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Genre: Action
Min OS X: 10.6

Diablo III
June 14, 2012 | Franklin Pride

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Playing With Friends
You also might not want to team with your friends if you're playing a squishy character like a wizard or witch doctor. Due to the current damage increase on enemies when your friends join in, you generally get one-shot and owned severely whenever you bring your friends along. It doesn't affect bosses much, as they're pretty easy to predict and dodge, but ordinary elite groups will utterly destroy you on the upper difficulties. If you want to play anything beyond Hell, you either play alone and tanky or die every few steps. It isn't fun.

But still, so long as you stick to a difficulty you've got the gear for, Diablo 3 can definitely entertain. Due to the fact that you can't change skills on the fly, the emphasis is now more on preparation for a battle and the simple action of dodging enemy attacks while launching as many of your own as you can. It turns the game into a bit more of an action game and a bit less of a skill juggler. The bosses are also generally more interesting, with set piece battles mixed in with standard run-and-gun fights. The most epic boss would have to be the one at the end of Act II, however, as the others tend to be more running around and blasting until their inevitable defeat. You can't run from Belial.

On the presentation end, the graphics are just as amazing as you'd expect from a Blizzard game. Simple, but recognizable player and monster models roam the lands, with hundreds of particles and beams flying everywhere as hammers hit shields and death rays hit flesh. If you switch out a skill rune for another, the color or animation of the skill will change. If you dye your armor, you can even create a perfect set of holy white or aquamarine to match. There are also a wide variety of unique monster models, which are tinged blue or yellow to represent their respective eliteness when necessary. The world looks great. It still won't run at anywhere near full graphics quality on pretty much any laptop, but the low settings still look darn good.

The sound, music, and voice acting are similarly epic. You'll be hard put to find an area of the game without a scenic tune to match, monsters growling and screaming in new ways, and the requisite talking NPCs complaining about their life as a demon punching bag. The voices are of much higher quality than most RPGs, and only one or two characters fall flat in delivery. And since one of those characters turns into Diablo (spoilers, the game is called Diablo 3), you won't be hearing the voice for the entire game anyway.

So, to summarize, Diablo 3 has issues with connectivity, no option for lag-free gameplay, potential hackers in every public game, and removes even more control from the player than Diablo 2 did. Unfortunately, the game is simply too much fun to stop playing over even those annoyances. The gameplay is engaging and full of action, the bosses are much more interesting than their Diablo 2 counterparts, and the addition of the auction house makes it much easier to find the uber gear you need. It also looks and sounds amazing. Whether that translates to being worth $60 is up to you, but for the millions still playing, there's no doubt. Diablo 3 was worth it.


More action-focused gameplay
Easy to play with friends
Auction house saves loads of grinding time
Legendary items sell for real money


Always-connected DRM
Lag spikes are the #1 cause of death
Skill system less engrossing

Franklin Pride is a game development graduate and professional programmer/consultant for the Unity development engine. He's currently working on completing his first two computer games (The Farming Game, Uncle Fred's Deep Space Security) while consulting on the side.

Diablo III
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
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