So, if you didn’t know, Diablo 3 was released 10 days ago.
That’s about it really. Oh, you wanted more? Alright, I’ll bite.
So with all the hype and internet fair for a game with a rabid fan base made by a company who carries so much weight, you’d think that the release of such a game would be met with nothing but praise and adoration. Of course we knew it wouldn’t. Why should it? What makes Diablo 3 different to any other game that is widely hyped and anticipated? Here’s the simple answer, Diablo 3 is the same as any other game trying to make a comeback many years later, it never meets expectations.
Now the reason games like this don’t meet expectations is because we often have our nostalgia goggles on when we think back to what made those games great in the first place. Think of games like X-Com, when it was announced that the next game in the franchise was going to be a first person shooter rather than a real time strategy, people were livid. It’s understandable too, since the genre X-Com was moving into already has an over abundance of games made for the “casual” gaming crowd. (One day I’ll explain why FPS’s are a part of the casual gaming crowd).
Personally, I loved the first Diablo. Why? It was simply released at a time in my life where that game fitted in with who I was and what I was into. I loved the dark eerie town of Tritram, the music, the setting, the impending sense of doom, it was exactly what I enjoy way back then in my teenage years. I never played Diablo 2, it never had the same feeling that Diablo 1 had. Which isn’t a bad thing, since the game did so well, it just wasn’t for me.
Did I expect Diablo 3 to be a game for me? Hell no. But I got it all the same to see what parts of the game would appeal to gamers today. For the most part, yeah, it’s a Diablo game. Albeit a very dumbed down version of Diablo which seems to cater to the less creative side of gamers who just want to get to the next so called challenge. Why do I say dumbed down? And why do I seem to resent modern day gamers? Simple, I’m old.
Alright, probably about time I started talking about the actual game. One of the points I do like about Diablo 3 is the having a skill bar. Being able to use 4 on the fly skills is a much welcome addition to the old style of gameplay. The problem however with this is the fact that the skill tree is gone (in a sense). No longer do you need to plan out your build, you simple just level up and you’ll have access to all your abilities. Which, I can see how some would say is a good point, the problem with it is that is stifles creativity, it does not take long to realise which skills are fairly useless, and so you end up using the same build for your class as everyone else anyway. Tied into the skill as another bad point, but I miss being able to learn other abilities and skills. I remember in Diablo one coming across a scroll, to which I could read and study, and learn a devastating magic spell to help me in my adventures. Not so here, once you unlock your abilities, that’s it. Again, I find this locking people in to a one track system, being a creative person, I like to experiment, create my own version of a character, if that character is the same as everyone else’s, I lose interest fast.
Difficulty. Sigh, this game is so easy on normal. You’ll fly through the game in around 6 hours. Then, you get to play it again on a harder difficulty. Why? I know this was what they did in Diablo 2, but surely, what’s the point of playing the game again if I’ve already beaten it? I know why I did in Diablo 1, it was to find all the other random side quests, random rare bosses, but in this, it just seems as a mechanic to get better items. Which, leads me to the point again, why finish the game yet again, once you’ve beaten it on the hardest difficulty, done all of the so called “level challenges” only to grind for more gear? You’ve already done everything, why get better gear when the gear you have was already good enough to beat the game at its most evil. Oh, I see why, Blizzard. That’s right, the kings of the MMO world are still stuck on making gear the most important thing in a game. (I say this as a joke, I still quite like WoW and the company as a whole).
Speaking of gear, why is it that I dont’ actually use my weapons? Let me explain, left click on your mouse, and you will use a skill, right click, usually uses another skill. Hmm, so, what’s my regular attack? That’s right, there isn’t one, well, there is if you deselect a skill from the mouse buttons, but why would you? The skills are so much better. But surely at least the Barbarian would make use of a mighty warhammer wouldn’t he? Nope. Well, to be fair, the weapons are used, but only in the sense that the stats of the weapons effect your left and right click skills, increasing their attack speed, adding lightning damage etc. Which to me is a little poo. I love melee characters, I love beating the crap out of things with a newly found graet axe. You don’t get that feeling when the only thing you look at is the stat line saying it will make my cleave skill attack faster.
Story, hmm. Predictable, somewhat boring and doing the typical let’s make things sound more epic. My problem with the story is the fact I started with Diablo 1. I’ll make this as quick as possible. In Diablo I felt as though I was playing an ordinary everyday adventurer who came apon the town of Tristram. Saw the people there were beset by creatures, and being the nice person I am, decided to lend them a hand. Only to find that hell was rising up below Tristram, and I would go on to fight in hell myself and take down the biggest demon of them all. Not bad for an everyday adventurer.
Skip to Diablo 3. I’m a nephilim (Spelling?). A person with angel powers and… Oh fuck that. Really? Isn’t it bad enough that during the installation you removed my character from the first game and made up some fucking prince who saved Tristram the first time? BULL SHIT! It was me, why take that away from the player? Gah. I hate when games do this. I like it when they start of with a simple story, where you’re the simple wanderer hero saving the day. But then, as the sequals come by, the add crap such as being an all powerful descent from some godly race or some crap like that. I’m sorry but no. I find it much more rewarding being an average person taking on the depths of hell and winning, than having the power of angels in me to do the same task.
Next pet peeve about this game? No picking your own stats. What? Um, excuse me, but why dear Blizzard do you take away options from people? This I just don’t get, if I want to increase my strength on a mage, I should be able to. But now it’s all auto level’d. This is why I say the game is dumbed down. You basically left click your way through the game, and that’s it. The only thing you really need to decide in this game is that if that number on that item is bigger than the one you’re currently using.
Is Diablo 3 a bad game? No. It’s actually quite a good game for what it is, it’s just what it is isn’t very good. The gameplay and combat mechanics are very streamlined and fun to play, although I still don’t like the fact that everything is a skill, and you never really just use a weapon in the game.
So what sort of game is Diablo 3? It’s a game for the younger gamers. Those who find great pleasure in doing the same needless tasks over and over again until their fingers bleed. Much the same as with games like League of Legends where it’s the same thing over and over again. Why do I say younger gamers? Simple, older gamers like me are jaded, and take a lot more to be impressed these days, plus, we need more potty breaks, and go to bed early, and pinch your cheeks and say “Oh looks, you got a little game you can play, how cute.”
Old people like me shouldn’t be allowed to write reviews on games.
(Apoligies for the hasty review and lack of comic today, “other” work got in the way. 🙁 )