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Reviews VideoGame / Diablo III

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06/05/2012 11:07:03 •••

The game is great; it's the other parts that are a problem

When I review a game, I try to draw a line between the things that are actually part of the game (which is to say, the parts of the product that you actually play), and the extraneous things that surround the game.

Diablo 3 makes a case for why this is important. The GAME that's Diablo 3 is awesome. The combat is engaging and over the top, and, once you hit Nightmare, becomes a real challenge. In spite of early reservations, I like the fact that they replaced the skill tree with power/rune loadouts that can be configured on the fly. But where the game really shines is in the details. Little things like catching someone in the corner of your eye tossing corpses on to a pile, or some of the gorgeous artwork that you can't even see unless you zoom in.

The complaints I have about D3 are not the game, it's everything else that they packaged around the game. The always-online nature of the game that puts your single-player experience at the mercy of server up time and internet connectivity. The plans for a money auction house. The way that the product constantly tries to get you to use its social networking features. All of these things are annoying, but I see them as coming out of the marketing departments of Blizzard and I hate to ding the game devs for decisions that they didn't have any control over.

So, the game, as a game, gets 5 out of 5 from me, but all the rest drags a star off of the overall product rating, for no good reason that I can discern.

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