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Review Content

Diablo 3 is the latest installment in Blizzard's horror game franchise. It was released on PC in mid 2012, and more recently on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in September 2013 with the PlayStation 4 release to follow.

In the game, you play as one of five character classes - Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Witch Doctor, Wizard, or Monk. Unlike the previous two games, you can play any class as a male or female. Each gender/class combination has its own unique story.

Throughout the game, several key non playable characters (NPCs) will join your party (another departure from the series). Even hired companions have their own story lines and quests which tie in to the main adventure. The main questline picks up many years after Lord of Destruction (the Diablo 2 expansion), and familiar NPCs from the first two games are heavily involved in the plot. The story arc feels much more interwoven with the game itself, and flows much better than the quest system presentation in previous games. Quests are still used, but are organic rather than point A to point B.

The art style and cutscenes in the game are beautiful, and as atmospheric as the previous titles. The gameplay stays true to the Diablo archetype, and has been expanded in many meaningful ways. A crafting system has been implemented which, while a bit bland, allows you to make your own weapons and armor with materials you find while playing and will give you a good idea of the item quality to expect.

While the game overall is very good, and keeps to the style of the franchise, there is nothing ground-breaking or even particularly exciting about it compared to other titles in the genre. The graphics and gameplay feel a bit dated by today's standards, the game does NOT scale well at higher difficulty levels, and the combat has evolved very little from the previous game. It's quite decent in its own right, but falls a bit short in the usual pushing-the-envelope titles we are used to seeing from Blizzard.

Additionally (and quite controversially), Diablo 3 requires an active internet connection and account to played in single player mode. Granted, always-on high speed connections are a household fixture today, as opposed to thirteen years ago when Diablo 2 was released and 56k connections were quite common. Still, it seems an unnecessary addition to an somewhat underwhelming title.

That being said, the game is a must play if you are a fan of the previous Diablo games, are looking for a game with a solid story, or just looking for some classic looting and monster killing fun. If you are completely new to the series, or this style of game, you may be slightly disappointed for what the $60 price tag will get you.