My wonderful and beautiful girlfriend picked me up Diablo 3 this weekend and I was able to give it a many hours of my time and even several with my friend and played it through some of my downtime this weekend. The retail box is nice because the disk installation is pretty quick even after downloading updates, and props to Blizzard for getting an update out so quickly. I did have some trouble initially installing during the first try as it was stuck at the downloading updates screen for an hour so I then installed directly though the setup file on the disk. Once all of that was sorted out, I could not log in due to server issues and rage set in– quickly dissipated in about 10 min and I was sent to the besieged town of Tristram. I chose a monk for my first play through because I like his special abilities, and lets face it, I wanted some kung fu guy tearing up bad guys. I can’t comment on the other characters, but the monk has been a lot of fun to play. There are a lot of combinations and part of the fun is figuring what works for you.
The gameplay is pretty much like Diablo II, however leveling is affected quite a bit, the biggest of which is stats placement. This removes a great element in strategy and character building, however there is much customization in items and abilities that you can reach when you level anyway. Also, this eliminates the “wrong” choice or “changing your mind” in character building and doesn’t make it so you have to go back to square one to start another character. There are pros and cons to this system, however I feel that there is still a substantial amount to customize and there are many different ways to use your passive abilities and have the matching gear to amplify them. One thing that does irk me right now though is there is no PvP or PKing right now, as Diablo 3 feels a bit Utopian now that players get their own loot and cannot be killed by each other. I’m sure it will be added later on along with other add ons, but why not include this in the game already? It would be nice to have a choice of a more D2 like experience where you never know when you’re going to get struck down or be able to prey on others for some nice loot. An option would be nice for those of us wanting to have a chance of at least fighting like level characters. This aside, the game play is a little more involving with more abilities able to be used at the same time and normal attacks are a little more flashy as well.
The game play is just as fun as the old Diablo, slaughtering your way though tons of monsters as you vaguely remember the plot as you plunder the country side. The graphics are what I would call “acceptable” but by no means blow me away, except for the brief and fantastically beautiful cut scenes. I personally find the lack of at least generic character customization in 2012 quite a let down especially when the characters graphics are mediocre at best. It does bother me, but Blizzard does support the game and I still played the game for hours on end and enjoyed all 25 levels and the first two acts of it so far. The Auction house is a little buggy and I would wait a week or two before everything is sorted out. I purchased an item and it took me hours before I got my item and the gold was deducted instantly. Knowing Blizzard they will fix this problem eventually. All in all an expensive game, but I feel it has hours upon hours of fun for everyone despite the hiccups.