Diablo III Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Diablo III Box Art
System: PC*, PS3*, Xbox 360
Dev: Blizzard Entertainment
Pub: Blizzard Entertainment
Release: May 15, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood and Gore, Violence

Engaging enemies is a simple matter of clicking on them to attack or using a hotkey. While certainly better than the left and right mouse button attacks from Diablo II, you're still fairly limited here, with only four more hotkey slots, making six in total. After unlocking the entire skill selection, this does make for some strategic choices, but even a few more slots would have been appreciated, and the ability to have two different skill sets to swap between would have saved players a lot of time.

The music was also a little disappointing. We all know how iconic the strumming and simple synthesized tones from the first two games were, but I expected more than just a carbon copy after a decade of audio innovation. There are some nice fully orchestrated numbers, but they just don't have that melody that will stick in your head years down the road.

The voice acting, though, is wonderfully done, and every piece of text, even the literature picked up, is verbally played back. Your character is also spared the disdain of being a mute, and each class and gender has their own well-executed vocalist.

Diablo III Screenshot

Equally impressive are the crisp sound effects, with tons of subtle variations from upgraded skills and diverse enemies. Monsters burst with a satisfying sound, and every weapon strike feels impactful on the ears.

Diablo III is a much more engrossing experience when played with up to three other fans. Joining or creating a group is a simple process handled right in the main menu screen, and you also have the option to seamlessly open your solo game in progress to the public and watch the help pour in. You can only join up to the chapter you've already cleared, but since the action is addictive enough and playing different classes is worthwhile, you'll easily fill your ten character slots for any matchup.

The combat becomes much more chaotic, but also more strategic with a group of four. The enemy count rises, as does their strength and endurance, but using thoughtful skill combinations between classes not only helps keep you alive, but looks really cool. Several of my forays into group play suffered from poor latency, causing lag and characters to pop in and out. This isn't a tactical issue in the early going, but could prove problematic further into the game where every second counts.

The game requires a constant connection to the online servers, which makes communication with friends easier, but is a major detriment to those just looking for a solo campaign. Being disconnected or waiting for maintenance when you just want a quiet game alone is very frustrating, and the launch issues certainly haven't helped matters.

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Because of the length of production and repute of the developer, many gamers had extremely high hopes for Diablo III. These hopes might be dashed a little with server issues, visuals that aren't as cinematic as the cutscenes, and a somewhat constrained skill system. However, Diablo III is still amazing, and after you've poured countless hours into numerous characters, you'll find the purchase price fully justified. It has a great story and pertinent quests, it maintains the honor of being the best loot series ever, and it's just simply fun to play over and over again.

Check back after the PvP release for another comprehensive look at Blizzard's latest hack and slash. I'll review the new multiplayer mode, explore the Hardcore and Inferno difficulties and the epic-level content, see if the Auction House has crashed, and weigh in on any new and persistent technical issues.

By
Sean Engemann
Contributing Writer
Date: May 16, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.4
Graphics
The backgrounds look great, as do the character models (from a distance). They just don't look great together.
4.4
Control
The controls are simple and straightforward. Targeting enemies could have been handled better though.
4.4
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
I was less than impressed with the reused tunes, but blown away by the impressive vocal work.
4.8
Play Value
There's a lot more content then people expected, and its replayability rivals just about anything else on the market.
4.5
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Explore fully realized realms of Sanctuary—the living, breathing gothic fantasy world of Diablo III—rendered in gorgeous 3D.
  • Battle the unholy forces of the Burning Hells with all-new character classes such as the otherworldly Witch Doctor, or with re-imagined warriors from Diablo's past like the powerful Barbarian.
  • Rain Hell on your enemies and use the interactive environment as a weapon: lay cunning traps, turn destructible objects against your foes, and use environmental obstacles to your advantage—all powered by the Havok physics system.
  • Experience the intensity of multiplayer Diablo III over an all-new, wickedly enhanced Battle.net platform with numerous enhancements to make connecting with your friends easier, and cooperative gameplay more fun.

  • Videos / Game Trailers
    Diablo III Blizzcon 10: Demon Hunter Trailer  - click to enlarge
    Blizzcon 10: Demon Hunter Trailer
    Diablo III GC 2010: Artisans Walkthrough  - click to enlarge
    GC 2010: Artisans Walkthrough
    Diablo III The Fallen Ones Trailer  - click to enlarge
    The Fallen Ones Trailer
    Diablo III Blizzcon 2009 - Monk Gameplay  - click to enlarge
    Blizzcon 2009 - Monk Gameplay
    Diablo III 
Blizzcon 2009 - Monk Reveal  - click to enlarge
    Blizzcon 2009 - Monk Reveal

    Screenshots / Images
    Diablo III Screenshot - click to enlarge Diablo III Screenshot - click to enlarge Diablo III Screenshot - click to enlarge Diablo III Screenshot - click to enlarge Diablo III Screenshot - click to enlarge Diablo III Screenshot - click to enlarge Diablo III Screenshot - click to enlarge Diablo III Screenshot - click to enlarge Diablo III Screenshot - click to enlarge Diablo III Screenshot - click to enlarge

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