Welcome to the Rofling Officer Productions blog, where you will mainly find extremely cynical reviews by a British Stereotype (usually with my good friend, John Smith). These reviews will most often be of games and films, but also have a few little projects.
Sunday, 8 July 2012
Diablo III Review
Well, after a long hiatus, it's time for another review. This time for the fastest selling PC game of all time, and the biggest controversy magnet since Michael Jackson molesting a child in a magnetic suit (or in another, more practical and less SICKENING way, Mass Effect 3's ending). To start off the review I'm gonna go through the controversy of the DRM with Diablo III, which does fit into my review.
Well, to put it as frank as possible without writing it on my cock and swinging it around, the Diablo III always-online DRM is fucking inexcusable. Gamer entitlement is a growing problem, and I got pissed when I saw people demanding Bioware change the ending to Mass Effect 3, but that is NOT the problem here. You pay £40 or $60 or whatever for Diablo III, and it turns out you can't fucking play the thing because the servers aren't working. There is no adequate reason Blizzard made it always online, there should have been a single-player mode.
In my first day of playing the game I was disconnected from the game twice, losing shit-loads of progress that was nothing to do with my internet (which is surprising; my internet speed is slower than a snail using bullet time). It was pretty rage inducing, and if you dismiss Diablo III and say you aren't going to get it on the terms of this ridiculous DRM, then I have no quarrel with you.
Moving on to the actual game now:
Blizzard continue to surpass most other developers in this area; Diablo III's cutscenes are gorgeous, some of the most wonderful I've seen in gaming. There are hardly any cutscenes however, and the graphics during gameplay are pretty mediocre. I don't give a shit about how good a game looks though, as long as it is entertaining.
There's an attempt at Dragon Age style conversations between party members, and after an hour or two I wanted to yank out my tongue and slap myself deaf. My barbarians responses were so generic, so one dimensional, so tacked-on, he might as well just wear a sandwich-board with "I Disapprove" on it. I actually quite enjoyed the company of the Scoundrel fellow, but the Barbarian just tells him how shit he is all the time. This amounts to a hugely unlikeable player character, which is an understatement. These conversations usually flesh out the story and world in a really forced way, but at least it's there.
Blizzard also suck galactic balls at writing dialogue too, whenever a big bad showed up 9/10 they'd say something like "Prepare to meet your DOOM!" and in the remaining 1/10 they'd just go "MWAHAHAHAHAHA!"
As for the plot itself, having not played Diablos I and II I can't really give the best opinion, but it's definitely interesting. It's well paced; the plot always felt like it was building and the stakes were raised ever higher. Unfortunately, the story is VERY clichéd, nearly every single element has been taken from another fantasy game, and most plot points are more predictable than a man with a fish-fetish and his dick out at an aquarium. I won't give too much away about the story, but, shockingly, it turns out YOU are the CHOSEN ONE. A story only used in nearly every fantasy story besides Rape-Lay.
Ah now this, dear readers is where Diablo III excels. Combat is lovely visceral, an amazing example being the Barbarian's melee attacks that send enemies flying in all directions, which as an awesome spectacle is only just below watching an enormous praying mantis have a dogfight with Osama Bin Laden. The combat is nicely intuitive too. The interface is similar to WoW's, but it is so much easier to understand as there are only 4 buttons you use to attack. However, this gives a crucial flaw: you're severely limited by what you can equip as your attacks, which is a shame.
I'll quickly go through the classes -
Demon Hunter -
Christ, ignore what I said above, the only thing more boring than this class would be rolling a tax accountant who kills enemies by showing them slide shows of their holiday in the Canary Islands. Really, really, really, really, really, really repetitive (ironic humour is best humour). It gets better the more you play, but to be honest if you don't get the Templar with you to help out your pretty much doomed, unless you're the kind of Diablo player that you wire the game to your brain so you can play as you sleep.
Not really barbaric at all, he's actually really kind to anyone he meets, except law breakers. Like I said above, his bland, infuriating responses make him more difficult to play than a Neo-Nazi hobbit who attacks by coughing, but combat is amazing. My build is specifically designed to blast enemies in all directions, because there is nothing more cathartic than a zombie's head flying away in one direction and his body in five others. Every attack feels powerful, and pulling off a sweep attack so you kill 20 enemies in one attack never loses it's charm, and never fails to make me piss myself with excitement.
My second favourite class, all the spells feel fantastically powerful and satisfying to use. A particular favourite of mine is "Wave of Force", which usually annihilates clusters of weaker enemies than crowd around you like you're handing out free reach arounds. Playing a wizard feels like playing a fucking power station, and any enemy that approaches you will explode into electrified confetti. This leads to my complaint: it's way too easy. Even on my own bosses went down faster than me on your mum, and when the Templar joined me I was just breezing through all the obstacles dismissing entire groups with one wave of my arm.
Witch Doctor -
Certainly the weirdest class, and the one I have the most trepidation about describing. I find the abilities quite amusing (getting the undead to rise from the ground to fight other undead is deliciously ironic), but none of them are really suitable to singleplayer. The Witch Doctor feels more like a support role in a group, I first got this feeling when I through a jar of spiders and they broke a barricade. The most racist class too, half of his dialogue just sounds like "Da spirits, mon." but I don't hate him. To be honest I'm quite baffled by this class, but I wouldn't ever use it in singleplayer, as it is extremely boring.
Fuck me, what a ponce. Rivals the Demon Hunter for worst class. The Demon Hunter at least looks pretty badass, as a monk you look like you've just woken up after a fucking stag party. Using his attacks made me feel like the brain damaged one who blinds himself with his own spit. I feel the most vitriol for this prick, because I don't like him at all. He gets pretty interesting with the better attacks he gets later on, but it's not worth the wait at all.
I wouldn't say the game is "great" per se. Looting items is dramatically boringas you can just get one ten times better on the auction house, so lots of fights your only motivation is to advance the shitty clichéd story. A couple of the classes are boring as hell to play as, dialogue sucks balls too. Oh and don't get me started (again) on the bloody DRM... But all this is almost completely wiped out by the sheer fun of cleaving you're way through enough undead to repopulate Cairo.
Verdict - Awesome fun to be had spraying monster blood across your monitor, but is tainted by irritating and unforgivable DRM and a few stupid gameplay choices.
Recommendation - Yes.