I was an avid fan of the original Diablo games and 10
years is a long time to wait for the return of a close
friend, although I have to admit to being a little wary after
the let-down of previous re-releases (looking at you,
I also have to confess I sat on the fence when many of my
friends started pre-ordering this game. I thought I'd wait
and see when all the hype died down and the true opinions
And then release day came around, so off I trotted to "have a
wee look" at one of said friends playing his copy. Thirty
minutes later, I was walking out with a visitor's pass and my
Diablo III is all I remember and more, with better
graphics and storyline along with a selection of companions
that add a little more firepower and some background chatter.
Character skills and abilities are interesting additions that
allow you to tweak your character towards a particular build
that you might like, while it also retains the classic
equipment drops and socketed equipment for further
customisation of your character.
So far, I have only played two characters, the barbarian and
the mage. Both play and feel completely different but the
comments and background chatter make the barbarian most
For a habitual explorer, the maps are expansive and varied.
Loot and monsters are regular and change often, which
keeps them interesting. The inclusion of the occasional elite
boss-type monster means the difficulty can unexpectedly ramp
up, but, all in all, the difficulty isn't that bad.
Of course, I have several friends playing which has led to a
number of multiplayer instances. I like that at any point you
can drop in to a friend's game or have them drop into yours.
There is one major problem with multiplayer as it stands, and
that's that there is no level evening component. On at least
one occasion I had three friends suddenly appear to help.
They were all much higher level and butchered their way
through the opposition, which was great. But the difficulty
increases with each friend that joins, which meant by the
time I'd finish a fight, most of the dungeon had been cleared
by my demigod-like friends, and to be honest any rewards were
greatly outweighed by the "junk items" my friends had dropped
Another time I'd joined a game, but because I was such a
lower level, any monster that even sneezed my way killed me.
This forced my friends to have to spend a considerable amount
of time resurrecting me.
Staying out of combat is an option, if you enjoy following in
the wake of others, as you only get experience for combats
you are involved in, so the only real advantage for low-level
characters to join higher levels is padding your bank account
with the dropped loot.
Diablo III was all I was expecting, with the nice
tweaks that increased its overall playability. However, it
was also, for better or worse, exactly how I remember it. If
you enjoyed the first games then undoubtedly you'll enjoy
this one, because while nothing amazingly different has been
added, nothing has been removed.
I have my old friend back.
He's received some cosmetic surgery, for sure, but he's the
same old friend that kept me company for many, many hours and
he's set to do it all again.
- Peter Sigmund.