Last week, Blizzard Entertainment launched the hotly-anticipated and long-awaited third instalment of the Diablo series: Diablo III. Twelve years since the last Diablo release (Diablo II in 2000), the game hit the market with a resounding boom, and it was clearly number one on gamers’ minds. But how did the critics take it? Pundits can be cruel and cold and sometimes even unfair in their damning of a game that doesn’t blow their doors off on first blush.
GamesIndustry.biz took a look at what people were saying on the web about the magnum opus, and not everyone would have predicted the overflowingly positive response. Here’s a taste of what game blog Quater to Three’s Tom Chick had to say:[quote]”Now that Diablo III is out, it turns out Blizzard was right and I was wrong,” he says.”I love it when a developer does this. I love it when a developer has the confidence, experience, vision, competence, and balls to not listen to us.”[/quote]
And from VideoGamer’s Martin Gaston:[quote]”For erstwhile aficionados, this is a game that begets multiple playthroughs, as characters advance through Normal, Nightmare, Hell and (the new) Inferno difficulties. In this sense the game becomes a fairground ride, as players run back to the front of the game for another go, and Blizzard’s design focus is clearly to welcome back its players time and time again with open arms.”[/quote]
While not every review is an unqualified thumbs-up, it seems that the overall impression is a good one. It’s equally amazing how good the will towards Diablo III is, considering the stumbling server issues that plagued opening day (and which are reportedly still an issue). Although even Blizzard wasn’t ready for the thronging hordes of gamers waving their cash to get into the Diablo III experience, all appears to thankfully be forgiven.