A Rambling Sort-Of Review of Diablo III

Diablo III

Let’s pretend that this post is just a three-month anniversary celebration post for Diablo III, and not that it has actually taken me over two months to complete the game, okay?

My manfriend, whom I shall refer to as Ryan (because that’s his name), had already gone through the game with all of the character classes before I finished my initial run. I just took week-long breaks in between gaming sessions, that’s all.

This girl can only handle so much dungeon crawler at a time.

But anywho, I did finally finish a playthrough. I used the witch doctor, who I named Ahlaya, and she is a straight up badass who can summon all kinds of zombies to kill the shit out of you.

Diablo III Female Witch Doctor

Ahlaya is awesome. She also sounds like she was voiced by Naomie Harris, who was Tia Dalma in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but her voice was actually provided by Erica Luttrell (Side note: Harris has done voice acting for video games before; she was Page in Fable III).

All the playable characters have their own various strengths and weaknesses, and most of them are pretty straightforward about what they can and can’t do (Spoiler alert: wizards use MAGIC!).

The male wizard looks astoundingly similar to Tom Hiddleston’s Loki from The Avengers.

Diable III Male Wizard

And I give Blizzard a lot of props for making their female barbarian look like a big, buff lady. Good job, dudes.

Diablo III Female Barbarian

This is a review, so I should talk about important technical details and things like that, right? Umm…the cut scenes are amazing. You can practically see the pores on the character’s skin at times. It’s gorgeous. I wanted to reach out and stroke my computer screen. “Ooooh, look at how pretty her hair is!” I would whisper to myself, staring as the cut scene played out.

The game controlled easily, although allow me to share what does not make for a well-controlled game: a cordless mouse that has issues connecting to the thingy (technical term) it’s supposed to connect with in order to work properly. So I would be running along, headed to my next horde of demons to fight, and instead of stopping when I wanted to and shooting said demons, I would just run straight into them and allow myself to be massacred.

COOL STORY, BRO.

Make sure your mouse is working properly so that you do not do this, I beg you.

But other than that, the gameplay was lovely. All the controls are completely customizable, so you can figure out a style of play that works the best for you.

I also loved that your gold was shared between all your characters and your stash chest worked in the same sort of  way. I mostly loved this because Ryan was on his second playthrough when I started, so I could use all of his accumulated money and rare items. But even without that obvious advantage, I think I still would have appreciated it. It’s nice to have the cool shit you’ve collected be available later if you can’t use it for the specific character class you’re currently playing. I found myself stashing things away for Ryan’s characters just in case he wanted something I didn’t. Look at how goddamn thoughtful I am.

Speaking of gold and goodies, let’s talk about the auction houses. More specifically, has anyone used them with great success?

I have not sold or bought anything at either of the auction houses. I haven’t even looked at them. Really, I don’t feel like I have anything especially amazing that someone would want to spend real money on, but I am jealous of people who do.

I am also not the sort of person who is likely to invest loads of time in my character’s strengths or spend money in the auction house purchasing badass weaponry and armor for said amazing character.

But anyway, according to Ryan, ideally you would start hitting up the auction houses once you get into the higher difficulty setting, Nightmare Mode. There’s a pretty big spike in difficulty in this second mode, and you’re going to want better stuff to kill with. Nightmare Mode does cause better loot to drop, but heading to the auction house is still probably a better choice than grinding through the levels and just hoping for good weapons and armor to drop. At least then you can sell your unwanted stuff and use all the gold you picked up on your first playthrough.

As for the standard difficulty, I didn’t think Diablo was too hard until Act III hit. Until then, I had just been kind of running around, killing a few bad guys at a time, and generally being impressed with myself. Then, suddenly, there were huge mobs of enemies everywhere. I’d be getting my ass kicked by one mob of demons, try to run away to gain some health, and run in to an even bigger group of enemies who would then kill me immediately. I can’t even tell you how many times I died out in the snowy “Fields of Slaughter,” as they are so aptly named.

But the only time I rage quit was during the fight with Diablo. Here’s a tip: don’t make it all the way to the end of the three-part fight only to die in that final section. Twice I made it to the third part and then died. The first time it happened to me and I was sent back to the very beginning, I wanted to slam my head down onto the desk repeatedly. At that moment, I would have rather smashed my fist through Ryan’s hideously expensive Mac Cinema Display monitor than go through that fight again. But I did. And I died the second time. And then I was just done. And I didn’t touch the game again for about two and a half weeks.

And then I killed the shit out of Diablo.

The last thing I’m going to talk about is the secret level, called the Cow Level (Blizzard has a history with these Secret Cow Levels, going all the way back to the original Diablo). Regardless of rumors surrounding the original Diablo secret level, Diablo III definitely has one.

I have seen its glory with my own eyes.

The secret level looks like My Little Pony had a bastard child with the Care Bears, and then that child was later adopted by Diablo himself and taught to murder the shit out of you. You get to fight unicorns. UNICORNS.

Diablo III Unicorn

And little cuddly bears and flowers and puffy clouds. And sometimes they drop loot that makes you feel like you’re hallucinating the whole experience. Like…a hamburger. No seriously. Hamburger weapon.

Hamburger Weapon

Or a rainbow sword.

Rainbow Sword

Something Awful has a whole walkthrough just to detail all the steps for finding this fabled secret area and procuring your own hamburger, and I definitely encourage you to use it. But, even with the guide, be prepared to spend hours working for it, since it all depends on certain things spawning and certain loot getting dropped. It’s gonna take awhile.

Overall, I really loved Diablo III. I’m probably gonna make myself a new character within the next few days and start another playthrough. There are way too many things I could have mentioned and touched upon that I loved about the game, but then this review would have gotten crazy, out-of-control long.

If I forgot something you want to talk about, tell me in the comments. We shall discuss.

Score: B+

Diablo III is awesome, but the difficulty spike in Act III and frustrating end battle with Diablo make it fall short of perfection.

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