Video Game Reviews

Diablo III (PS3) review

Diablo IIITwenty years after the events of Diablo, the world once again faces the onslaught of the demons hell bent on overthrowing the world of Sanctuary.

An action/RPG, Diablo III is all about the loot.  Much like the first two games in the series, you choose your class and battle the hordes of monsters in an attempt to save the world of Sanctuary from the evil designs of the Lords of Hell.  As you fell monsters with a mighty swing of your staff, the enemies fall and explode into fountains of loot and gold.  Yes, the driving motivation in this game is acquiring better loot, earning the gold, and killing more monsters.

There is a story here, but it never gets in the way of the item collection.  The story centers on the Lords of Hell once again wreaking havoc on the world of Sanctuary and attempting to finally win the battle with heaven that they have been waging for millennia.  The story is just an excuse to get you smashing the enemies throughout the different environments of the game world, though.  After playing through the title twice, I can barely recall anything to do with the story.   The loot and the quest for better gear is the driving motivation for the title, not the story.

The game begins with a meteor streaking across the sky and crashing into the cathedral in Old Tristram, the city that was ravaged by Diablo in the first game.  Your character sees this as a sign and heads towards New Tristram, the town on the outskirts of Old Tristram, to confront the evil they know has been awakened.  You choose your character from

Diablo III PC screenshot

Diablo III PC screenshot

five classes.  Barbarian’s and Monk’s are the tank classes, your ranged class is a Demon Hunter, and your spellcaster classes are the Witch Doctor and Sorcerer.  While the Barbarian, Monk, and Sorcerer are all typical classes for a game like this, the Demon Hunter and Witch Doctor are unique, if only mildly so.  The Demon Hunter uses one-handed crossbows to attack from a distance and the Witch Doctor is a voodoo-like class that also attacks from a distance.

Originally released on PC, the console port of Diablo III does away with some of the irritations of the original PC release that kept me from playing it.  Gone is the requirement for a constant internet connection.  Gone is the real money Auction House.  The inventory screens have been cleaned up so that your trips to town are less frequent.  All in all, this is a smoother, more streamlined experience versus the PC counterpart.

Once you complete the game on Normal difficulty (of which you get sub-difficulties like easy, medium, etc.), it opens up Nightmare mode.  You begin the game again with your same character (you can’t switch characters on the next highest difficulty) and loot.  This time, though, the enemies are more difficult and you can acquire better gear.  Once you complete Nightmare, it opens up Hell mode, which, once complete, opens up Inferno.  To see everything the game has to offer, you must play through it four times with each character.  That’s a lot of leg work.  I am currently on Nightmare mode with a Monk.  I have two more run throughs with the Monk, then I must choose another class and begin again.  For completists, this game is massive, looking at hundreds of hours of killing and looting.  That’s not even mentioning the multiplayer components the game offers.  (I am not going to mention the multiplayer since I haven’t tried it out yet.)

Much like the first two games in the series, the dungeons and loot are randomized.  There’s no memorizing the layouts for a quick run through.  Also, you never know what kind of loot is going to drop from the enemies.  You could fight a normal, weak enemy and get a Legendary weapon that you will use all the way through the game.  Or you could get junk.  This is what keeps you playing and coming back for more.  The chance for better loot.  And that chance makes the games extremely fun.

If you have been on the fence about picking up this title, you shouldn’t be.  If you have a passing interest in the series, I highly recommend you check this out.  While the story is something of a weak point, the gameplay and sheer amount of content make it well worth your money.  I still like Torchlight II better, though . . .

9/10

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