Diablo III – Hell vs You… Again!

I’m just going to admit straight up that a lot of hours in my short lifetime have been used up playing Diablo and Diablo II. Just saying. Ok, stop laughing! If you’re wondering, Diablo is an action-RPG PC game where you control one character and fight against the hordes of Hell all on your own. I know, epic right?

The story is pretty complex, but I’ll try my best to simplify it into a short paragraph. In the world of Sanctuary, Heaven and Hell are at war. In the first game, the Lord of Terror, Diablo (one of the Prime Evils) had been sealed inside a stone – a Soulstone – and then buried deep beneath the caverns under a town called Tristram. As you could imagine, over time the power of the Soulstone weakened and Diablo manages to cause some trouble resulting in parts of Hell appearing in the mortal world. You play a character whose family had been slain by demons and therefore want revenge (as you do). I can’t say anything about Diablo II (and it’s expansion, D2: Lord of Destruction) without spoiling the ending of Diablo, but it’s just as epic and you go against more Prime Evils.

Also every major evil guy in the Diablo franchises have really cool names – I don’t know, it’s just something I noticed. Ha ha!

Anyway, the gameplay is pretty simple, you pick a character class, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and skills and then fight to gain experience and level up to get better stats. As with any RPG you have equipment to increase attack and defense and so forth. In Diablo the character classes were the Warrior, Rogue and Sorcerer. In Diablo II, the number of classes you could choose from increased to five – Amazon, Barbarian, Necromancer, Paladin and Sorceress and the expansion had two extra classes, the Druid and Assassin.

In June 2008, Blizzard announced Diablo III which is the latest installment. Not much is known about the story, except that it takes place approximately twenty years after Diablo II. It seems as though the heroes who had gone up against the Burning Hells have gone a little crazy after what had happened to them – who can blame them, eh? So now we’ll have a bunch of new heroes to play with!

There are apparently five classes in which only four have been revealed. The Barbarian makes a return with their amazing physical prowess. No doubt they’ll be able to make full use of all the weapons available in the game to tear through the hordes of evil. Then there’s the Witch Doctor who can cast curses and summon minions to do their bidding. There’s the Wizard who will be a powerful magic caster who can use the elements and even control time/space around them. And the most recently announced class from Blizzcon 09 is the Monk – a melee martial artist who can crush enemies in a bout of bare-fisted awesome. You can probably tell that I would probably choose the Monk to play with first – it could come from my favoritism from the Dungeons & Dragons monk class, but lets not go there. Also, in the previous games the gender of the classes were set (the Barbarian was male, the Sorceress was female, etc), however in Diablo III it seems as though there is a model for both genders for each class. Makes me wonder what the female Barbarian looks like – all the male Barbarian wore was like a fur loin cloth. Hahaha!

Now, for those who have played Diablo II, the sidekicks aren’t randomly-generated-meat-shield, replaceable hires anymore, they’re actually going to be NPCs. Here’s to hoping they’re both interesting and don’t die after like three hits. Also the skills are now customizable with Skill Runes which I feel is an interesting development. Apparently attributes like an area-of-effect can be added to skills to make them stronger.

Ok, so I’ve talked about all the cool stuff about Diablo III, but there are some setbacks – well one really. There has been some concern expressed about the art direction. People think it’s too bright and happy for a world which is pretty much overrun by Hell and war and unhappy things. Both Diablo and Diablo II had very dark kind of environments, but Diablo III feels like it’s absorbed some World of Warcraft in terms of character models and colour. Personally I’m not too worried. The look might annoy me for a bit, but if the gameplay and story is great I’m gonna forget about the graphics.

I played the Diablo games pretty much throughout high school and I keep revisiting it. It’s fun and the story is fantastic. If you haven’t played it yet, buy a copy and get to playing – like now, before Diablo III comes out. Seriously. Go! You won’t be disappointed!

About the Author

I'm just your regular gamer! Currently working in the game industry as an artist. I love all manner of things cute, colourful and crazy. I also love lemons quite a lot. c: