Diablo 3: A Week in Hell
Written from inside the bowels of Hell itself by Steve Seigh
It’s been far too long since I’ve felt the fires of hell burning around me on all sides. The smell of rotting flesh in the air, horrifying demons erupting from the ground, my own blood spilling forth from a wound in my side that has yet to heal, and a black soul stone in my hand; the key to the fate of all mankind. This, is Diablo 3.
I’ve been trying to write a review for Diablo 3 since the day of the games release. Whether it be a “First Impressions” thing or otherwise, I really wanted to get something up on the site. But the call of the game was far too strong for me to have taken any kind of time off from playing it until this very moment. In fact, just 15 minutes ago I leveled my female Wizard, Dasara ( derived from the Sanskrit Dasha-hara meaning “remover of bad fate”) , to the always anticipated milestone level of 30.
As I roam the halls of hell, Dasara is surrounded by a shield of ice that freezes enemies in their tracks should they get too close. Brandishing a Destruction Sulfur Rare Mace coupled with a Forbidden Palisade Rare Shield, Dasara lays waste to the hordes that surround her as an Arcane Hydra rises from the ground spitting orbs of magic energy, dealing heavy damage in quick succession.
I consider myself to be a man of very specific, but still very simple tastes. I don’t bother anyone if I can help it, I pay my bills, I party, but for the most part I’m a rather timid individual. However … when Diablo 3 is fired up on my computer … I become a God. I ascend to the level of a digital death dealer, capable of levels of destruction not seen since the last time we put the devil in his place so many years ago.
Diablo 3, for me, is like being a kid in a candy store. Even though I do take some issue with a few of the new design choices: Like, do my elemental attacks actually matter? If I’m trudging through the mountains of a snow damned, ruined city will it matter if I’m using my Fire based Hydra as opposed to my Arcane? Or what about resistances? Is it level based or have there actually been items that I’ve acquired that have added to my total percentages? These are things I want to know, Blizzard!
I think that somewhere in the midst of them trying to make Diablo 3 a much more accessible title for new players (totally understandable) the design of the game has lost a little of it’s “hardcore” edge. For example: It used to be that you would have to spend skill points to up your stats in the departments of Dexterity, Strength, Intelligence, and so on. Now, everything is decided for you and distributed according to how Blizzard feels your character should be balanced and built. Not that I particularly enjoyed pouring over whether to stick that last point into Strength or Vitality for 15 minutes every time I gained a level, but at the very least the choice was mine to make. In making the decision for me, Blizzard has taken a portion of the games freedom away and that just doesn’t sit very well with me.
But I digress, there really is very little that I can complain about. I’m having the time of my life with the game, and have already lost several hours of my social life to seeing that Diablo himself or any of his ugly brothers or sisters don’t gain the upper hand in what’s left of our world. In all honesty I’ll be playing this game for well into next year and beyond. With 5 classes to master, 4 acts to conquer, and the inevitable release of expansion packs further down the road, Diablo 3 will reign for quite a long time in my house.