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.