Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Review RPG Codex Review: Diablo 3

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Crooked Bee, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    15,021
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Tags: Blizzard Entertainment; Diablo III

    Blizzard's Diablo 3 is the biggest release of the year and fastest-selling PC game of all time. But is it any good? In this detailed review, Mrowak relates his feelings about the game. The feelings are decidedly mixed. Have a snippet on loot:

    The real, meaningful character development in Diablo 3 takes the form of loot hunting. Right equipment means the difference between life and death, especially on the higher difficulty levels. While each level-up grants the character an automatic increase in stats, ultimately this increase proves insubstantial. On average, a character can increase his key stat up to 250 points, but the highest gameplay modes require items that boost it by thousands of points in order to deal any significant amount of damage. Needless to say, wrong equipment can drastically reduce the player’s efficiency in battle - a hindrance which is especially noticeable when stepping into a new act.

    As a consequence of gear taking precedence over character development, the importance of the player’s skill and ability to plan his character ahead is significantly diminished. Whereas in Diablo 2 a competent and at least somewhat reasonably geared player could outclass a better equipped but less able teammate, both in PvP and core gameplay, this now proves virtually impossible, since the power of your abilities is determined exclusively by the properties of the items you wear. In other words, Diablo 3 is not the kind of game where you build the most effective character, but where you get the best gear for them.

    Even on Nightmare difficulty, this design proves to be problematic because of the randomized loot generator: there is no guarantee that the equipment obtained in the course of one act will suffice for smooth, enjoyable gameplay in another. It appears to be a conscious decision on the part of Blizzard who actively encourage grinding for the best items. This effect actually enhances gameplay due to the online nature of the game. In Diablo 3 enemies drop separate sets of items to each of the active players. Thus, it is a common practice to form parties to increase effectiveness of item-scavenging by trading the equipment with teammates during gear-hunts.​

    And here are some concluding thoughts:

    In the end, Blizzard did manage to create another blockbuster title which is guaranteed to played and talked about - for better or for worse - for months to come. Looking solely at Diablo 3’s core gameplay, I must say it is a solid game. It offers great character classes, interesting skills and abilities, challenging enemies and many memorable moments, especially in mutiplayer. It’s action-packed, dynamic, and filled with interesting ideas. It easily holds your attention and doesn’t lose steam until much later. Nevertheless, Diablo 3 will remain as a sore disappointment for many. The problems of Diablo 3 are twofold.

    First are the continuity issues. Diablo 3 is a Diablo game in name only. Save for a few core tenets and keywords it doesn’t share anything substantial with its predecessors. Meaningful character progression is no more: you don’t get to choose your attributes, and planning your character is close to pointless. It was substituted by MMO-like item farming, with gear lacking the balance and variety of Diablo 2. In fact, there are whole groups of items missing, removed from the game for no apparent reason. There is no PvP and no LAN option - the mainstays of the two first games. Instead, we have been presented with a forced ‘always online’ mode and sometimes faulty Battle.net servers. There is no gothic atmosphere and sublime charm - they were superseded by sensationalism and colourful explosions supported by a mawkish and annoying story. It is telling that all of the features worked perfectly fine in the previous game, and that they were removed in order to appeal to a mass audience. It is disheartening to see such levels of condescension and intellectual bankruptcy, even in something as simple as Diablo series.

    Second, there are the structural considerations. Diablo 3 resembles an enormous construction site. There are plenty of features, but most of them are overblown and end up spoiling the experience with their obtrusiveness. They are created with everyone’s interest in mind except your own. Those features make the game look important and impressive, but under the cover of hype they hide a very basic structure, a simplistic hack and slash with entertaining and addictive but ultimately shallow gameplay. One can't but wonder if all those years of development went into options that not only do not benefit the player, but spoil his enjoyment instead. Indeed, at the end, I am left thinking: how much exactly of the 60€ I spent on Diablo 3 translated into the actual game?​

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Diablo 3
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 8
    ^ Top  
  2. Wise Emperor Cipher

    Wise Emperor
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Messages:
    684
    Location:
    Mongolian Southern Coast
    Great review, thanks!
    Now I'm completely sure that D3 is not my cup of coffee.
     
    ^ Top  
  3. Yaar Podshipnik Arcane Patron

    Yaar Podshipnik
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,913
    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Once again, codex game reviews helped to save innocent jewgold in my wallet. :brodex: to you, Mrowak!
     
    ^ Top  
  4. raw Turbo Chad Patron

    raw
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    16,716
    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
    Here is a another review.

     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  5. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,524
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
  6. gaudaost Arcane

    gaudaost
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,459
    A surprisingly good and nuanced review! I was expecting a review which can basically be summed up to: "Diablo 3 is a horrible decline, because it has AO-DRM and RMAH, LOL!", like 99% of the negative metacritic user reviews. But instead, I got a mostly negative review, which both praises and calls out what it does good and what it does wrong. Gold star codex!

    But here's something I cannot agree with:
    If anything, I'd wish that Diablo 3 was more a Diablo game in name only. First of all: Choosing 5 attribtues score every level, was never, for a very large percentage of the people (I'd say the majority) a core part of the game. I'm not saying that it didn't matter for everyone to be able to choose this exactly as they wanted, but I am saying that there is another very large group, for which this didn't matter and was only chosen mechanically according to guides. You seem to ignore this in your review. Besides, you also ommit to mention, as far as I can see, that ability customization is still a big part of the game (if not the biggest), through items, and you can still make a barbarian with practially every point in intelligence, if you are inclined to do so. Secondly, there is no PvP at the moment, true, but you say it in the conclusion as if there will never be one, which we know to be false. You do mention that there will be a pvp-mode in another part of your review, but there you raise questions about balance, as if there ever were any balance in diablo 2 (there wasn't, sorc>everything, everything>summoning necromancer). Kind of bizzare. For the record, blizzard has stated that they have no plans to make PvP in diablo 3 balanced. As for the category of items that are removed... which one are you talking about? Crafted items? It is also worth it, to mention that planning your character in terms of skills was pointless in diablo 1 as well, but it didn't make it any worse of a game than diablo 2.

    Things that did define diablo 1 and 2, such as monster smashing, online co-op, demons, the presense of diablo, deckard cain, the barbarian are still there by the bucketloads, in fact, way too many similarities and references to diablo 1 and 2 for my liking. And I would prefer it if they did not drag in every character from the two previous games in the most awkward fashion possible. A game is a sequel in name only, if practically every aspect from the previous games have been changed, and that is definitely not the case here, in fact: Diablo 2 is much more a sequel in name only relative to diablo 1 than diablo 3 is, relative to diablo 2. I'll give this though: What is missing from the essential diablo experience, is the dark athmosphere, but that alone is not enough to say that it is a sequel in name only, no more than fallout 2 not being a sequel in name only, because it went for a morre silly athmosphere filled with popular culture references and bad jokes.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  7. hiver Guest

    hiver
    :lol:

    So great to see such well made plans crumble and destroy themselves.

    :hero:
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. zioburosky13 Educated

    zioburosky13
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    71
    :excellent:
     
    ^ Top  
  9. Daemongar Arcane

    Daemongar
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,980
    Location:
    UnterBrae
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire BattleTech
    Thanks for the nice review. I haven't played D3 yet, but I was thinking of trying it out. This article brings up a very strong point: Diablo 2 came out in 2000. What really have they done in 12 years that stands out as an improvement over D2? Additionally, saying that they "dumbed down" D3 for wider audience acceptance... how could you dumb down D2?

    I wonder if there are there any games going the "more complex" route, and if so, are they only indie developers.
     
    ^ Top  
  10. Mozgoëbstvo Learned

    Mozgoëbstvo
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Messages:
    812
    Location:
    Od Vardara pa do Triglava
    Yo, hiver. Completely off topic...
    HR-VAT-SKA! HR-VAT-SKA! HR-VAT-SKA! HR-VAT-SKA!
    HR-VAT-SKA! HR-VAT-SKA! HR-VAT-SKA! HR-VAT-SKA!
    HR-VAT-SKA! HR-VAT-SKA! HR-VAT-SKA! HR-VAT-SKA!
    HR-VAT-SKA! HR-VAT-SKA! HR-VAT-SKA! HR-VAT-SKA!
     
    ^ Top  
  11. General Maxson Arcane

    General Maxson
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,438
    Location:
    Lost Hills bunker
    Excellent review Mrowak! You can only trust Codex reviews nowadays! :obviously:
     
    ^ Top  
  12. Alexandros Arcane

    Alexandros
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    3,293
    Location:
    Greece
    It was a good review indeed. Quite fair if I might add, maybe a bit too harsh in places but overall, a good read.
     
    ^ Top  
  13. hiver Guest

    hiver
    Settle down, settle down... A LOT of work ahead.
    Lets kick Italians asses first before celebrating.
     
    ^ Top  
  14. General Maxson Arcane

    General Maxson
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,438
    Location:
    Lost Hills bunker
    C'mon bro, this IS Codex after all... :smug:
     
    ^ Top  
  15. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

    Jaesun
    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    36,922
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    That was an excellent review Mrowak! :salute:

    Please do more reviews!
     
    ^ Top  
  16. Krash Prophet

    Krash
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,057
    Location:
    gengivitis
    I'm still baffled that the game has such a totally worthless story and focuses on it to the extent that it does. Is no one at blizzard literate? Diablo 1 did it just right by hinting and only exposing story when absolutely necessary - minimalism done the way it should. Now it's torrents of almost always uninteresting trivia at every turn.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  17. hiver Guest

    hiver
    I certainly hoped for the better in story department seeing who is the lead there....
    Atleast those side quests Mrowak mentions seem to be well made...
    Of course i didnt play it so i dont really know whats the main story (apart from general Diabloesque setting) and how it unfolds.

    Is it actually spoiled anywhere, like completely? I wouldnt mind reading a big spoiler for it at all.
    link me if you got it.
     
    ^ Top  
  18. gaudaost Arcane

    gaudaost
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5,459
    Head of world design, which includes story, lore and quest, was Leonard Boyarski, just saying.:troll:

    I am in absolute agreement that the story is pretty damn bad, and a detractor from the enjoyment of the game: Though the story should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with blizzard stories that are not minimalistic: Indeed, diablo 1's story is decent, because it is minimalistic, not in spite of it.
     
    ^ Top  
  19. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mrowak
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,938
    Project: Eternity
    Which would explain why of all the aspects of the story only the quests are competently made. If they appeared in the proper Diablo game, they would be awesome. Now they just soothe the pain away.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  20. Occasionally Fatal Prophet

    Occasionally Fatal
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Messages:
    2,987
    Location:
    Treading water, but at least it's warm
    Good review, but I would point out items in the auction house are only cheap up to a certain point. Once you start looking for items for Inferno, prices skyrocket. I was able to clear Act 1 of Inferno as a Witch Doctor (the least powerful class) without spending more than 20k on any item, and my average amount spent on items was 5-10k. Now I'm looking for improved gear for Act 2 (need int, vit, armor, and all resists+), and prices are easily in the millions for good gear.
     
    ^ Top  
  21. maverick Cipher Patron

    maverick
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    504
    Location:
    Brazil
    Codex 2012 MCA Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Damn man... I still had high hopes that wouldn't be true... :(

    Regardless, I already bought the game, but haven't played it yet. Looks like it will be one playthrough and I'm done.
    For me, the atmosphere was everything in Diablo...
     
    ^ Top  
  22. hiver Guest

    hiver
    ok, looked up the story spoilers. Its a retcon.

    great. moving on.
     
    ^ Top  
  23. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mrowak
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,938
    Project: Eternity
    The plot could have worked if someone didn't confuse the word 'foreshadowing' with 'drawing a straight glowing arrow for morons', and plugged all the plotholes along the way. However, plot - although bad - is not the only problem. The characters are just... wrong. Light spoilers

    Show Spoiler

    Tyrael is not a mysterious being anymore - his an complete moron uttering such pearls of wisdom as "The longer we fight the evil, the more it can corrupt our hearts". Oh, really? :/

    Decard Cain had a promise but let's just say the stay with him was all too short and the way it ended...

    Leah... the fact that you were Diablo was obvious from the trailers. But that they didn't give you any character. How was I supposed to even care? :facepalm:

    Adria, what they have done to you...


    Apart from that the thematic scope is narrow, unoriginal and boring. You remember the gothic feel of the Diablo? The clear Judo-Christian inspiration? How the war between Heaven and Hell was beyond the understanding of mere mortals? How you were not fighting just random demon but evil incarnate - which corrupted everything and everyone in the course of your adventure, including you? Well, it's gone. Everything is just so generic. high-fantasy with no real reference to the basic themes that made a very simplistic story in Diablo 1 so engaging. To all intents and purposes 'Demons' and 'Angels' could be substituted by 'Reds' and 'Blues' or 'Orcs' and 'Elves' and you would not see the difference.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
    ^ Top  
  24. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Mrowak
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3,938
    Project: Eternity
    I am sure that RMT will quickly solve the issue. ;)
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)