Review: Diablo III

Platform: PC

Developer: Blizzard North

Publisher: Blizzard

# of Players: 1 – 2

ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Official Site

Score: B

 

With no reliable internet connection and no desire to play any game with a solo mode that demands one, no matter the reasoning, I’m exactly the sort of gamer Blizzard doesn’t want playing Diablo III, and that’s a shame. No one asked the many thousands of folks like me who happen to love the series what our thoughts were on an online-only Diablo experience, and the fact remains that not everyone who wanted a straightforward campaign is some sort of pirate or cheat-happy coder out to break the game up into pieces and make our own content or whatever else Blizzard was fearful of. That said, last year when I heard about the game being online only, I automatically thought I’d never get the chance to review it. However, I was able to wrangle a deal with a friend where in case a copy DID magically show up, I’d use his spiffy, always updated gaming rig in trade for the game if he set up an account just so I could at least play through it to see how it turned out.

Amusingly enough (and much to my surprise) a review copy showed up two days before the launch and after letting out a nicely demonic laugh (you should hear it – your spine will rattle), I made a phone call and set aside what I thought would be enough quality time to go through the game. Let’s just say that everything I was concerned about came to bear in a few ridiculously annoying ways, but when the game works, it’s addictive as ever (despite some changes made for the casual crowd) and about as good as I’d hoped. The caveat being WHEN it worked…

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Oh, Hell… It’s Diablo III!

To make my Monday even more a kick in the pants, I get a retail copy of Diablo III (whee!) that I can’t play for a few reasons (booo!). However, unlike the Windows debacle I’m currently dealing with, i actually have a plan B that I set in motion a while ago so I can actually play the game using a friend’s PC at his place. Fortunately, I hooked him on Diablo II a while back and as he’s not what you call a “core” gamer, he’s happy that he’ll get to be see what all the fuss is about (and eventually play the game himself, as he’s in no tearing hurry to be a day one fanatic). Anyway, there’s nothing I can do now except wait until the servers go live. Too bad the game can’t be installed and played offline (as it should, grrr). Hell, I’d at LEAST have a single player review up by the end of the week if that were the case…

Diablo III Officially Dated: Wake Me When There’s An Offline Solo Mode…

Yeah, yeah, I was bitching earlier about people bitching about Mass Effect 3’s ending, but this is entirely different and worth it’s own special gripe. Sure, Blizzard wants to be in better control of its long-awaited baby, but shutting out Diablo III to those who don’t have constant online connections, don’t WANT to play nice (or nasty) with others or hell, just want a game they can play when they want to without having to rely on constant updating just blows. Not everyone who wants an offline mode is a hacker, cheater (or whatever is considered “bad” for DIII) looking to bilk Blizzard. We just want to enjoy the story as solo players and not go near the Internet, that’s all.

Yes, Blizzard will make a MINT on DIII pre-sales and launch day sales and based on what I’ve seen of the beta, they deserve every penny of your hard-earned gold. However, YES, you’d better believe there will be such a download crunch-fest on and around day one that a lot of people will be screaming that they can’t get online or download the game or are suffering through whatever other issues that ALWAYS crop up in a big release like this. A lot of you guys and dolls will be doing the happy dance on May 15, 2012, but for me and a lot of other folks, it’ll be business as usual until we hear of some solution that can get us enjoying SOME form of the Diablo universe (even if it’s a console side-story set in the same period as the game).