Morning recap: Diablo III

Guest author: Orlowski

Blizzcon is now over and I’m sad that I’ll have to wait probably 6 months to a year to play Diablo III again, but I’ve had a great weekend. I went to Medieval Times last night and, to my dismay, I kept thinking about my Diablo III experience.  MT was great fun. We got to cheer our hearts out for the Black and White knight (That green knight has serious issues). Maybe it was the high-impact sword fighting or the sparks from the zinc/magnesium-embossed polearms but my mind kept meandering back to the fights in D3. Maybe if I tell you guys more about it, I can get it out of my system.

Look and feel:

Much like the old Diablo games, you start by choosing a character and gender. I chose a male barbarian, much like the one in the demo video.  Hulking and strong, probably 6’8”, his frame towers over the npcs and the monsters. They have really gotten the feel of scale. The way he interacts with the environment is very satisfying; smashing tables, tearing down walls, doing a thunderclap type ability that knocks enemies back.  It all ‘feels’ right.

The pace of the game keeps up with the feel, too. The action doesnt really stop, and if it does, you know something is about to happen. There are lots of clues from the environment and music that further engross the player into the storyline. As usual with Blizzard, the attention to detail is outstanding in Diablo III. Zombies and ghouls climb like fleshy spiders from holes in the ground and you can find yourself quickly surrounded. In these cases, there is some decision-making to be made. Do you try to cut through one side of the encircling monsters or do you use an area of effect ability to destroy them all? The fun part is that there isn’t one answer.

Mechanics:


The mechanics of the barbarian are much like that of the rage mechanic in WoW. The longer you are in battle and the more consecutive kills you have the more your ‘rage’ bar fills up. certain abilities like the area knockback require a good amount of rage, so you have to time the positioning and rage generation right if you don’t want to take much damage. The abilites are as simple and as complex as they need to be. Granted, this was only a 20 minute demo, but the abilities have a good synergy, and there are many options for how to chain attacks and which combos are most effective. Attacking a bunch of sheild-weilding skeletons with a cleave probably won’t be as productive as knocking them off their balance so they put down their guard and THEN smashing them to bits.  One thing is that it’s easy to take damage in D3, but as you kill monsters, they drop health ‘orbs’ so you can re-fill during a fight.  I never really got in over my head in any of the encounters, but I’m sure I’ll get into plenty of trouble in the real game.

Monsters:

Attention to detail, attention to detail, attention to detail. One of the things that really added to the engrossing nature of D3 was the monsters. Not only did interacting with the environment feel solid and real, but the monsters did also. In Wow, there isn’t clipping with other monsters, so you were never really ‘surrounded’, but the throngs that can encircle you in D3 actually force you to smash your way out of a bad situation, using aforementioned tactics.  Some of the coolest monsters I saw were the big abomination-like giants and the vomit-wrenching zombies.

Last impressions:
This game has already grabbed a hold of some place in my subconscious.  Like Diablo and Diablo 2, this game has incredible potential for continuous solid and engrossing gameplay, and with the multiplayer options, it could be even worse as you are drafted by your friends to help out on even more missions and quests.  I can only hope that I don’t drive myself crazy waiting for this game to come out. I could definitely see Blizzard being their own worst enemy when people stop playing WoW and move to Diablo III.

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One Response

  1. I absolutely can’t wait for this game..

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