Diablo 3 (PC) – not quite a review yet

May 15, 2012

All screenshots are taken from my PC at 1600×1200. Click any picture to view the full size image

Like the title says, it’s not quite a review yet as I’ve played for less than 2 hours on one character type, the Barbarian, reaching level 9 so far.

Of course I choose a female barbarian, although you have to like ’em a bit chubby in Diablo 3

In the box, I got the Windows/Mac versions on a single dvd, a game manual (didn’t read it), two guest passes for Diablo 3 and a guest pass for World of Warcraft. Here’s a really bad photo I took in a hurry with my iPod Touch just before I installed the game:

The installation process isn’t too arduous, less so if you already have a battle.net account set up. They’ve got an additional level of security available now with an authenticator system. There’s a very easy to use iPhone/iPod app that I chose to use; I recommend this if you’re paranoid (like me) or just sensible.

Once you’ve picked your character class and named your character it’s only a short cut-scene before you’re knee-deep in the undead. I have to say, combat is very easy at the start of the game; I only used one potion between levels 1 and 9, and that was probably unnecessary. I’ve read/heard that it gets harder later on, but the initial chapter is definitely stress-free to put it mildly.

Manglemaw – he’s nowhere near as tough as he looks

Playing as a Barbarian, which is almost exclusively melee combat, the sensation of delivering heavy, powerful blows is conveyed exceptionally well. The combination of visual effects and deep, thundering sound effects is just brilliant. It’s hard to think of a game where the feel of the fighting has been rendered quite this effectively.

Levelling up and looting gear are two of the main driving forces behind the addictive playability of this game. Loot gathering and crafting (which turns up fairly early on) are great fun, with crafting giving you something else to do with your unwanted magic items besides selling them to the NPC traders. I’ll talk about the auction house in another post, probably in the review when I get around to writing it.

Killing a whole bunch of enemies in one go isn’t just immensely satisfying, it will also give you some bonus xp points, as shown in the screenshot above.

At regular level-up intervals, you unlock new skills and/or runes that power-up existing skills. For the Barbarian, skills generally consume Fury which is built up by taking or dealing damage.

Right now, I think it’s time I got back into the game and brought this non-review post to a close. Was Diablo 3 worth the wait and all the phantom release dates? Yeah, probably.

That’s not a chubby jogger, that’s my Barbarian!

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