Developer: Blizzard North
# of Players: 1 – 2
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
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…