I’m only writing this because my wife has hijacked the TV to play Mass Effect, and my PS Vita has not arrived in the mail yet. Otherwise I would be grinding through bounties, rifts, and greater rifts with my level 70 Witch Doctor. I still need to find a couple more pieces of armor and the Sun Keeper weapon to complete my collection. Also, my paragon points need some love in order to max out many of my stats. Yes, this game has me speaking like a not-so-casual gamer, but it did not feel like a struggle for this transformation to happen. I let it happen. Diablo made me want it. Nothing individually about this game stands out as to why this is happening to me. Graphics are okay, game play is very entertaining, online play is swift and easy to use, and I have no idea what the story is. I don’t care. I just want more.
“What’s this game about?” my wife asked the first time she saw me playing it. The look of unmitigated shock on her face after I admitted I had absolutely no clue highlights the fact that Diablo III has done something no other game has done before. There was even a hint of disappointment in her look, as if to say, ‘I thought you were better than this.’
I thought I was too.
But the honest truth was I didn’t care why I was raining poisonous toads, sicking my zombie dogs, and unleashing a dancing ghost voodoo sunflower on my foes. All I knew was it was fun, and each enemy had a chance of pooping out a bigger, better legendary item as they fell. Sure, there was a story. The story of my character grabbing [Insert Boss Name Here] by the [Insert Appropriate Genitalia Here] and squeezing every last bit of loot out of his/her miserable cadaver before moving on to the next.
Diablo III’s graphics aren’t amazing and, in my mind, nothing about the design of this world really set itself apart from other typical fantasy realms…not that I’m an expert by any stretch of the imagination. The sound also has nothing particular for me to write about. I turned the music off in order to communicate more effectively over party chat how much I love Taco Bell for staying open 24/7. Thank you Taco Bell for being so supportive of my quest to survive torment level 6 in the greater rift while simultaneously saving me time and money for a colon cleanse. You’ve always been there for me.
I know this review is wandering, but that is the point. While playing Diablo III your brain can go anywhere it pleases. By principle, I must dock this game many points for abysmal storytelling and a few points for mediocre graphics and sound, but it doesn’t matter because…gameplay/loot. But you have to be in the right mood. Come home from a hard day at work? Need to blow off steam? Want to spend the entire night mindlessly farming for that one item with friends? You have found your game. At its core, Diablo III is a button masher, but once you get to higher levels there is a strategy in the order you mash those buttons. However, once you master the pattern, your brain can return to its hiatus.
Sound boring? That’s because you haven’t experienced addiction like I have. The loot system in Diablo III is a Schedule I drug. It will take you forever to finally have all the endgame equipment needed to dominate in torment 6. However, you will rarely go through an hour of playing time without finding something of use. Diablo III keeps you chasing the high while doing everything in its power to keep you from hitting bottom. Once it finally gives you that last piece of equipment you need, you realize there’s another build you could try, but it needs a new set of complimentary armor and weapons. Maybe it’s time to try an entirely different class. Put on some coffee and find some extra change in the couch for Taco Bell ’cause it’s gonna be a long night of leveling up to discover new abilities/skills. Even though you’re playing through the same situations over and over again it’s just plain, stupid fun.
My out-of-state friend convinced me to buy this game in order to play and hang out online. I doubted the game. It looked stupid. It sounded stupid. Honestly, it is stupid. And I love it.
I have logged more hours on Diablo III than any other game in my PS4 library. Which means I’m too cheap to buy Dragon Age: Inquisition at full price. It also means my best gaming friend no longer lives nearby and this is the best online experience we can have to catch up while playing a game. But this also shows there is something about Diablo III that keeps me coming back. The different classes, the different builds within those classes, and the different loot to compliment each class’s build keeps calling me back well after having completed the main story, whatever that was. This game will either addict you or be so boring you will be brought to tears.
This is where Diablo III really sets itself apart. If you have any friends who play online and enjoy playing late into the night as described above, and you enjoy that as well, this game is worth it. You sign in to the game, select your friend from the list on the left, and either join or invite them to your game. That’s it. You’re playing with each other doing bounties and rifts to your heart’s content. Need to go sell some items? Sure, push a button that teleports you back to town. Your partner doesn’t have to go with you if he/she doesn’t need to. When it’s time to go back out again, simply go to that individual’s banner and select it. This will teleport you to your friend’s location, putting you right back in the action. Get a cool item for someone who isn’t online? Send it to their mailbox. He/she will get it the next time they sign on.
I did not play with strangers often, but my experiences were all positive the few times I did. I don’t even know how else to explain the smoothness of online play besides telling you to find a newborn and rub aforementioned newborn’s hindquarters. You have just experienced the smoothness of Diablo’s online play in a tactile form.
I am ashamed of how much I enjoy this game, but I can’t stop playing it. Once the next big title that I am anticipating (The Witcher III) is released, or one I’m interested in, yet unwilling to pay $60 for, goes down in price (Dragon Age: Inquisition), I will put Diablo III away for a while. But after I’m done, and my friends and I are waiting for the next big release, I will most likely pop Diablo III back in and try another class I haven’t used before.
For now, as I anxiously await The Witcher III, I will continue to progress my character and frantically collect the legendary item poopies my fallen foes leave behind.
I must also leave a warning for people reading this review. This game is obviously not for everyone. If you don’t enjoy playing with friends online, don’t have a reliable online community, or don’t get addicted to looting and farming, this game will be a complete waste of time, money, and brain matter. As for myself, it only wastes away my brain matter, everything else was well spent.