Lets start off with a full disclaimer and some history: I am an admitted Diablo II addict. When it was released back in 2000 Diablo II, while being a complete blast to play offline or across a Local Area Network with my brothers, had several issues that detracted from it's full online Battle.Net experience. Griefers and Spammers ran amuck, terrorizing pretty much any game session not wise enough to be locked down with a password. Cheaters duplicated items and inflated the economy to a point where the value of a gold coin was pretty much nil and any trading of items was a dangerous prospect at best.
And yet, it was one of the best games ever made, recently placing at #19 of G4's Top 100 Video Games of All Time. With the bar set so (damned) high, any new addition to the franchise would undoubtedly have its work cut out for it.
Fast forward to 2012 and we finally have a true sequel to the Diablo franchise. Diablo III takes place roughly 10 years after the events of the Diablo II Expansion pack, Lord of Destruction, where our fateful hero, with the help of the Archangel of Justice Tyrael, had to detonate the Worldstone (turning the entirety of Mt. Arreat from a mountain to a crater in the process) in order to save the world. Since then the land of Sanctuary has had a peace they had never known prior, with the demonic armies of the three Prime Evils - Diablo, Baal and Mephisto - receding back to their own personal corners of Hell now that their masters had all been defeated. Everything seemed to be coming up roses until...
Wait. I'm getting ahead of myself here. Lets step back and look at the key points we like to hit in our reviews here on GameGeex, and we can get back to the story in a moment.
Ahh Fresh meat...
So after all this has been said, how do I feel about Diablo III? When you get down to it, I mostly love Diablo III. I know many people that have burned through all the difficulty levels - Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno - and continue to go back, time and time again, to try to pull every last randomly generated legendary item they can from the clutches of evil. For them, the game is the same neverending loot piñata that Diablo II was, and has the same near-addictive draw that has them signing back in every night.
Personally, though, I have come to find that I am simply not the Diablo player I used to be. Once I completed the game on Normal level, I had pulled all the story content from the game I could, and I simply had no desire to run through the same content again at a harder difficulty level. I'm sure I will go back and play a different class when I have some free time (ha!) or re-join the adventure when the inevitable expansion pack or DLC comes out, but I no longer feel the sirens' call of randomly generated items that is the foundation of Diablo's gambit. But is that a flaw in the game design? No. It just means that I am no longer the target audience for this style of game play. For those that are, this game once again sets the bar even higher than Diablo II had ever dared to dream.