Top 100 Xbox 360 Review: #94 – Diablo III (2012)

Junk Food.

This game is like playing slot machines except you are not wasting money, you are wasting your life. 

https___blogs-images.forbes.com_insertcoin_files_2015_08_diablo-3-new1.jpgGame FAQs Ranking:  #98/100
My Rating: StarStar

Some games try and reach a higher plane of existence. Using powerful narratives, nostalgic music, and stylized imagery, some games really come across as high art and should be adored.

Diablo III is more like Candy Crush.

The backdrop is the typical fantasy trope, but what really sets Diablo apart is what happens in the foreground: button smashing. Each piece of movable plastic on the controller is mapped to a different ability with different recharge times and effects. Battle is the effort to smash each button in the most efficient manner possible by timing your reflexes to be in line when an attack refreshes.

Battles are nothing more than reaction tests without consequences. Endless battle against hordes of enemies don’t matter as you skillfully press X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y-X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y-X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y.

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Some people I don’t care about are reading some ancient texts in a church when a falling star blows that shit up and an old man disappears. The falling star was an angel. X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y-X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y-X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y.


There’s a story in here somewhere, but between little snippets of character dialogue and animated scenes, you spend an infinite amount of time HACKING AND SLASHING.

Skills and Weapons.

To make this format more serviceable, it tries to implement little pieces of candy to give you enough dopamine hits to keep you going. With every button on the controller, there is an assigned type of attack. After so many levels, you unlock new skills within this type and get new add ons that go with previous skills. There is something delightful about seeing the ascendancy of your button smashing as the HP inflicted upon your foes goes higher and higher.

Not to mention all the other shit that is thrown in there: passive skills, weapons, special items, forging, legendary loot.

The problem: none of it matters.


Passive Playing. 

The game is a damned if you do or damned if you don’t set up due to the way gameplay is constructed. You could either: a) put it on a lower difficulty level and button smash with reckless abandon; b) put it on a higher level and button smash more selectively. Neither choice is particularly fun.

On lower difficult levels, you don’t get punished for mistakes (a little bit of lost EXP that can be made up in a flash), so it’s 100% okay to rush into a lair, button smash to suicide, and repeat. There are absolutely no teeth to this game within this space: you just drift hitting your X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y-X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y-X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y combo and eventually you do it enough to get to a cut scene.

On the other hand, you can up the difficulty level for more rewards but with death comes severe punishment. This scenario is somehow worse: the added weight of consequences doesn’t add more strategy or better gameplay, just more dragged out affairs. Instead of rushing into lairs, you corral a few unexpecting enemies and X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y-X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y-X-B-Y-R1-X-X-B-Y-L1-X-X-B-Y them to death.

All it does is add more time.



Other People’s Takes:

  • GameorNoughtLet’s not forget that Diablo 3 features entirely procedurally generated dungeons and loot, so no two playthroughs will ever really be the same. Seriously, you can’t ask for anything more. Literal eternal replayability.”
  • IPGRDiablo III is without a doubt the best point-and-click dungeon crawler ever made, but the term “Action-RPG” encompasses way too many games to call Diablo III the best among them all.”
  • GoodShitGames: you’re going to have one hell of a time as you grind your way to acquiring the best equipment in the game. Even though this game was created in 2012, it still gets support from its developers, thus, the undying Diablo III.”

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