Faithful – Diablo III First Impressions

Dress it up how you like, there is no mistaking Diablo 3’s classic roots. Blizzard plays it safe, sticking to gameplay elements, setting and storytelling that worked the first time. New players are quickly acquainted with the lore and characters at the heart of the original, most successful Diablo title.

Speaking of dressing up – Blizzard didn’t skimp. The new animated sequences are beautiful, and tailored to your character choice no less. The voice acting is above par for a Blizzard title. Better still are the ambient tracks and musical score – each lending to a rich and faithful return to Tristram and the blood-chilling catacombs that lay beneath.

Combat and character advancement is familiar and easy – perhaps the most streamlined, usable of the trilogy. Despite borrowing resource and attack synergy concepts from the massively-complex World of Warcraft playbook, the same clever style is tamed to just a few action hotkeys and your two mouse buttons. All the time you might have spent learning a more complex interface and combat system is far better spent doing what made Diablo so fun – clicking on swarms monsters to kill them.

So far, the multiplayer elements seem to combine both their own experience and lessons learned from other popular titles, as well as the familiar matchmaking of systems like XBOX Live. Players each receive individual loot without worry of competition or messy loot rolls, and grouping with others is refreshingly no-fuss and instantly fun. It is clear Blizzard put extra effort into taking the learning curve and tedium out of these key gameplay elements.

While I have only played through the first bit of the story, it is clear that the hype can be substantiated. Full review after the credits roll.


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