Hands On: Diablo III


The Diablo series is not just another computer game series, rather an epic tale of good vs. evil wrapped up in an action-role-playing fantasy horror backdrop. Diablo III has a big sword to carry and we find out if it lives up to the name.

If you were to peg a genre on it, it would be a hack and slash action role-playing video game. Developed by Blizzard Entertainment, and relased on May 15th 2012, except for Russia who will see it released on June 7th, 2012.

15 years after Diablo I and 12 years after Diablo II we see Diablo III continuing the story from its predecessors and begins in the land of Sanctuary; the mythical backdrop of both Diablo I and II. Experienced players of the series will recognise the legendary characters Cain, the old man who’s sage wisdom and skills of identification guide players to defeating Diablo and Tyrael, the fallen angel who turns mortal to warn and protect the world on the arrival of the demon lords Belial and Azmodan.

Blizzard designers have created their own physics engine and done away with the old Havok-based model, the result is that DX10 will not be required therefore allowing the game to run on a wider range of systems. Experienced players will know that the maps and levels on D1/D2 where randomised to maximise re-playability and to create a different experience every time. One thing I noticed immediately is the fact that I couldn’t load up my slots with potions and scrolls; these possies are reserved for skills, a single slot for a potion and another for the town portal spell (which has unlimited use vs scrolls in previous games.) Skills can be built on and upgraded, however players can only assign two skills at a time – being left-click for primary and right-click for secondary skills.

Skills Runes, a new feature, are enhancements to skills. Runes are presented as the player levels up in skill – these are passive enhancements assigned to skills vs Diablo II runes being “socketed” to weapons/armour.

Opening Cinematic & Battle.Net Integration

On load after the cinematic, you have some basic options – login to Battle.net and setup some options.

When you fireup Diablo III, you need an internet connection to setup a character and begin your quest. Players will need constant internet access to play Diablo III due to DRM protection. (More on the contentious DRM protection later.) Unfortunately, without an active connection you cannot begin your quest nor can you continue one. Fortunately, during our install on release day we where able to install without issues.



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