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Every once in a while a game comes along that is so massivley hyped, so eagerly awaited, that it's hard to know where to start. In Diablo 3's case, let's start with the good stuff before we consider why it might not be the awesome game everyone was hoping it would be.

 

The first thing that is apparent is that when Blizzard made this action-RPG they put the emphasis on the action bit. Fights, of which there are naturally many, never look less than impressive, and a pleasing array of special powers for each of the five main chartacter types provide plenty of reply value as you try to find the perfect combo. There is a tendency, though, to just choose the one or two abilities that you know kick ass and forget the rest, but forced experimentation can really pay dividends.

At its best, Diablo 3 bears a strong resemblance to the anarchical, manic and addictive gameplay of the old arcade classic Gauntlet, when, especially playing with friends, it's as fun and exciting a gaming experience as PC owners have had for a long time. It's worth pointing out, also, the exceedingly easy method for drop-in co-op play that comes with D3. Finding friends and games is easy, which is at least one online component that works well.

Mentioning online components that don't work so well is a good lead-in to some of the niggles that are present in this title. Actually, niggles might not be a strong enough word for the ridiculous screw-up that greeted Diablo 3's launch as thousands of gamers were unable to connect to the internet to play, er, the single-player game. This is, to be frank, an incredibly stupid idea, and one whose security arguments don't really hold water. The Diablo 3 single-player is an important part of the packlage, and to not be able to play it unless connected to the interweb is a major bone of contention.

Another kinda dumb thing in the game seems to be the auction house, a place where you can spend either in-game or real world currency to buy and sell large amounts of loot. Introducing real money to virtual economies always seesm like a bad idea to me, and with reports of player accounts being hacked I fear my feelings were correct. not only that but it's easy to feel a bit cheated when the stuff you can buy in the auction house is vastly superior to the loot that you collect as you adventure.

But despite the connection issues, the bad vibe from the auction house and a plot that makes no sense what-so-ever, there's a lot of fun to be had here. However, for a game to be in development so long and to be released in a broken condition in important respects, is less than impressive.

Score 7.5/10

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