Monday 30 September 2013

Diablo 3

Perfect game”, “Diablo III is amazing”, “Extremely well designed RPG”.
These are a few of the things said about Diablo III, three things that if I reached into the bottom of my soul with a contradiction-glove I wouldn’t be able to disagree with any more than I do.

*Just a shout-out to the developers.*

Sometimes expectations and reality clash and unfortunately when I was set up on a blind date with Blizzard’s new title Diablo III, I didn’t see what my friends and most of the Internet had fussed about. Sure she looked good and was just demanding enough to make it interesting but me and her, you see, just didn’t click.

I had a whole evening planned I’d meet her in a public place, pay for her services up front as is expected in these situations and take her home immediately and give her as much attention as she deserved for hours and hours. Now the box Diablo III came in was like a private personal ad, a slightly coy way of talking round the truth by not technically lying. It promised stunning visuals and other elements of RPG standard, but failed to mention that despite her good looks she was quite simply BORING.

*Yup, pretty much this.*

When I started playing Diablo III I was greeted with a typical ‘choose your class’ screen, nothing particularly exciting here, a standard affair of monks, wizards and barbarian types like in most other RPGs. Nothing wrong with this, sometimes sticking to a formula is the best way and there are only so many different skills a fantasy human being can have.

My hopes peaked when the game started with one of the most beautiful intro cut scenes I have ever seen, beautifully constructed and whetted my RPG appetite, I could not wait to have my pleasure centre massaged by the beauty that awaited. Then suddenly I am dropped into what I could only describe as a free-to-play Facebook game with an ego. I hacked away at enemies and suddenly came on a beautifully designed village, where I was greeted with text-box after text-box after shitting text-box. Between the painfully boring fighting system and the badly organised conversation trees I quickly realised that I would’ve had a more thoroughly enjoyable experience simply reading the Wikipedia article on the plot, the interesting parts of which wouldn’t cover both sides of a lollipop stick.

*Needs more of this, and less shitness.*

I don’t think it’s unfair to say (though I’m sure a lot of you will) that Diablo III is to World of Warcraft fans what every iteration of Call of Duty is to Call of Duty fans - the same bland time-vortex giving you just enough to keep you going but never quite giving you any sort of satisfaction that you were looking for. Like the sensation you get on leaving a strip club. I’m not a fan of Machiavellian game design, because no ending could ever justify the means, when the means are about as appetising as dislodging your ex-girlfriends hair from your plughole and eating the spidery clump on a slice of dry white toast.

The whole premise of the game seems to be nothing more than ‘a quest for loot’, which as a gaming device is replicating the habits of a drunken homeless man picking up discarded chicken nuggets from around the bin behind a McDonalds. From my own experiences and by plundering the depths of the Internet I have discovered that the general way to play the game is the following. Hit stuff, pick up stuff, and sell stuff. Hit more stuff, pick up more stuff, sell more stuff, hit stuff get killed by stuff, swear at television, trade game into CEX for a copy of Lollipop Chainsaw or Spring Breakers, have a guilty creepy wank, go to sleep.

On the bright side it controls very well most of the time, except when I teleported into a wall and got stuck and had to start again, not that it mattered as the missions are so identical that I easily could’ve been playing the same bit over and over anyway. It looks beautiful and it’s expensive so you feel like it has to be better than you think it is and that you are just are a boring minority of people who just don’t get it. Which is quite possibly true.

David Roberts, CeX Lisburn

Diablo 3 at CeX

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