Diablo III meets expectations

Well, that headline sure makes the game sound boring, doesn’t it? It’s deliberately deceptive to be honest because Diablo III, after a decade or so in the making, has some pretty high expectations. That said, some people have been disappointed with certain aspects of the game and I think it’s because they had unreasonable expectations for the game.

Firstly: My, what an experience it is to play such a finely polished game. Blizzard is one of the treasured developers that will delay games seemingly forever while they work on what many would consider to be fully complete games but I believe their years of refinement show so strongly in the finished game. The thud of a Barbarian’s fist, the power of a Wizard’s arcane orb, the simple-yet-deep skill system, even the near-instant load times speak to a game that has had every corner examined, worn smooth, and polished. Even some six or eight hours into the game I still grin when I pull off a massive AOE combo in the middle of a throng of enemies, or dance around boss monsters managing mana and health while slowly whittling him down.

As someone that never really played the first two games, though enjoyed Torchlight and Titan Quest, it’s immediately accessible and enjoyable. I like how I’m gradually introduced to new skills (which does encourage variation significantly more than TQ), I love how painterly the art style looks (without looking cartoon-y, contrary to what some would claim), and most of all I love how darn good the game feels.

The game has had its share of launch issues but I want to remind people that this is to be expected in any significantly popular online game for the first few days. Diablo III is played online, for various reasons (not all of them selfish on Blizzard’s part), and it’s expected these days to have a rocky time at launch for online titles. For those that say they don’t want online play in their singleplayer game I say that Diablo III is not a singleplayer game anymore.

Right now the only problem I have is that I can’t figure out if I want to see the rest of the game with my wizard, or explore the skills available to my barbarian who seems even more fun. Not a bad problem to be having.