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Diablo 3 Review

publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
developer: Blizzard Entertainment
genre: RPG

ESRB rating: M

release date: May 15, 12
» All About Diablo 3 on ActionTrip

We still need to wait and see how Blizzard's item exchange (i.e. the 'Auction House') will work once it finally gets going, but at this point Diablo 3 stands out as an undeniable classic. If you are a fan of the previous games then you need to own this one. It's as simple as that. If you are a newcomer to the action RPG series, then you should really consider giving it a try. There's little to regret with this purchase. Even once you're done with the main campaign, there's a lot to come back to (Expansions. Don't forget about those! - Ed.). Each character class feels unique and it's fun to see them in action, while unlocking the 'Nightmare' and 'Hell' levels certainly gives you a proper challenge. Not only that, but as soon as you jump back into the game when your character reaches level 36 and such, you'll gain access to even more skills, in addition to some truly delicious items and equipment.

Saying something bad about Diablo 3 is like trying to say something bad about Lord of the Rings or the original Star Wars movie trilogy or The Avengers or The Dark Knight. It's almost impossible to do (for some of us anyway). We love nearly everything about it. Sure, there were frustrating moments. Like that time when the game kept logging me out over and over again. My game couldn't last longer than 4-5 minutes. At first I thought it was another sever issue, albeit a quick read through the D3 forums made me realize that using 'Whirlwind' -- Barbarian's tornado-style attack -- is causing this very problem (Made the game dizzy I suppose? - Ed.). As absurd as it sounded at the time, I stopped using the skill and it actually solved the issue. Other than that and the aforementioned server issues, I can honestly say that the game worked perfectly for me, even when I logged into online coop with three other players simultaneously. Joining the game was quick and easy and there was little to no lag, while each of the players seemed to relish in the fact that all of us had their own loot to choose from during the game.

We are keen to find out what Blizzard's plans are for the future of Diablo 3. We are also keeping our fingers crossed for a proper expansion pack or a substantial DLC release, but hey, it's still too early to think about those things, so let's just sit back and enjoy it.

Whether you're dual-wielding axes and swords, rapid firing a mighty crossbow, fist-fighting, throwing a spear, casting a powerful spell or indeed summoning a monster of your very own, this game will make you feel like a true hero - one that is caught in the eternal and epic struggle between light and dark. Diablo 3 is a truly memorable experience and one of the best video games we've played in recent times.

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9.6   Classic

Blizzard's time-honored knack for delivering an incredible atmosphere is shown in this game perhaps more than in anything they've done before, the astounding art, captivating cinematics, cool music, great voice acting and, most important of all, utterly addictive gameplay;

Initial server issues were a major downer, a few annoying in-game bugs, the story could've had more twists and more surprising elements to it, certainly the fact that there's an ending to this game... that's something we don't like.


31 post(s)
Reader Comments
Dupoint May 22 2012, 09:52 am EDT
9.6 for this piece of DRM crap? Fuck this shit.

Seriously, the industry is going to shit and you gaming critics are responsible for this devaluation of standards.

$60 for a SINGLE PLAYER game that I can't even play without a constant fucking connection to the internet? Since when did we start paying money to have a porcupine shoved in our ass?!

Torchlight 2 FTW.
  Sigma_100: Oh yes its obvious that Vader and Actiontrip have all…
Cheddar: Someoone's mad the warez scene is having trouble with…
Alchi: The real issue is not that it requires internet conne…
Vader: Not cool indeed, I agree with you Alchi. But it's jus…
Alchi: It's not my problem they're incompetent. I'm not bu…
Cheddar: Blizzard is actually going one-up on Ubisoft with thi…
Alchi: You're right actually. I was convinced Ubisoft has al…
Sujet: You can't play GW2 offline either...
Alchi: GW2 is designed from the core to be multiplayer. Di…
Terminator: It's bullshit that we can't play single player offline.
alex8642: I'd complain too... If not for the fact I am ripping …
Vindicator: Vader its because of soulless hacks like you who misl…
amar May 22 2012, 09:52 am EDT
  GrgoljBlaster: notsureitcanbedone
Vader [STAFF] May 22 2012, 09:56 am EDT
  AtomicViking: Well done Vader, loved the review!
Reikhardt May 22 2012, 09:59 am EDT
Good review, consistant with other reviews I've seen thus far. I know the always online wrankles, but everyone I've spoken to who has played it says the game is a highly enjoyable romp.
As for always online, it's the way it will be in future I guess, time to get with the times I say.
  im_stardust: Nothing has eaten you yet?
Duffey May 22 2012, 10:03 am EDT
I would of given it more like 8.5 that 9.6. The game is very well designed but does nothing exciting or inovative. Its like having sex with a condom in missonary position. Safe but not thrilling
im_stardust May 22 2012, 10:29 am EDT
The rating score on this site and others is pretty much shit. Aside from that, I agree with this Duffey guy.

I never bought a game based on the reviews it got, anyway.
im_stardust May 22 2012, 10:36 am EDT
Blizzard is playing smart and safe. Good for them.
Doomsday. May 22 2012, 11:23 am EDT
look at this shit man!!​8AMHS567X1336811395837.jpg
  Vader: Holy fuck!!! I want that!
Doomsday.: Hells Yeah man!!
Cheddar May 22 2012, 11:29 am EDT
I think 9.6 seems a bit high for a game that isn't doing anything to push the genre's envelope, or even the broader industry standard.

D3 seems like a great game, server fiasco aside, but for me, I don't think anything above the 9.0-9.5 range is justified unless the game is a revolutionizing trendsetter for its entire generation. And D3 does not qualify, same as StarCraft 2 didn't.

And it's a bit of a shame, because Diablo 1/2 and StarCraft 1 *did* qualify as doing that. So it's a little disappointing when Blizzard now has far more resources, talent, and funding than in that previous era, and yet their games are actually less ambitious now.

Hell, the most ambitious aspects of Diablo 3 are the de facto anti-piracy measures (it's obvious that's the true agenda behind streaming half the game data while you play instead of a full hard-drive installation) and the auction-house that is deliberately and shamelessly preventing players from trading items for cash like they do in WoW without Blizzard forcing a cut for themselves.

Needless to say, such things make for a pretty dubious legacy.
  FesterSilently: ...what you said. +1
im_stardust: Yup..mostly
Vader [STAFF] May 22 2012, 11:42 am EDT
Not every Blizzard game has to push the envelope. Also, a game can, in fact, have a 9.6 score without pushing envelopes of any kind (I hate envelopes).

Red Dead Redemption got a 9.4 and it's not ground-breaking in terms of gameplay. It's an excellent game with a brilliantly written story. A game doesn't necessarily have to set a standard in order to justify a high rating.

What Blizzard does in the artwork department deserves praise alone. Gameplay wise, everything is well-balanced and properly paced for this particular genre.
  Duffey: But the level of quailty games are reaching constantl…
Cheddar May 22 2012, 11:57 am EDT
I said anything above the 9.5 range. RDD was 9.4, and while a nearly flawless game, it didn't truly redefine anything in its genre. So yeah, appropriate score for it. But even so, RDD was still a more ambitious game than Diablo 3.... at least it tackled a sub-set of the 'GTA' genre that hasn't been done very often (only Gun, really), and created perhaps the best 'Wild West' themed video-game ever made.

Seems to me gamers are often too... bedazzled... by Blizzard's usual handful of high-budget Hollywood-caliber cinematics per game, which they rely upon to put a distractingly impressive veneer on their game-experiences. Cut those away, and what do you have left in StarCraft 2, and from what I hear, Diablo 3? Just a pretty standard, we've-seen-this-before video-game, albeit one with exceptional execution.

And from what I've heard, D3's storyline is significantly more underwhelming than D2's. It has a central plot-twist that was so obvious people correctly figured it out back in the freaking beta.
  Vader: I don't know, the story itself could have been better…
Alchi: I'm surprised they bothered. The centerpiece of s…
KraGeRzR: I actually played GUN recently. What sold me was the …
Duffey May 22 2012, 12:10 pm EDT
Will people really remember this as much as Diablo 2 in 11 years time .... I have my doubts. A quote kinda stuck with me after reading so many walls of text about this game.

"Diablo 2 was designed by Diablo developers , Diablo 3 was designed by WoW developers."
PigMaster May 22 2012, 12:28 pm EDT

way i see it, you gotta put things in perspective.
this game was made for pure hack n slash. it's not baldour's gate.
not in any term and it shouldn't try to be.
this internet thing is fucked, but so it goes. they tried, i'm gonna givem time to fix it, and i can't blame them for trying.
i think that way more than anything else, the most important thing in a game is the atmosphere. heroes 3 is one of the best games in history, imo, and it has a shit for nought story, just outshines on its own terrace.

if this game shines were it's suppose to shine, i'm happy and pleased with the score and hope to agree once i start playing.
GrgoljBlaster: Picture in my head after your WaaaaaaGhahaghaalalas h…
Doomsday. May 22 2012, 12:29 pm EDT
Edit: Ofcourse u did! lol! :D
PainZero May 22 2012, 01:14 pm EDT
I haven't played the game yet, unfortunately there is no pirated version available yet. However I'm pretty well informed about how it plays. Regarding the score the only way you can justify such a score of 9.6 is if you look at it from this perspective. Blizzard promised to deliver Diablo 3, so obviously no is expecting anything ground breaking it's just the same as D1 or D2 but a bit better. If they managed to deliver a well polished product which keeps or upgrades on the old formula while providing better graphics, better class balance, story etc. then yes you can say that this game deserves 9.6.

What I want to see is what will happen on those yearly game awards, being on Actiontrip or any other gaming web site. If Diablo 3 gets game of the year, RPG of the year or anything similar then something is really fucked up.
  Vader: The competition will be heavy for GotY in 2012. Besid…
Corpse Grinder: The only game deserving of GotY is Skyrim!
Killer Klown May 22 2012, 02:17 pm EDT
Y'know, I bought into this game expecting Diablo 3. You know what I got? Diablo 3. I didn't want them to change things drastically. I didn't care about them pushing the envelope, adding in-depth character choices or branching storylines. I liked Diablo for what it was. I loved Diablo 2 for what it was. If I want a serious RPG, there are a crapload of other games out there I could be playing - what I wanted was a leveling-up dungeon crawler with uncountable hordes of hideous creatures rushing at me wave after wave on end - and that's exactly what they delivered. There are a few progressions in the mechanic, there are a few augmentations in the interface - of particulair note is the dearth of slots on the menu bar - but, for the most part, It's Diablo.
And Diablo is exactly what I fucking wanted. It's what I've been waiting for. It's what I'd sloughed through an innumerable amount of clones, knockoffs and attempts at improvements - some better than others. So yeah, I can definitely support the 9.6 up there based on my own experiences. I haven't had an issue with the servers or the login, I'm on broadband at home so I'm always connected to the internet _anyway_, so that bit doesn't bug me, and I don't tend to pirate games unless they simply are no longer available (Yay, Abandonware). As far as the auction house? I've never had the need nor inclination to even try and use the in-game money one, so I doubt I'll have any inclination to look at the real-money one either. This, too, does not bother me in the slightest. So, yeah. It doesn't break any ground, the copy protection is there - but it's no worse, and in fact better, than some other attempts at DRM other companies have tried, and the game is basically a dungeon crawling clickfest. The art style is far from cartoonish in most cases - and they did a very good job of making each character class have it's own unique look and cultural accents.
But, at it's core, you crawl through a dungeon. You kill things. You collect loot. You get better stuff. You kill more things. You crawl through the dungeon again.

It's Diablo. What else were you expecting?
CJ_Parker May 22 2012, 02:51 pm EDT
So where the fuck is the cow level this time huh?
  Morkrul: there's a unicorns and carebears level
run_like_snot: bwahahahaha yeah it's on youtube
moriwenne May 22 2012, 04:36 pm EDT
I liked the game. I think it's polished. The combat feels solid, the graphics are neat, the characters are interesting.
The story might not be very deep but it's fine, it's a game, it's not a world class novel.

However, i do find it interesting that Blizzard was able to make a product that gets people to play it 4 times in a row with question :) That's just bizarre to me.
Once I finish a game, reached the end of the story....that's it. But they want you to do it 3 more times and by putting some more hp and damage on their monsters...they succeed, no need for 3x the content :)

Weird innit.
vkzlord May 22 2012, 04:52 pm EDT
OK, kids here is my opinion. I am AND ALWAYS will be a HUGE fan od D2, I haven't played D3 so I won't crap about it. BUT it seems to me that the HYPE is SO over the bar. I know the story of D3 and I must say I don't aprow. If you played D2 and LOD how does the story connect??? Someone told me to read ( R E A D ) READ some F books or shit like that, which I won't. I'm playing a game, which from D2 I wish to continue... And this online crap will last a couple of months before crack, and auction house is the most ridicilous shit I have ever seen.
Terminator May 22 2012, 05:00 pm EDT
A 9.6 for this game? Wow, I might have to try it. Not yet though, there are too many server bugs and other problems. Besides, I don't want to pay $60 for a game that I don't own, which is what Diablo 3 is. Fucking 'always online' bullshit!
  im_stardust: You wrote the same shit for the.. how many times now?
run_like_snot May 22 2012, 05:44 pm EDT
Maaaaah wiiiiife 'az bin tryin' ta plaaaaayy the starter edition. Keeps gettin' cut off. Nobs.
run_like_snot May 22 2012, 05:53 pm EDT
I don't see why server issues should be "forgiven", nor why it shouldn't affect the final score. I bet any other game, with any less hype, would have been penalised one or two points for this. Regardless of whether the rest of the game shines like the sun.
finaleve May 22 2012, 07:09 pm EDT
Clearly you didn't play the game. If you did, you would have noticed that Adria disappeared. She can still come back, ya know?

And seriously? This game deserves a 7 or 8 if anything. While they took away the elements that made WoW today (the skill trees), they gave it something way too simple. I hated Synergies so much in D2 but it gave a depth that most games didn't grasp.
Top that off with being forced to play online? Ruins the experience. It's stupid that I can get a minor lag issue when I'm playing by myself. Seriously?
stochinblockin May 22 2012, 07:49 pm EDT
I still have yet to play Diablo 2...
Breedy_Mcfluff May 22 2012, 07:55 pm EDT
I bought a bag of chips the other day. I know, "real fucking healthy eating there, Mcfluff!"

Anyway, I started munching down on them and they were fucking delicious. Each one made my mouth water more and more, tasting so good and exciting every tastebud of my tongue.

I imagined another person's hand reaching into that chip bag and putting the chips into my mouth, and they hold the bag and control the bag. They were who sold me those chips. I bought that bag of chips, didn't I? I paid them for it, yet they still hold it?

I am entitled to enjoy those chips. But the chipmaster is now stuttering to put the chips into my mouth, and then BOOM! He just stops putting them in my mouth and walks away with the bag. I'm like, "What the fucking fuck? What the fuck? I bought that! That's mine to enjoy, you little shitfaced git!" I am unable to give chase and must wait until he comes back, back with the snack I paid for. And unfortunately, everyone else who bought the chips as well must wait for them as well. And we must be able to eat together, or not at all, according to the chipmaster.

Probably a shitty analogy, I don't care. You should still get the point. I'll get back to playing Day Z. That's for REAL men. Lololol!!11oneonetwo2
  run_like_snot: You're right about the quality of your rant.
Vodoo May 23 2012, 02:14 am EDT
Diablo 2 made a cartload of money, but was that the goal in the first place ?

i had a debate at some literary conference with some professors whether people can tell the difference between a product and a creation.
purpose i yelled at them, purpose.

so Diablo 3 is good is it ?
is that because you're old and you reminisce about the days when you didn't even have wrinkles on your testicles ?

Diablo 3 was made for money, it was made for casual players, the art design was changed and i still say wrongfully, you have some kind of facebook/twitter bullshit incorporated for the new age of communication and BRAGGING, what people enjoy most nowadays, BRAGGING.

i enjoy a glass of Baileys in my cosy little room with droplets of rain racing down my window.

many games for me are a fine glass of Baileys, i don't want people to see me enjoy myself, i don't want to brag and i certainly don't agree to being confined to some pub if i want to drink a nice sweet glass of Baileys.
i don't like to read in the library, i don't like to play online and funny enough when i do, i always play solo.

has technology fused every living thing into one single misshapen form that solitude for the sake of individual pleasure is so absurd and incomprehensible nowadays ?

from what i could see on youtube, Diablo 3 contains some really bad acting, good animations, a nice feel of combat but less than beautiful design overall, a very simplified gameplay to the extent that children would have no problem going from breasts to keyboard.
Diablo 1 scared me as a child, i have respect for that game, immense respect.

you know what look like Diablo 3 but is better than Diablo 3 ? BASTION.
  Reikhardt: Bastion is an incredible game, agreed.
Vader: Not better than Diablo 3 and certainly not in the sam…
Vindicator May 23 2012, 05:23 am EDT
Twist that tongue more in the earthen hole Vader.

The payroll should be more than adequate from Blizzard.
  Vader: Oh yeah...
erevos May 23 2012, 07:46 am EDT
Diablo 3 is way too short
is way to easy
is nothing like Diablo 2
where is my skill tree?????
i finished D2 with 2 TOTALLY different Assassins , one druid and a barbarian.
it just doesnt seem worth it in D3.i wanted to be able to level only the skills i wanted
and hordes of enemies you say??????? where ?????? i am nostalgically reminded of searching for the true Tal-Rasha's tomb.....if you want to talk hordes of enemies

still.....i willl finish D3 on all difficulties.weird thing i noticed , skill graphics changed when i started nightmare difficulty
Vindicator May 23 2012, 10:04 am EDT
Diablo 3 represents everything wrong with Blizzard right now. They are past the point of reason when pandering to console players, trying to attract them to other, oversimplified games on a platform designed to be deep.

Their Game Director, a fat below the line nerd manboy who thinks or rather wishes he were Brian Fargo in a company with money, has butchered the entire philosophy of Blizzard with a single game.

A game director doesnt focus on the loot or inferno difficulty issues, he focuses on the experience. This idiot, just makes me vomit in my mouth. His entire priority is how to attract players with the promise of loot and a real life auction house.

How sad is that. Seriously. Think about it.

WoW, Warcraft III, Starcraft II were good games. Why? Because they were deep in the sense that story contributed to mathematically sound game mechanics which allowed players to delve into a system which both rewarded and addicted them.

Diablo III instead is the first substandard game I have ever seen from this company.

It makes you play the same lame ass game 3 times. Not even taking the time to add some random or nonlinear quests anywhere at all. Torchlight 2, a sub-1gb installation, has a multitude of cities and side quests to complete, whereas Diablo has what?

Three acts, cities you cant explore which funnel into archetypal environments where different arcade monsters attack you.

If PC gaming is kept alive by the likes of mediocrity and the game design philosophy of trying to benefit from kids with access to their dad's credit cards, let it fucking die.

We used to have freedom in nonlinear games. They were taken away.

We used to have character customization in skillsets. They were taken away.

We used to have mood and the balls to make a darker game... taken away.

As long as you, Actiontrip, keep rewarding those who want to regress PC gaming into a singularity with the teeming masses of console idiots, we're pretty much fucked.
  Alchi: Starcraft 2 (or as I call it Starcraft 1 HD) is a goo…
Corpse Grinder May 31 2012, 02:02 pm EDT
You know vader for a 9.6 game it's sure hard to find many praising it (besides reviewers), I know people like to complain but the vibe around this game isnt good. Personally after finishing it my first thought was wow seriously is that it? what have they been doing all these years, it's just a top down world of warcraft linear loot tunnel. At least I can still rely on games companies like Bioware making truly A+ rated games that make me want to skip work and talk about years later!
pvcf Jun 05 2012, 10:43 am EDT
I would have to say I both agree and disagree with this review. Depending on how you look at it. Let me explain.

When I first started playing I had a rather odd feeling; somthing akin to deja-vu but tinged with ... disappointment? Perhaps too strong a word. I guess I kept thinking I was missing the "something more".

Diablo III felt like putting on an old familiar pair of jeans or sandals that you hadn't worn in a long time. There were some really nice improvements and the artwork and voice acting; expecially the voice/emote procs are funny sometimes. For example, I started with a Barbarian. I love it when I cleave+rupture a huge group of mobs, get a the "Mighty Blow" toast and the character emotes "You cannot stand before me!" (et. al.) and then spits on the corpses. Brilliant! :)

But now, after only a few weeks, I'm just not motivated anymore. There isn't enough of a *game* there. In my opinion, Diablo III is an auction house with this rather linear and repetitive mini-game attached to it. Everything is designed to steer you to the auction house. That's understandable since that is how Blizzard intends to make money from the game, and that is what is important to Blizzard as a company with stakeholders etc. The money making aspect for Blizzard is not really what disappoints me though.

I guess it is just the subtle, yet blatant way everything is steered toward the auction house. For example, other than one piece of gear near the beginning of my run through "hell" mode (which itself was soon replaced by auction house gear), I didn't get any other drops that helped me get to Inferno. Everything that dropped would have been nice back during nightmare. And the way the "difficulty" jumps in steps rather than gradually. Ticking long nicely with a few elite/champion packs causing some setback, but mostly cruising with five stacks of Nephalem Valour, then boom, port through to the next zone and you're being owned by trash.

Cue the cold-call from the tele-marketing centre in India, "Hello, this is Sunjit form the Blizzard Diablo III Customer Experience Centre, we notice you're having some trouble with ..., can I interest you in anything from the auction house today?". You don't literally get called, but that's the image I get in my head when the game bascially says, "Right! Gear check time, head on over to the auction house and upgrade. Oooh, not enough gold, sorry, you'll have to grind for a spell then..."

I guess the best analogy I can make is that Diablo III is like the (Leaning) Tower of Pisa. In and of itself the tower is a remarkable and magnificent piece of architecture from the period. Beautiful stonework and craftsmanship, lots of attention to detail. However, due to a problem with founding, it is fundamentally flawed.


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