After finishing Diablo 3 and moving well into the higher difficulties, I can now write my own Diablo 3 review. Diablo 3 was a highly anticipated game coming from very successful predecessors, and the standards where set very high. Does Diablo 3 live up to these standards however? Read on...
Lets start with the graphical aspect of Diablo 3. The graphics are what you would expect from this kind of game, not great but not bad either. It looks good on high settings as long as you keep to the default view and don't zoom in. If you do, you will quickly see just how bad the graphics look on close-up view. Apart from that, the spell effects are very good and varied.
Performance wise the game runs great, even on low end computers. The only time where it started getting choppy for me was during online play with 3 other people and a bunch of monsters. It seems to have a hard time rendering when a lot is going on at the same time. Of course you could just lower the settings when playing online.
The audio is pretty good in the game, especially the voice acting which is done by well known professionals such as Paul Eiding and Michael Gough. Your followers are fully voiced as is all dialog in the game, and all companions have random dialog that they say periodically and I still hear new ones even after finishing normal difficulty.
Content is where Diablo 3 really shines. You can play the same quest 10 times and it will look different each time. This is because all content in Diablo 3 is randomly generated so no two maps will ever look the same. Also as you probably already know, Diablo 3 has 4 difficulty levels that you unlock in tiers giving you plenty of game time after normal difficulty. The loot is a big aspect in any Diablo game, and it is no less in Diablo 3. In fact itemazation is one of the main tools you will need to survive in the higher difficulties. All loot drops are also randomized which can result in either a bad item (for your class) or a very good one. Bad items can be sold in the Auction House allowing you to buy good ones, so it's a good thing in the end because it promotes trading.
The difficulty levels are Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno. Normal is pretty easy and will prove almost no challenge to most gamers. Nightmare is a little harder, but also becomes easy once you get Nightmare-level gear. Hell is when it really starts to get hard. The difficulty gap between Nightmare and Hell is very big and you will go from easy to hard in a split second. You will need a good party if you want to survive here, along with good gear. Inferno is the new ultra-hard difficulty exclusive to Diablo 3. At the moment, it is too hard but Blizzard said this was done on purpose to find overpowered builds. A nerf is incoming to Inferno mode to make it more manageable, as we already spoke about over at Diablo 3 Inferno Tuning.
The story was above-average at best. While the lore is explained well in the game with voiced journal entries for every enemy you encounter, the quests have simple MMO-style objectives and the storyline is predictable. It does have some good twists that I will not spoil here, but don't expect the story to suck you in.
The cutscenes are where the game really surprised me. They are VERY high quality and look almost lifelike, with amazing music that fills you with emotion. Probably the story won't suck you in, but the cutscenes surely will.
If you like easter eggs, Diablo 3 is filled with them. Most easter eggs have a chance of showing up past normal difficulty and will give you a good laugh or two.
Player versus Player and the RMAH (Real Money Auction House) have not been implemented yet as of the writing date so I can not comment on these aspects of Diablo 3.
And finally, the ending. The ending was very disappointing for me, including the final boss fight which looked rushed and seems to lack the depth of previous boss fights.
Overall, the game is very good and will give you good hours of game time especially if you can play it with friends (and Diablo friends are easy to find). You can buy the standard or collector's edition of Diablo 3 below: