I like games... and tattoos. Yes, those.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Diablo 3 - first impressions

Diablo 3.

We've waited 11 years. Seen countless trailers. Heard countless rumours.

And finally... on May 15th 2012... we went to Hell. Willingly.

But was it all worth it? Honestly? I still have mixed feelings about this. I didn't rush out and buy the game at midnight launch, which turned out to be a good thing as I received it as a birthday present a couple of days later, but in the meantime I was hearing all the Error 37 horror stories abound on the Internet.

When I finally sat down to install it, it was with a mixture of trepidation and delight... who knew what evil programming minions and errors I might encounter?

Surprisingly however, it installed first time, and when I booted up to play, not one error graced my screen (apart from me forgetting my login for my Battlenet account). And the only error I have since received has been when the Battlenet servers went down for maintenance. Irritating certainly but not unexpected.

Moving on however, what were my reactions to the actual game? Well first up, the lack of an offline single player mode is completely ridiculous, and would immediately lower my score of the game if I was actually rating it in this piece. It might not matter to countries where the infrastructure supports continuous high-speed Internet, but in countries like ours where so few have that luxury, it really doesn't work. I'm lucky in this regard, but I'm also not the only one, even with privileged Internet access, that feels this way. Be that as it may, it is something we knew was coming, and we can protest it all we like, but it seems that Blizzard are not about to compromise in any way.

I'm intent on finishing the game's campaign completely alone (without friend co-op) in my first playthrough, because I want a chance to get to grips with my feelings about the game overall without it being clouded by another's perspective. I'm not sure if this is wise or not, but well, there are so many character classes to choose from that I don't forsee this being a problem later on.

Speaking of character classes, I'm playing as a Monk. A female monk, although this isn't usual for me as I normally play as a guy - go figure. I tend to steer clear of magic users overall, and I'm not into religious, self-righteous characters that go around smiting in the name of whichever deity they worship (remember Casavir in Neverwinter Nights? Geez that guy was annoying!). I normally play as a rogue in most RPG's and the Monk to me was the closest I could get to. The complete lack of character customisation did however annoy me, especially since for many gamers, this is such a big part of playing an RPG. Who wants their character to look like everyone else's?

Gameplay wise I'm enjoying Diablo 3 so far. The story is typical of many RPG's - go here, find this, defeat that bad guy, and the isometric camera (which I enjoy) gives you a good view of the battlefield. That said, I'm not really convinced yet that it's a game I'm going to come back to over and over again... For the single player campaign anyway. Maybe that will change as I get further in, and the allure of playing as another character class is always there, but I remain dubious and unconvinced so far.

Of course, I'm not as many hours into this game as say, Yoshichan, who finished it in 12 hours and 29 minutes. Not that I really see the point in rushing to finish a game like this, but hey maybe that's just me...

Anyway, I'll post my final verdict here in a couple of days. Until then, I've got a one way way ticket to Hell...

Ok, not really one way, that just sounded cool.


  1. Online is becoming the way of the future sadly. The popularity of Facebook games are the biggest testament to that (I'm talking numbers here, not quality of game)

    In terms of the game, I'm a about half way through Act III after about 15 hours of gameplay and one thing I'm really disappointed at is the linear quest system. Apart from a few 'challenges' it seems to have the same direction options of a train.

    I'm hoping the expansions bring more depth to the game, in terms of storyline they have done a great job, but then this is Blizzard that's just something they have down.

    1. I agree that it's a sad thing re: online. I personally dont think people should be required to connect to the Internet to activate their product, although I certainly understand it from a revenue perspective. I think CD Projekt (The Witcher) have the right of it with their attitude to DRM.

      With regards to the linear quest system I agree wholeheartedly - perhaps I'm just used to much more open world games, but it seems like you have very few options in terms of how you want to play and level up.

  2. This is like The Verge with Extra details and more opinions sprinkled on top of it and you can read again and again :) thanks Pippa.

  3. Well, i'm willingly going to hell this weekend for the first time. Hope it wont be a disappointing experience. Pity it has to only be played online.
    I'm sure people will start following the WOW route and start making private servers...
    Does the box purchase of Diablo 3 give you a trial subscription with your Battle.Net account or do you have to still by a subscription along with the game? Something like, redeem your product code to get first 3 months free, or something like that?

    Anyway glad to see you still a hardcore gamer Pippa. If i started something up like the Verge, you'd be the top of my presenter list.

    Keep well