Video Game Review

Diablo III: New game all about slaying with style

by Wes Mayer

Diablo has officially made its transition from PC to consoles, and it has done so flawlessly.

For those who have not played a Diablo game before because they did not own a gaming PC, now is your chance. Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo III is a ton of fun. It is a beautiful, massive game and it will keep you entertained for hours.

Diablo III is centered around combat and does not take long to hurl you into it. After choosing your hero, you are off to investigate a mysterious star that's fallen from the sky. You arrive to discover undead have risen and are swarming around the town of Tristram.

A few hundred vanquished enemies later, you learn the war between Heaven and Hell is going poorly for the good guys, and demon lords are attempting to invade the mortal world of Sanctuary. It's up to you to smite them back to oblivion and save humanity.

The story isn't too deep or complicated, but that is in no way a bad thing. Diablo III is all about the mass destruction of demons, undead, monsters, beasts and anything else foolish enough to stand in your way.

Even more so, it is about looting the weapons, armor and gold that drop from your enemies. Finding the ultimate equipment is your true neverending quest in the game.

Gameplay is smooth despite the chaos. The camera is fixed at an angled bird's eye view above your hero. When your character levels up, you unlock new skills. You are only allowed to have one of each type of skill equipped at a time, but you have up to six active and three passive skills. Each skill, which would normally be put in a hot key on the PC, coordinates well with the buttons on your controller.

Diablo III allows you to swap between skills. So if one skill is useless against a boss who keeps rolling over you, you are able to change.

You tend to fight enemies in large groups. Picking the right skills is vital.

You also have a choice of three followers you find throughout the story - the Templar, the Scoundrel and the Enchantress. You can only have one follower at a time, and while they aren't particularly strong, they can help you out with their own skills, and it is nice to have company when you're wandering through a haunted crypt or a fiery cavern.

If you would like even more company, Diablo III supports online play. You can play with other players online at any time, but the more players there are, the tougher the enemies and the better the loot (but you have to fight over it).

When Diablo III's story does step in, it does so gorgeously. In between the four acts of the game, Blizzard has created some amazing scenes. The voice acting and music also works well. Some characters, like the Scoundrel, are quite entertaining.

The story is shallow, though. You always have one general direction to follow because Diablo III does not have many side quests. But that turns out to be great for the game because Diablo III gets better as you replay it.

After you beat the game on normal diff iculty, you unlock 'nightmare' difficulty and instantly start the game over. Beating it on nightmare unlocks 'hell,' and beating it on hell unlocks 'inferno,' which is apparently borderline impossible. It took me around 30 to 35 hours to beat the game on normal, so you can see how many hours you can put into this game.

In each higher level of difficulty, your enemies have more health and hit harder, but you are able to become stronger as well. The environments you explore are altered and the bosses you face gain more abilities, so you get a fresh experience each time around. The shallow story works out because it could get a little old after the third or fourth time.

This was my first Diablo game, but the story is not so complicated that you can't figure out what is going on. It is an action-heavy, intense and gory game, and anyone who enjoys feeling like a super-powered slaughterer of all things evil will have a blast with Diablo III.




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