by Chris Capel
previewed on PC
Dungeon Siege III, Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Torchlight II. Three major dungeon-crawling RPGs, all due out before Blizzard’s Diablo III. Does that mean you shouldn’t care about the sequel to a game series that has not had an update in over a decade? Absolutely not. Those three titles up there might be superb, but no matter how good they are, for any Blizzard fan they merely fall under the category “games to tide me over until Diablo III comes out.”
For many gamers, Diablo III is more anticipated than any Mass Effect or Elder Scrolls game. Why? Pixel-perfect point-and-click polished perfection. The Diablo series is the RPG genre minus all the slow talky bits, the epitome of the Action RPG genre. Fast, action-packed and incredibly fun, it is also extraordinarily addictive and easy to get into.
I’ll level with you: I’m not a Blizzard fanboy, and I haven’t not played either of the Diablo games. I have only got into the Action RPG genre recently, but after loving the likes of Torchlight and DeathSpank I’m looking forward to Diablo III with fervent anticipation.
The plot, at least what we know of it, goes like this: 20 years after Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and the destruction of the Worldstone, the world of Sanctuary was ready to repel an invasion from the Burning Hells that, mysteriously, never came. Deckard Cain, a central character from both games, has been trying to figure out exactly what’s going on. The storyline will concern the Angel of Justice Tyrael and the three Prime Evils of the world – Baal, Mephisto and Diablo, who’s purported to be back at some point despite supposedly being dead (we killed him after all). Blizzard loves its overly complicated storylines so don’t expect that to change, but I think people are more concerned about the game itself.
There will be five classes to choose from, and refreshingly, they seem to be a lot more imaginative than the usual Champion, Mage, Rogue archetypes that most RPGs offer. The Barbarian rolls over from Diablo II (the only one to do so), and obviously favours melee attacks and brute force. The Witch Doctor can summon the undead and practices more of the darker arts than the traditional Wizard, who’s the third class. Don’t think the Wizard won’t be as fun though; despite his generic title and good leanings, he can fire a stream of destructive over-the-top spells that’d make Saruman wet his pants.
The Monk is another melee class, focusing on kung fu and other direct fist-based martial arts. The Demon Hunter was the last to be revealed, a largely ranged fighter. The Hunter is described by Blizzard as “kicking ass in high heels” (presumably just the female version?) and can dual-wield crossbows.