Blizzard has big shoes to fill for its sequel to the most successful action RPG ever. Ever since the original developers of Diablo 2 was let go we were all wondering what would come of the franchise. Does Diablo3 live up to the hype? No, it doesn’t.
Diablo 3 is a departure from the Diablo franchise. The developers have thrown many mechanics like Town scrolls, and attribute points out the window. Skills trees have also been removed for reasons unknown. While now you do have more skills than previous Diablo games at the end game there’s no point since most of the abilities are useless and only a select few are actually worth using at the higher difficulties. The overall scaling of the game is flawed, at higher difficulties the only way to progress is to exploit since all the classes immediately fall of after entering act 2. The game overall feels unfinished and actually is. There are several features still missing like PVP and real money auction which was original promised for release but never happened. Those features are coming but may arrive too late as the game as already began to alienate players with the network problems and lack of endgame content. The game did sell well, but that’s because people bought into the promises of features and quality Blizzard never delivered on. The game is fun and retains the feel of an action RPG but not after long the feel of repetition quickly sets in after your first play through. Normal difficulty takes about 6 or 7 hours to complete so it won’t be long until your back at act 1 doing the same thing all over again. The art style leaves a lot to be desired. There is very little gritty imagery to keep the sense of a demonic invasion present. At times it leaves you feeling like you are going through the same areas over and over even though they are randomly generated. The graphics are also pretty poor even at max settings. Character and textures are lacking detail and become boring after sometime. The cliché deserts, forest and demonic landscapes leave you wanting for something interesting and the act with the most interesting environment happens to be the shortest. The gameplay it ‘self is decent but takes a nose dive once you get into later difficulties as the same kiting routine is going to get tedious and feel like a chore more than a game. The feeling of progression is what is going to keep people playing; leveling and getting gear is satisfying and something that’s done well. When you ding a level a large golden effect occurs and knocks corpses and enemies back and the feeling of getting new gear is almost unchanged accept for one thing, the auction house. Instead of the thrill of getting that desperately needed piece from a drop you are going to find yourself navigating the poorly designed auction house for gear. Starting at a list of items and trying to filter buyouts is nowhere near as satisfying as getting that upgrade from a boss you have been grinding hours to get. Sure it saves time but at the expense of fun and a feeling that a lot of players were expecting to come back to. The later difficulties scaling are so poor that players have no choice but to go onto the auction house and buy new pieces ever 5 or so levels or their progression is going to come to a grinding halt. The game suffers from the fact it’s a single player game dependent on internet servers. This means if you’re playing hardcore and the game lags you can die and have no way to avoid it. This is a game breaking issue that has plagued Diablo 3’s launch and still causes sporadic disconnects weeks after its release. It’s completely unnecessary and only worked on WoW because it was a completely online game. Single player lag is a regular occurrence and is just frustrating. I understand the argument that this is only going to be around for a short while but the fact it’s ever happened is completely ridiculous. A single player game shouldn’t lag, ever and you shouldn’t have to be constantly online in order to play it. This always online feature comes with some pro’s like the quick drop in drop out and the server side characters but are definitely not worth the issues and the idea that when this game is as old as Diablo 2 the servers might not even be online. I cannot overstate how these should never be faults of a single player game ever.
Looking at Diablo 3 Blizzards steady decline in quality has finally come full circle. The game is unfinished and full of bugs and exploits. Unsatisfying gameplay, casulized mechanics, poor visuals, and sporadic connection issues are something players shouldn’t tolerate. If you have the money and are looking for action RPP torchlight 2 is going to be 20 dollars have more features and Path of Exile will be free and have the greatest skill tree ever. Blizzard’s attempt to set the standard for the genre once again has failed miserably and it looks like we will have to look to the original creators of Diablo, Runic games for possible salvation.