Admittedly, we’ve only played a number of hours on Diablo 3, so a full-on review at this time cannot be possible. The best we’re able to do for now is to give a quick impression of the game as we see it, and then add a “meatier” narrative later on.
With that out of the way, here is the first thing I can tell you about Diablo 3. A messed-up bedlam of epic proportions. But please don’t think I’m talking about the game. Word on the street is that Blizzard has created a total FAIL to its loyal fans by not being able to secure enough servers to accommodate the long, long line of excited players trying to activate their copies all at once.
Blizzard has already issued a statement to this effect, saying that they are currently performing emergency maintenance on the few servers they have available, which all crumbled under the sheer amount of users attempting to log on and play. So there is good news after all. But it is also wise to take note of the fact that Blizzard is guarding against more headaches by “keeping an eye out” for future issues.
But enough about the launching day woes. Diablo 3 looks to redeem itself by offering a very satisfying gaming experience, as expected. You’d have to take lots of pauses just to understand the workings of the skills system, though, but the combat is tops. It shouldn’t really bother the veterans, but a word of warning: if you’ve never played Diablo or a similar game in this niche before, you’re going to have a tough time.
One thing I noticed, though. It seems as if the skill system in Diablo 3 has been bumped up to the point where your weapon is becoming more and more useless as you level up. There are lots of powerful skills to earn even at the lower rungs of the leveling ladder, so much so that using your weapon can sometimes feel like a hindrance instead of an advantage.
I also don’t like the idea of using the auction houses. I decided to buy an axe to see how it could affect my character and my gameplay, and I got the most powerful one that was available for my current level. After that, any other weapons or loot that I happened to find were practically useless and laughable. The loot system in the game will almost certainly be rendered impractical and meaningless by buying your weapons in auction houses.
As I mentioned earlier, we were not able to play Diablo 3 for as long as we hoped. But despite the slight criticisms I mentioned above, the overall impression that our crew had was that the game deserves its hype. For its own sake, I look forward to seeing Blizzard displaying its capability to handle future concerns even before they become problems, but as for the game itself, the first few hours we spent with Diablo 3 were a blast.
Emmanuel Barrios for Raisin Games
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