Diablo III is an interesting game for me to cover – Diablo and Diablo II were massively important to me as I became a PC gamer, and Diablo III is both completely updated and yet entirely the same as it always was.
Let’s look at what’s changed first. I’d say the biggest differences from the previous games have been the obvious technical upgrades, an enhanced focus on social connectivity and a much wider target audience.
Techanical upgrades are fairly plain to see when you’re comparing the two games – Diablo II was a game released around the turn of the milennium featuring 2D graphics with a choice of two resolutions (if you bought the expansion pack). Diablo III is 3D and resolution independent modern title, with beautiful spell effects and a larger colour palette.
It’s this last point which was picked up by überfans of the series when D3 was first announced and Blizzard had the nerve to include a rainbow in one preview scene. Suffice it to say, if this is the biggest thing your fans are complaining about then your game must be pretty good. I personally enjoy the greater dynamic range, which allows the few bright and clean areas to serve as a bit of visual eyewash and underscore the grimy evil of the rest of the game.
The second point attracted even more furore – that always-on connection. While this was disastrous (or at least mildy annoying) for the legions of fans that stayed up to get into the servers at midnight on launch date, a few days later it was a non-issue.
The additions of social sharing, including dramatically easier multiplayer and achievements, has already made up for that brief period of annoyance in my book, and if StarCraft II is any indication we’ll see even greater use of the Battle.net service in the future. An auction house is already in place that has changed the game, and when the ‘real money auction house’ is launched later this month it’ll get even crazier.
Of course, this last point is potentially the most contentious – while most city-bound nerds can agree that a bit of sunshine and a requirement that they keep their routers running while they’re playing aren’t too onerous, the balance and the style of the game are important things to get right.
To sum up, Diablo III is a brilliant upgrade to the series and veterans of the series should stop whining – get thee to Inferno, and you’ll discover more than enough to keep you busy!
This article was written by William Judd. William is currently answering hundreds of questions on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and its accessories.