First released in 2012, Diablo 3 describes itself as a generation-defining action RPG experience. Arguably one of Blizzard’s last truly excellent titles, the third instalment to the Diablo franchise promised addictive gameplay, a gripping story and a beautiful fantasy world. There are a lot of similar games to Diablo, interestingly, a lot of Diablo players also shift towards playing Final Fantasy games and recently it became very popular to buy FFXIV Gil amongst other players.
On release, Diablo III delivered! It received universal acclaim from critics, with IGN scoring the title a 9/10 and PC Gamer describing it as a “phenomenally good game”, that is “enduringly compulsive”. It did however receive criticism for its always-online DRM that would boot you out of even single-player games if your Internet became at all spotty.
But that was nine years ago. Back then, we thought the world was going to end and we – for some reason – thought Carly Rae Jepsen was cool. In 2021, in times of masks and RTX On and Bethesda no longer being an independent thing, how does Diablo 3 hold up? In short, pretty well. Let’s see why.
Usually, the games that age terribly are the ones that go for hyper-realistic graphics. Take a look at Max Payne 3 for example – stellar game, but super ugly now given the state of our video game landscape. For Diablo, the top-down fantasy style allows the game to play to its strength.
Diablo 3 has a great and creative art style, and the way Blizzard brought the world of Sanctuary is truly stunning. The game is objectively pretty to look at, and magic spells and effects help make the game look vibrant and visually interesting. This removes a key barrier many gamers find with playing old games. The fact that Blizzard didn’t try to make the game detailed and realistic increased Diablo 3’s shelf life.
Upon release, many Diablo fans were disappointed with the changes in difficulty between Diablo 3 and its predecessors. It was evidently clear that Diablo 3 was designed to introduce new players into the world of hack-and-slash RPGs. This is still one of the game’s core strengths.
The game strikes a cool balance between simplicity with defined player classes and a smooth difficulty scaling whilst also retaining the depth of previous titles with their addictive loot system and skill trees.
When you start the game, you’ll be prompted to select from one of seven unique classes. This choice determines your abilities, your player’s gender and ultimately your playstyle. This is a great way for new players to jump straight into the game without endless initial customization – but you may want to do some background research before creating your character to see which class suits your playstyle as some weapons can’t be used by certain classes.
The player progression system is extremely rewarding, with lots of upgrades to spend your dungeon spoils on. The randomly generated dungeons provide endless replayability with each new level teaming with hidden loot treats and unique enemies. After you’ve got into the rhythm of Diablo, you’ll be racing to get to the next dungeon hoping your increasingly more powerful enemies drop some OP gear to help you along your way.
Teaming up with players from around the world to hack-and-slash your way through baddies can be endlessly fun. Whilst it is entirely possible to play the game solo, if you get a few friends together, the game’s replayability goes through the roof. One of the pitfalls multiplayer games fall into when they age is their dwindling player-base. Luckily for Diablo, there is a healthy amount of people still playing, allowing matchmaking to auto form groups with players.
Should you get it?
At launch, many Diablo 2 fans were disappointed with its lacklustre story mode. Some players slander Diablo 3’s story as a “tutorial” that can be completed in an evening. And for a serious that traditionally featured well-loved single player campaign’s, Blizzard’s lack of care for the story angered a lot of fans. If you’re a Diablo fan who loved the second game, Diablo 3 still isn’t the game for you in 2021.
The strength of Diablo 3 obviously lies in its online multiplayer and loot-gathering expertise. The PC game still is always online, although thankfully console ports include an offline mode.
Once you reach Level 70, the endgame content is just as fun as the early game experience – if not more. The hunt for better gear, rifts or getting a better paragon level still allows the game to be rewarding. It’s all about finding a build you love and running bounties and rifts with it.
If you want to jump in to the aRPG world with a great hack-and-slash adventure, Diablo 3 is a perfect place to start. Seasoned players of the genre might be a little disappointed, but newbies will love the game. Switch plays can now get in on the action – and playing this game on handheld is truly a game-changing experience. Go fight some demons on the 22 bus into Wrexham! I dare you.
Want some help levelling up?
The endgame experience in Diablo 3 is hugely rewarding, and some players may find the first few stages of the game a little tedious. If you want to skip the grinding and trade some great gear you may want to stock up on some gold.