- Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
- Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
- ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
- Genre: Action Role-playing
- Pros: Addictive Action, Deep Customization, Great Gameplay
- Cons: Repetitive Dungeon Design
Like a modern version of the timeless “Gauntlet,” you take on the role of a fantasy adventurer in “Diablo III.” As you bust through literally thousands of enemies over your time in the game, you’ll often be accompanied by fellow travelers and can even get your buddies to join you “Borderlands” style. In fact, the game has a lot in common with the hit 2K franchise (About.com’s #1 game of 2012) in that you’ll do a lot of travelling, a lot of quest completion, and a ton of looting, and you’ll have the most fun doing it with your buddies.
As with “Borderlands” and “Gauntlet,” you’ll start by picking a character type and customizing him. Lucas the Demon Hunter quickly became a killing machine, finetuning his upgradeable skills to hone his arrow-shooting skills to such a degree that most enemies never saw him coming. However, my experience with “Diablo III” will likely be different than yours. You may focus on close-quarter combat, making all those swords poor Lucas had to scrap for materials or sell to repair his other weapons more essential, or even turn yourself into a powerful wizard. No matter what character class you choose, you’ll be constantly tweaking and updating your skills and various weapons & armor found or purchased throughout the game.
And then you’re off. The game takes place twenty years after “Diablo II” as your character arrives at Tristram Cathedral right after a mysterious star has fallen from the sky, unleashing the undead on, well, everyone. Before long, you’re rummaging through dungeons and searching for a vile creature called “The Skeleton King.” “Diablo III” is one of those games that will be a different time-sucking experience for everyone. You could race through the main story quests relatively quickly or go the opposite route and spend time talking to strangers in town or just exploring the deceptively simple environments around you. “Diablo III” features a number of dungeon rooms that look almost identical but then it will throw a curveball, giving gamers a well-designed enemy or surprisingly detailed chamber.
“Diablo III” might be too repetitive for some. I get that. It has bizarre difficulty spikes and you will spend most of your time button-mashing your way through unchallenging enemies. And yet it’s a game that’s incredibly difficult to stop playing. Every time I needed to take a break to work on something else, I found myself wanting to fire it up again. In this great purge of games pre-PS3 that includes excellent titles like “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist” and lackluster ones like “Disney Infinity,” a game like “Diablo III,” one that a lot of gamers have already played, could get lost in the shuffle. Don’t let that happen. As clichéd as this sounds, this really is a game that could appeal to a wide swath of gamers – young/old, action/fantasy, RPG/shooter, etc. It’s a hit because it connects with you, me, and your neighbor.