Monday, 4 June 2012

Diablo 3 - 18 Hours in.

I'm on the home stretch in Diablo 3, just a hop skip and jump away from the final fight and so far I have not formed a real opinion about the game. After 18 hours of my time has been dedicated to it you would thank that I would either have stopped playing or declared my everlasting love for it.

The game is enjoyable as a dungeon crawler and possibly it's the fault of the class I have chosen (Wizard) but I don't seem to be getting very many of the ever entertaining 'drops' that everyone else talks about constantly. The plot has failed to assert its self on me and the multi-player that I have experienced so far has lacked balance.

On the other side of the coin though I must admit that the 18 hours I have played has not seemed a chore either. I have listened to podcasts and music while I have played and the game has been a wonderful companion.

I never really took to Diablo 2 but Torchlight was a real obsession for me for a while so this one not quite hitting the mark has made me rub my  hairy chin and ponder my tastes and gaming styles.

One of the reasons I enjoyed Torchlight was that it was brightly coloured and interesting to look at, not in a childish 'look at the lights' kind of way but from an artistic standpoint there was a myriad of tones as I played through to keep me visually attached to the game as well as a massive variation in 'targets' both in size and in attacks some even had little mechanical walkers, others screamed maniacally as my character approached, in short I think Torchlight was a more interesting world to explore.

Diablo three is visually stunning but bland, even as the environments progress its still just variations of the theme 'depressing wasteland' and lacks any surprises. When my character entered Heaven it was a stunted and washed out expression of the concept that it has presented.

I must however also praise the game for its progression and feel, the pseudo MMO mechanics and surprising changes to existing skills as I progress are the things that have kept me playing this far into it but I am unsure if this will be enough to motivate me to a second play through.

The Auction house being a place that exists only in the menu's is also disappointing as it means that there is now shared hub for players to chat and group, I understand that this is not an MMO but the addition of one MMO style zone would have changed the vibe of the whole game for the better in my opinion, matching the intention that Blizzard has shown with the 'general' chat system and MMO style log in and kiosk screens.

After such an error prone few days at launch maybe I just ended up jaded but the game has yet to grab me and really suck me in. Not to say that it wont in the next 18 hours.

I think this one maybe a slow burner for me attracting me back periodically when my gaming bucket runs dry but at this point I am expecting Torchlight two to be my favored dungeon crawler of the coming years.

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