Step back into Sanctuary
RRP: $ 89.95 ( Reviewed on PC)
HAVING carved out the action role- playing game genre in 1996 with the original Diablo, followed by a stellar sequel in 2000, it’s fair to say Blizzard Entertainment, the franchise’s creator, hasn’t exactly rushed this final chapter in the trilogy.
The return romp around Sanctuary in Diablo III, however, is mostly well worth the lengthy wait.
Call it stubborn, or perhaps defiant, but much of Diablo III’s charm hails from its unwavering loyalty to the franchise’s 16- year- old game mechanics, which involve players frantically clicking a mouse button to fend off persistent waves of enemies until they drop dead and their corpses can be looted.
Thankfully, the formula has seen some tweaks and adjustments.
Diablo III introduces crafting and a revamped companion system to the mix, and both wonderfully complement the familiar RPG action.
Plus with the newly overhauled skills system, you now have every skill at your fingertips and these can be enhanced through unlockable items.
While the overall core experience of gameplay works exceptionally well, the same can’t be said for the lacklustre story and some voice- over actors that did an average job.
In contrast, Hollywood- style cut scenes between acts are stunning.
The rest of the game’s graphics are a major step up too. The main environments for each of the four acts are beautifully crafted and truly capture the feel of the earlier games.
This latest instalment does have a few thorny issues.
Blizzard has gone with a specific software protection system, or DRM, that requires an internet connection while playing, even when not playing with friends online.
This means gameplay is susceptible to slow connections and complete drop outs. It hasn’t happened to me, but I can imagine how annoying it could be.
As with all Blizzard titles, future updates and patches could well iron out some of these niggles in what is otherwise a fitting finale to the trilogy.