the world PVP and opted for World of Warcraft arena PVP instead. You may like grinding, why not go back into the world grab items and sell them on the Real Money Auction House. Maybe you are an achievement whore, well get your caffeine at hand and grind those achievements if you wish. You can also try your skills at the Nightmare and Hell difficulty modes, which also include new progression modes that are not found in the normal game. If you have defeated the Hell mode try your skills at the Inferno mode, this mode will test any player to the max, with monsters that outstrip players in level range, but the Inferno mode does offer some sweet rewards that will make it well worth it.
Issues laid out bare
Diablo 3 comes with no character customization (Nothing new there, however since this has been 12 years in the making it would have been a nice feature to have added), skills unlock automatically as you level and you get kicked out of your own single player game for being AFK. DRM that requires you to always be online which sucks, if you lose connection at the boss or half way through a dungeon, you will have to start at the beginning of the dungeon and have to fight your way through once again. World PVP has been removed and the only PVP option is World of Warcraft style arenas (not been released yet). If for some reason you have no internet your screwed even more, say bye to Diablo 3 and your money you paid for it as it is now 100% inaccessible. If you want to bring your friends around, grab a KFC, Pizza and Crisps to play this awesome game via LAN forget it, as there is no support for this feature. But you can all go online and play together, however if your friends internet decided to hit the shit fan, it’s the end of your party and your game will go down the shitter. Co-op needs to be looked at and made more viable to all users and not an easy way to cheat and open everything.
Diablo 3 is a very enjoyable game with great sound, awesome combat mechanics simple to pick up and play with a lot of good ideas (Just need to be tweaked). Combat starts off easy to begin with but gets progressively harder as you progress through the game. The story is compelling and makes you feel for the characters in the game, the cinematics are very well thought out and designed perfectly to suit the game. Even with all the issues we found this game is still worth purchasing, we can defiantly see Blizzard pulling out expansions we recon around 4 in total to reach level 100, so the game will have a lot of life to it. Also maybe in time Blizzard will decide to make Co-op better and add an offline mode, even add LAN in the future, you never know, this is Blizzard we are talking about here.
Comments from members of Invison Game Community
Richard Price –IGC Reader
Pros – the music, graphics and storyline are all well done, especially the story telling and cut scenes as always for a Blizzard game. the combat is simple and easy to get used to, have spells for any occasion you can think of in the game only a click or two away. the Co-op adds a lot more fun to the game than i had expected, there are a few issues with level difference but if there is a gap between you and your friends then it doesn’t alter the fact that u can play with them if you wish, which I think is a nice feature (others may see it as cheating the game). And if you get ahead of the storyline, you can go back and catch up on the quests you missed from joining your friends.
Cons – the lack of character customisation is a down side, but i think it suits the history of Diablo games, and once in game you can buy dyes for your clothes if you so choose it, although who is actually paying that much attention to their character instead of all the mobs that want bludgeoning in the face. I agree with the need to be online to play it is rather annoying say if you have no connection.
For now that is all I can think of at the moment and in my opinion the cons don’t weigh down the game, I think it is a fun enjoyable game that most could enjoy the worst thing of the game, so far was the hassle to get it working to start with.
I can’t comment on the PvP as I haven’t done any as of yet in my 4hrs of game time or compare it to any previous Diablo game as I haven’t played any others.
Charlotte Nielsen – IGC Reader
I felt that the graphics looked revamped and nothing special. When the Blacksmithing opened up I had no idea how to use it, as their was nothing giving me any real advice.The way they have done the interface is crazy and rubbish, it’s totally annoying having to open the spell book all the time to choose what spells best suit the fight. I would also love to of seen more customization for the characters like size, build and cosmetics. I know that the game comes with Dyes to alter the look of your gear, however I prefer my character to be different from the person next to me not just coloured different. When I joined a public group I was shocked when I gained some achievements from the group when I was just in a small town hub just checking when co-op was all about.
The dungeons feel way to small with not much content compared to the original games,when I was playing Diablo 2 I was a lot more excited to go into a dungeons due to the sheer size of them and the difficulty level of the ads and bosses. Diablo ‘s dungeons are nothing like the original games in a number of ways from the sheer size to the difficulty level of the ads and bosses.
The story of Diablo 3 though is fantastic and well written and keeps me glued to the game. The music, cinematics and voice acting are really well done and ads to the games overall atmosphere. One other bit which I enjoyed was the random popups that gave us lore about the ads or zones we where killing or exploring.Overall though I am sorry to say this I much prefer Diablo 2 or Diablo 1 over Diablo 3 any day.
Quote ” Game does still contain a number of bugs as some enemies I was unable to attack as they would avoid everything i did”
Diablo III System Requirements
|Minimum System RequirementsWindows Operating System||Minimum System RequirementsMac Operating System|
|Recommended System RequirementsWindows Operating System||Recommended System RequirementsMac Operating System|