The original Diablo and Diablo 2 are among the most popular and essential PC titles produced in the past 20 years. Blizzard released Diablo 2 in 2000 and it is still popular today as is Blizzard’s original Starcraft and Warcraft Series. Blizzard has enjoyed quite a perfect success with these titles. Even more so with World of Warcraft which peaked at about 12 million subscribers (now at around 9-10 million).
Needles to say we’re all pretty excited about Diablo 3. It’s been a long while since the release of Diablo 2 and lots of studios stepped up to hold us over. Titan’s Quest released in 2006 and Torchlight in 2009.
With such a perfect success rate you have to wonder when Blizzard will produce a less than savory title. D3 is the first Blizzard title that I don’t have high expectations for after participating in the beta. Be aware that D3 is still currently in beta and just recently opened up a short-term open beta. Any opinion or observation that I’ve made is based on beta alone and may or may not reflect the final product.
Diablo 3 doesn’t overly impress or re-invent the wheel. I am a fan of the genre but I feel that it’s well past time to improve on it. Unfortunately D3 does not do so. That would be perfectly fine if not for the fact that Diablo 3 un-improves on the genre in some ways. On normal difficulty you will face roll your way through dungeons. It’s too easy. Or at least it is right now and in the first 13 levels.
The only major complaint I have is how strongly the game is tied to and requires Battle.net. You can not log-in to play without access to Battle.net. Much like an MMO it appears that if there is latency between your machine and Battle.net then all factors of your experience (including single player) will suffer. Hopefully Blizzard will decide to put in an offline mode but I don’t see that happening.
Areas are also not randomly generated which hurts re-play value. Torchlight had randomly generated dungeons and Torchlight 2 (releasing 1-2 months after D3) will have randomly generated outdoor areas. I want to enjoy Diablo 3 and I think it’s a decent game. I just think Blizzard held back for some reason.
You have to wonder why Blizzard decided not to offer anything new (other than the Auction House). I can only assume that they expect the tried and true recipe to continue to work and I expect that it will but I know that many of us are hoping to see something more than updated graphics.
People will still buy Diablo 3. Of course. It’s Blizzard and it’s Diablo 3. That’s all that matters. I expect it to receive pretty good reviews but it won’t be played anywhere near as long as the original two.
I will play it and I’ll most likely enjoy it. I just hope to see offline mode added eventually.
Pre-purchase Diablo 3 now.