As may have started to become apparent, I have a habit of putting games down – and picking them back up. I love to replay games, and re-read books, and this is probably a lot of the reason I have not read or played more than I have.
I put down Diablo 3, probably the game I have most anticipated ever. I signed up for a year subscription to World of Warcraft just to get the free copy of Diablo 3. I fell for the Diablo 2 release date that got postponed a year, so I’ve been attached to this series for a while.
What’s stopped me playing was actually more the thought that Diablo 3 was either not living up to my expectations, or was living up too awesomely. I’m hoping that talking about it will let me move forward. Onward to Diablo 3!
But it starts at Diablo 1…
I played Diablo on the PlayStation, which was phenomenal co-op. You had to stay on one screen, there was friendly fire, it was dangerous, it took teamwork and strategy. Three classes, which could do anything they wanted within the game, but which did have specializations. Taking out demons and bad guys, fighting on the side of angels and good. We replayed that game again and again, sorcerers with swords, working our way up in levels.
I loved all these features of this game. The later games have not been quite the same. For one, I have not played 2 or 3 multiplayer. The classes have specialized far more, and do different things. The game has grown larger, adding pursuit, story, more enemy types, awesome stuff. So some things more restricted, some things more open and awesome. The random generation does even more, making the game very replayable. I played Diablo 2 up to level 50 something, still only in Nightmare mode. So much game to play.
Fear the First: The story is going to let me down
In Diablo, you dive down into catacombs, through caverns, and into Hell. Pretty excellent, but pretty straightforward.
In Diablo 2, you travel across the world, hunting Diablo down. You end up in Hell again, and take down all of the big bads. Literally… you kill the Three Prime Evils.
In Diablo 3, I was wondering what you even do next. First we hunted down all of the lesser evils, nice, nice. We find a crack of doom, end up in Hell, and battle some more. Pretty much every leading evil ever is dead. Feels good. Feels done.
And then… you go to Heaven.
And that’s where I am. I am standing at the gates to Heaven, mildly overawed at the thought of pursuing Diablo there. It’s so awesome that it made me stop. I know, right? Goofy. But I worry that I will be let down by my expectations. I love the visuals of the Archangel Tyrael, and really enjoyed how he worked into the Diablo 3 plot. Will they live up to how awesome this could be? I don’t know. I have yet to find out.
Fear the Second: The gameplay is going to dry out
In Diablo 3, I have made it to the start of Act IV. On normal mode. And am already to level 30. The level cap is 60.
So I have not made it through one difficulty, and am already over halfway through the levels. The powers are learned automatically, and you learn all of them. So I don’t have to replay a class to try a different combo.
And many of the things I have unlocked remain unlocked for other play-throughs. My smithing recipes. My character item stash.
It kills a lot of the replay for me, I think. Starting a new character has little to no challenge to it. And I’m afraid to hit the level cap, because it seems like it’s going to – and planned to – happen pretty reasonably quickly. Whereas I never have in past Diablo games. I could go back to Diablo 1 or 2 right now and keep going forward.
Well, except that Diablo 2 won’t load on my Mac with the newest OS, and my Diablo 1 disc is broken. Meaning that if I want to play Diablo, it has to be Diablo 3.
But is it going to be replayable enough? Or am I going to just hit the end – or hit the level cap – and just be done?
What do you think, reader? The game has been out a while: anyone else actually still out there playing Diablo 3?