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Diablo 3 PC Review

It was during the Blizzcon of 2008 when we first had official word that evil was returning to our PC screens. For some the time has flown by while others have felt that the wait has been too excruciating to bear.

Mahoosive Chopper

Yet finally we're here, Diablo 3 has been released and a global increase of left mouse clicks can be heard resonating throughout the populace. The story sets you two decades past the events of the battle with Baal in Lords of Destruction, taking the role of either Barbarian, Wizard, Witch Doctor, Monk or Demon Hunter in the search of the fallen star which shattered through the walls of a cathedral in Tristram where Deckard Cain was predicting the resurgence of evil throughout the land of Sanctuary.

From the moment you fire up this you just know that you're about to be swallowed whole by the pit of atmosphere, this game is so good at immersing you into the storyline, dropping little books of lore for you to learn more about the world, what's happening in Tristram and about the monsters you're slaying. Having a dark and brooding start to your playtime will get those hairs on the back of your neck standing straight and the goosebumps rising; with the guitar playing in the background, you're finally set to unravel the mystery of the fallen star and save Sanctuary.

loots

As I've stated earlier there are five classes in total for players to use. Monk and Barbarian are your melee combatants, Demon Hunter, Wizard and Witch Doctor are ranged classes. There is something for every play style going with the selection of classes, those with a penchant for destruction will go for the brutal raw strength of the Barbarian, while those looking for a little more finesse will choose Monk and their lightning reflexes.

A fan of bows or crossbows? Then Demon Hunter is for you while those preferring the mystical arcane arts will no doubt choose Wizard. This leaves us with the Witch Doctor, firing deadly darts from their blowpipe and summoning minions of pure evil to go into melee for the player.

While there are a number of difficulty levels for the player to utilise, they only become unlocked after you've played through all four chapters on the previous difficulty, for example, starting at Normal will unlock Nightmare. Finish Nightmare to unlock Hell and finally complete Hell to unlock Inferno. Doing it this way is intended to prepare your character with the appropriate level and gear to take on the increased number of higher level mobs you will encounter in the next difficulty.

stompy

As of writing, no one in Blizzard's own internal test team has completed Inferno difficulty level so this will ultimately be the most challenging aspect of the game, while those who are simply bat s**t crazy may run this in Hardcore mode where the death of your character is permanent, no respawn, no 2nd chance, that's it and all your shiny loot has gone. The will also adjust the strength and health of all the mobs you encounter proportionate to the number of people you team up with, to the maximum party cap of four, so you can imagine that four people going through Inferno difficulty will be getting an unmeasurable challenge that will last for ages on end.

The controls of the really couldn't be any simpler, just left click where you want to run to, left click or right click on an enemy to use an attack while you have 1 through 4 as skill buttons and that's it really, nothing else really needed. This simplistic control system would translate well to a console port of the game, which Blizzard have hinted at but nothing concrete has emerged, also hope still lives for this to materialise as the possibility of this happening has not been totally written off either.

stabby

While playing through the world of Sanctuary, you'll find the environments you encounter simply stunning, from the distressed village of Tristram, the random caverns and dens you encounter in your travels, Leoric's mansion and torture chambers to the even more exotic locations, you're just bombarded by beauty and detail. Blizzard certainly have worked wonders with the new engine powering this title. The characters aren't greatly detailed themselves but they are functional yet wonderfully animated.

The in-game cutscenes will not differ on what class you choose at all except for the voice that narrates them, any scene narrated by your protagonist will be voiced by the avatar you selected at the beginning of the game, so if you rolled a female Barbarian, it is she who will talk you through the intermission. Additionally in co-op, each player will have their scenes narrated by their character instead of all having to listen to one certain toon. Alongside this, those who initiate quests first will have their character talking in the conversations.

spooky

Feel like running solo then never fear as the will supply you with NPC companions for your adventures through Sanctuary. You get introduced to these at certain points during the game and you may only hire one of these at a time so do choose what would be best for your playstyle. Like yourself, the companion will require you to play a part in their levelling structure and rely on you to give them gear in order to deal more damage.

Speaking of gear, Blizzard have brought into play an auction house for those pieces of loot you deem a bit too valuable to simply vendor or shard at your blacksmith. Here you can select the loot you want to sell, whack it on the auction house and hope to get some gold, or in extreme cases, cold hard cash.

The introduction of a real money auction house seems like a bold move for Blizzard, particularly to stem the inevitable flow of third party trading sites or ebay sales of legendary loots before they even begin. Nice idea in theory but in practice, it remains to be seen if this is a viable method of profiting from your adventures. to begin with there are fees involved with each auction, 15% or $1, which will of course vary depending on territory and due to legal reasons not every territory will be able to access a real money auction house.

oh look, some green

If you strike it rich then the funds will be sitting in your Blizzard Wallet which then can be used in the Blizz store if you so wish, however even more fees will apply if you want to withdraw that via PayPal in applicable countries. This means your shiny discovery may not be as worthwhile to sell via official means than it first seemed, however it is early days and things may change over the course of the next few months when a steady chunk of data is available to analyse by the developers.

So has this been worth the wait? In our opinion, yes it bloody well has, we love Diablo 3 here and will no doubt be playing it for hours on end, maybe one day we can tell our grandchildren that we defeated Diablo 3 on Inferno difficulty.... though rocking in the corner going insane, chanting to ourselves will be a more likely outcome after trying that difficulty level out. 

Pros: 
  • Challenging gameplay.
  • Very atmospheric.
  • Great fun with friends.
Cons: 
  • It took 12 years to materialise

Playability:

8 out of 10

Replayability:

9 out of 10

Graphics:

9 out of 10

Sound:

9 out of 10

Overall:

9 out of 10
Wedgeh | 21st May, 2012
Kaostic's picture
Great review, mate. Really enjoying this game. I've waited too many years for it and was a huge fan of Diablo 2!

I can't wait till I and a few friends get to Inferno Difficulty and can pull all-nighters taking on a single boss! I miss those days :P
Demonjock's picture
What kind of specs for running this are we looking at wedge from min to omfg my eyes are bleeding.
Nice review btw
fazer's picture
Im losing my life in this game....but well worth the wait
Angelfromabove's picture
Im really enjoying it. Have my Barbarian that im using to play through solo, really take in the story properly and enjoy at my own pace and my monk that im playing through co-op with Wedge just travelling the world and smashing **** up
Wedgeh's picture
system requirements aren't too bad imo, I've attached specs and cards that may not be great/will not run diablo 3 to this post. Kudos for Blizz still thinking of the small pocket of Win XP users that still exist.

I'm still loving this game, adventuring around, smashing ****, getting loots, taking in the lore. Those who say it's too easy have obviously not even step foot inside hell/inferno difficulty, the starting difficulty levels are there to get you acquainted to the game and to build up your skill set and gear.

Even then you'll be running hell difficulty a lot to get the gear to make any form of progress in inferno.
Kaostic's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanz View Post
They have one! Ah that's epic.
Angelfromabove's picture
LOL this is awesome! Picked up a "rainbow dye" which is used to craft a staff that sounded suspiciously like it had something to do with a 'cow level'
Kaostic's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelfromabove View Post
LOL this is awesome! Picked up a "rainbow dye" which is used to craft a staff that sounded suspiciously like it had something to do with a 'cow level'
Quote:
1. Black Mushroom spawns in cathedral level 1 ACT1

2. Shinbone is located randomly in the fireplace in leorics manor ACT1.

3. Liquid Rainbow is located from the Mysterious Cave in the Mysterious chest in the Oasis in ACT2. You will know its the right place when you save the old man and he opens it up. the spawn point is always the same for the event.

4. Wirt’s Bell is sold from one of the merchants in the city on ACT2.
I have the Black Mushroom and the Shinbone. As soon as I saw "Wirt's Bell" on a merchant I was like "secret level!" (You used Wirt's leg in D2)
Angelfromabove's picture
Ooo damnnn ive missed the rest of these but they are bind on account arnt they? Am starting a new playthrough with a friend over the weekend, will nab the rest of these then, looks like ive gotten the more awkward one to get already.

It is my mission to enter Whimsyshire!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelfromabove View Post
It is my mission to enter Whimsyshire!!
I'm sure there's a euphemism in there somewhere; but it's probably not appropriate for a lady in your condition
Angelfromabove's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanz View Post
I'm sure there's a euphemism in there somewhere; but it's probably not appropriate for a lady in your condition
Im not gonna ask
Kaostic's picture
If it's anything like D2, you will have to complete the game on normal before you enter Whimsyshire.

Also, yes the items are bound to account. If you don't find them this time round, just jump on your barb and go back!
Kaostic's picture
Sorry, I missed out a few things actually that are on that wiki:

Quote:
Black Mushroom -- Found rarely in a room on Cathedral level one, in early Act One.
Leoric's Shinbone -- Found rarely in the fireplace in Leoric's Manor, in late Act One.
Wirt's Cowbell -- An Act II vendor sells it for 100,000 gold.
Liquid Rainbow -- Spawns in the Mysterious Cave in the Mysterious Chest in the Oasis, Act 2. Save the old man and he will open the chest.
Gibbering Gemstone -- Random drop from Chiltara in the Caverns of Frost, Act 3. It’s in the Ballistae fight area. If you get Ice Caverns exit out try again. The mob is random.
Plan: Staff of Herding -- To teach the recipe to Haedrig. Drops randomly from Izual, Act 4.
It's worth noting:

Quote:
The secret level is not going to be a major portion of the gameplay; it's a fun treat and am amusement, but the developers didn't want to recreate the Diablo II Secret Cow Level, which was literally the most profitable area to play in during some early game patches.
Demonjock's picture
Well after drooling a lot over the trailers and reviews i just sent out the wife in the pissing rain to get me some diablo`s. Well after i threw a medicatied tamtrum with sofa slapping and all she finally went....

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