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Diablo 3 Review

High Ground View: Diablo 3 Review Verdict
Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls Review

Game title: Diablo 3

Game description: Diablo 3 carries the torch from its predecessors to deliver an RPG masterpiece full of intrigue and magic. It is an epic RPG that’s maintained the quality players have come to expect from the Diablo franchise. Story mode features a beautiful storyline, exceptional graphics, and a balanced system of spells and gear that’s sure to impress. Adventure mode, on the other hand, gets stale quickly.

[ Official Site ]

Overall
7.7/10
7.7/10
  • Campaign - 9/10
    9/10
  • Adventure Mode - 6/10
    6/10
  • Challenge Rift - 8/10
    8/10

Summary

There are a few ways to experience Diablo 3, but you can’t miss the immersive story in campaign mode.

I still remember staying up ‘til the wee hours of morning, teaming with players from around the world to grind levels in Diablo 2. I spent hours upon hours in that fantasy realm, learning about myself and discovering my love for RPG video games. But time goes on, and the years since have been full of different adventures in new lands.

However, when Diablo 3 came out for Nintendo Switch, I knew I had to venture back to Blizzard’s fantasy world. Would this new game live up to my high expectations? Had Blizzard done the franchise justice? And what mischief could Diablo and the other Prime Evils be up to this time around? I just had to find out.

In the Trenches: Diablo 3 Gameplay

I exit the cavern to find myself on top of a mountain, in the middle of a small clearing. Under my feet is a well-worn path, and I’m surrounded by a handful of shrubs and an overturned cart. Far below I see the faint flicker of lamplight and the silhouettes of various structures. As I look around, I’m mesmerized by the stunning scenery and simple yet vibrant graphics. There’s an air of darkness and mystery abound, and I’m simultaneously captivated and unnerved.

The path leads Eastward, so I set my joystick in that direction and make my way down the mountain. Lamplight guides the way as I steadily descend towards my destination. A short jaunt later, and I find myself near the edge of a small village.

Suddenly, a group of figures emerge from the nearby forest. It appears to be some kind of undead demon horde, and they’re coming straight towards me! Quick as a whip, I twist around and release a volley of missiles. They begin to drop. One, then two. Emboldened, I slam my thumb down on the A button and release another round of blasts. A few more bodies drop, and soon the demon horde is no more. Bright light flashes across my screen and a message pops open in the center of the view panel. Level up!

Diablo Tristram

Light appears as the gates to Tristram pop open! Nostalgia comes flooding back as I’m returned to the small village from my youth. I stand at the entrance for just a moment, then make my way into the ill-fated village once more.

In the Beginning

Launch open the game to find a familiar starting screen with all the classes gathered in a semi-circle. Your options include a variety of melee and magic characters, ranging from old-school favorites like the Barbarian to newcomers like the Witch Doctor. Each offers its own unique skill specs, proficiencies, and characteristics to suit your playstyle. Moreover, classes are meticulously balanced, and choosing the best option is completely down to preference. Simply customize your character, adjust your settings, and you’re ready to roll.

Diablo Wiz

Wizard Artwork

Enter the game and you’re immediately drawn into the narrative. Diablo 3 places a heavy emphasis on storytelling and there are countless cutscenes throughout the game that feature breathtaking animations and engrossing narratives. What’s more, they are oftentimes class-specific, meaning your cutscene is unique to your character. An incredible feat and an excellent addition to the game

It doesn’t take long to get a feel for your character, as the first hour of the game teaches you all the basics. As for everything else? You’ll just have to figure it out on the way. Hop right into the action as you journey through the story and navigate the game’s different chapters, AKA acts. Each step forward exposes you to new environments, mechanics, and enemies. The result? What feels like neverending multitudes of chaos.

Diablo Butcher 1

Naturally, you’ll be matched up against a plethora of demonic assailants that are hellbent on taking you out. From demon birds swooping down at the opportune moment, to giant creatures that threaten to stomp you to bits, there’s always a nasty surprise just over the horizon. It all comes together for thrills and excitement like nothing you’ve experienced before.

As for the culmination of each act? A major boss battle that brings you one step closer to uncovering the world’s hidden secrets and unlocking your full potential.

Skills & Spellbooks

Diablo 3 features a fairly typical leveling system, with experience points gained for each enemy you dispatch. Accumulate enough XP and you’ll see a flashing light appear on your screen as your health is topped off and your XP bar resets to zero. Open the intuitive interface panel to find an inventory, skills & spellbook, and quest page. Navigate your way to the skills and spellbook tab to feast your eyes on Diablo 3’s most exciting meta.

Diablo Attacking

Each character is outfitted with its own skill tree right out of the gate. There are literally hundreds of different skills to choose from, and billions of possible combinations. That’s because each skill comes its own set of Runes that change the way it works, in oftentimes unpredictable ways. Intrigued?

Let’s say that your favorite skill originally shoots one single fire-based missile at an enemy. Unlock and equip your new Rune, and all of a sudden this same spell shoots a volley of ice-based missiles that freeze on impact. That’s right – one Rune changes everything! Moreover, there are five different Runes per skill, meaning the different character builds are truly limitless.

Develop your character as you wish, strategizing your own offensive maneuvers and tactical combos to your heart’s content. And just when you think you’ve got the perfect character figured out, you’ll unlock an additional Rune that uncovers a whole new meta. And it’s back to the drawing board!

Blizzard removed the painstaking stat and skill points system that were so iconic in previous iterations of the game. But they’ve managed to maintain the grind that lies at the heart of this franchise. Now you must experiment to build the perfect character, and this is just as difficult, if not more so than before. The challenge is there but the frustration is gone. In its place is devilish delight.

The Grind

On the other hand, the in-game difficulty levels have been toned way down. Progressing through an act used to feel like a real challenge, and you never knew if you’d make it through in one piece. Now traversing the forsaken lands is a breeze, even when you boost the difficulty level into the Torment Tiers.

Initial Strike Diablo

The final boss took me all of about 30 seconds to beat. No joke. It wasn’t until a little later that I discovered the difficulty settings, and adjusting this definitely posed more of a challenge. But to this very day, after dozens upon dozens of hours of gameplay, I still have not died once. This includes all my adventures in search of loot and gear after the main game ended. That’s not good.

Speaking of gear, this is another place where Diablo 3 falls a bit short. Before, there was a rush of excitement as you accumulated new and unique items. Now, there is an abundance of loot, and each piece seems to grant a meager stat bonus over the previous iteration. This means you spend a lot of time in your inventory sorting through your gear (there are over 14 gear sub-menus), and there’s not much to show for it.

Don’t get me wrong. Players still grind it out until they find that elusive piece of equipment. You’ve still got to pray to the RNG gods when searching for that specific legendary or set item. But the feeling of intrigue and magic just isn’t the same.

Legacy

As for the charm? There is no comparison.

Traversing through dungeons and slaying enemies with a myriad of mystical spells has never been more exhilarating. Puzzling together clues to predict the outcome of the story before it happens provides plenty of pride and bragging rights. And playing with others is better than ever.

Diablo Cain

Stay Awhile, and Listen!

In fact, that’s where Diablo 3 goes from an excellent addition to the franchise to a genre-defining game in its own right. Team up on your couch for a local match, or matchmake through Blizzard’s BattleNet servers. Diablo is always connected to the internet (assuming a connection is available), and this makes playing with others as natural as loading up a solo game.

Play through the main storyline, search for unique loot, and challenge yourselves in Adventure Mode. See if you can find Diablo’s hidden secrets like the portal to the Goblin Vault or the Secret Cow Level. There are endless surprises and easter eggs in store, more than enough to keep even the most prolific treasure hunters entertained for the long term.

Diablo Cinematics

The High Heavens

Diablo 3’s storyline, cut-scenes, and polish are almost unheard of in the games industry. Granted, it’s nearing 8 years old. But save for some slight frustrations here and there, everything feels right.

Combined with the incredible skill system and fan-favorite grinding mechanics, it’s nearly impossible to put the game down. All combined, Diablo 3 carries the torch from its predecessors to deliver an RPG masterpiece full of intrigue and magic.

Campaign (9/10)

Diablo 3’s Campaign Mode is a true masterpiece. The game is set 20 years after the events of Diablo 2, and many of the same characters have made the transition to the new title. Inter-act cutscenes and graphical stories have also carried over from previous titles, and they’re just as beautiful and enthralling as you remember.

The main game features 4 acts or chapters, and there’s an additional 5th act for those who invested in the Reaper of Souls expansion. Each act consists of new maps, gear, and bosses, and continues the overarching storyline. The final culmination of each act? A major boss, often a Prime Evil, that players must dispose of in order to progress further. Everything ties together to present a jaw-dropping narrative with unrivaled levels of immersion.

Diablo

While D3 is widely known for its rocky launch, the game is very well balanced at the time of this writing. Blizzard really outdid themselves with the Reaper and Necromancer expansions, both of which rebalanced and fine-tuned the game’s major issues. And given that Diablo 3 is always connected to Battle Net, both local and online multiplayer modes are easy to navigate and super enjoyable. Playing with friends and making new ones has never been so easy.

Overall, the grind for gear and hack ‘n slash system is incredibly immersive. The game offers countless hours of gameplay, and the well-balanced mechanics make the game that much more enticing. If you haven’t played much of the main campaign, it’s certainly one you don’t want to miss.

Adventure Mode (6/10)

Diablo 3 Adventure Mode is end-game content that unlocks after completion of the main campaign. It offers players additional content via Bounties, Nephalem Rifts, and a handful of additional areas. The focus is on grinding and replayability, but the mode is lackluster compared to the main storyline.

Bounties are simply original storyline components that have been recycled with grinding in mind. You travel through different areas of the acts and challenge both old & new bosses to unlock additional rewards and gear. Complete 5 bounties in an act and receive an additional boon that unlocks the Nephalem Rift system.

Diablo 3

Nephalem Rifts are new instances where players travel to procedurally generated dungeons to take down enemies and gain additional loot. Once you’ve killed enough enemies in the dungeons, a Rift Guardian appears. Take him down and you’re rewarded an assortment of powerful gear and a huge chunk of XP. But take note – these tasks aren’t for the faint of heart. Fortunately, Bounties and Rifts are both common in D3 multiplayer due to their emphasis on grinding and treasure hunting.

My take? I think they could have made Adventure Mode more interesting with additional storytelling and new mechanics.

Challenge Rift (8/10)

There is a type of Nephalem Rift found in Adventure Mode called a Greater Rift. These are far more difficult than your standard rifts as they contain higher levelled enemies, a 15 minute completion timer, and a handful of other challenging mechanics.

Challenge Rifts were added to Diablo 3 at the end of 2017 to give players an additional activity and chance for loot. The premise? Players assume control of a pre-outfitted character with his own gear and setup. They must then use this character to navigate a rift while vying for high scores on a public leaderboard.

Diablo Blizzard

Beat the predetermined score and you gain a bunch of loot and a host of crafting materials for your regular characters. Pretty neat, right? Challenge Rifts are accessible by anyone who’s beaten the main campaign, and the loadout screen can be found on the main modes playlist panel.

Overall, it seems like an excellent use of a pre-existing mechanic and a fun way to engage the multiplayer community.

Zoom In: A Closer Look

Let’s take a closer look at Diablo 3’s specifications:

  • Game Modes: Campaign, Adventure Mode, Challenge Rifts
  • Expansions: Reaper of Souls, Rise of the Necromancer
  • Platforms: Windows, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Genre: Dungeon Crawler, Hack ‘n Slash, RPG
  • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
  • Release: 2012
  • Price: $20-$60
  • Business Model: Game Sales
  • PC System Requirements: Intel Pentium, 1GB RAM, Intel HD 4000, Windows XP+

Zoom Out: Summary

Adored by new and old fans alike, this game closes the gap between gamers and offers an exciting place to explore and roam. Go at it alone, or team up with players from around the world to experience one of the best dungeon crawlers on the market.

High Ground View: Diablo 3 Review Verdict
Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls Review

Game title: Diablo 3

Game description: Diablo 3 carries the torch from its predecessors to deliver an RPG masterpiece full of intrigue and magic. It is an epic RPG that’s maintained the quality players have come to expect from the Diablo franchise. Story mode features a beautiful storyline, exceptional graphics, and a balanced system of spells and gear that’s sure to impress. Adventure mode, on the other hand, gets stale quickly.

[ Official Site ]

Overall
7.7/10
7.7/10
  • Campaign - 9/10
    9/10
  • Adventure Mode - 6/10
    6/10
  • Challenge Rift - 8/10
    8/10

Summary

There are a few ways to experience Diablo 3, but you can’t miss the immersive story in campaign mode.

 

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