GKick Review: Diablo III

FACT SHEET:
Diablo III | Available Now
PC | Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment | Developer: Blizzard Entertainment

After nearly 12 years and a fairly shaky worldwide launch, Diablo III has finally been released and players across the globe have begun fighting back the armies of the Lords of Hell. As someone who first got their hands on Diablo III back in 2008 during BlizzCon and played a fair amount of the first two Diablos, I’ve been waiting a long time for this. Thankfully, Diablo III doesn’t disappoint even in the slightest.

You have the choice of playing as one of five different classes in the game: the Barbarian, a super strong melee-centric class; the Wizard, your glass-cannon ranged magic dealer; the Witch Doctor, a magic class which uses curses and pets at his disposal; the Demon Hunter, a ranged archer class that specializes in dual-crossbow based combat and trapping; and the Monk, a melee fighter that specializes in unarmed combat with a magic-infused martial arts style. These classes, while they can’t be visually customized at start, will get a lot more personalization in terms of gearing and skills along the way.

While the level of skill customization is certainly different due to the removal of a point-based skill system, the use of runes and variety of abilities and passive skills still allow you to personalize your character based off of how you like to play. As you level, you’ll gradually unlock active ability slots as well as Active abilities to fit those slots. These Abilities, in addition to your two core attacks, can be changed out as well as enhanced via a Rune system. You can swap Abilities and Runes on the fly depending on what you have unlocked, what weapon you have and just how you want to play. In addition, you’ll be able to unlock three passive slots where you can swap out different skills that will passively improve your character in different ways.

Beyond that, the game itself is great fun. When it comes down to it, combat is very simple using just your left and right mouse buttons as well as the 1-4 number keys. Combat can also get pretty intense, resulting in a lot of magic effects flying everywhere as well as blood and various carcasses, so it’s important to watch yourself in the midst of the chaos. However, not only is the combat visually impressive, it’s also viscerally exciting. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed in many spots, but never to a point where escape or victory is impossible.

Also, whether you play single-player or multiplayer, the game is just as exciting. Most of the time spent post-launch was in a 4-player campaign, and the beauty of it was just how smoothly it all ran. In addition to scaling the game’s enemies up to our party’s mass, being able to manage your own personal development is easy and can be done without interruption. For example, while adventuring out in the wilds, if one of us happened to fill up our inventory, we could take a quick port back to town, sell off our merchandise, clear out our bags and use the handy Banner system to teleport directly back to one of the people already out fighting. Personally, I found it a lot of fun to port back right in the midst of battle.

Speaking of loot, there is no shortage of it. In addition to massive amounts of various weapons, armor and magical items (and gold) that would drop, we’d find our trips to town coming much more frequently the deeper into various dungeons we went. However, a great feature in multiplayer is the player-exclusive loot system. Every individual has their own loot when a boss is killed, and nothing has to be shared amongst party members. This means that certain players may get gear that will benefit other members of the party and they can either trade it, sell it or have the Blacksmith break it down to raw materials for future crafting. This applies to nearly all drops in the game, except for health orbs which are actually shared amongst the entire party regardless of who picks them up, same with the large health wells in dungeons.

But, with all that in mind, it’s time to dig a little bit deeper into the game and talk about the individual elements that make up the world of Sanctuary.

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About Steve Perry

The owner of GKick Network, co-host of the GKick and Bottom Line Live podcasts, and hero to millions worldwide.