The Diablo III Beta Diaries Part 1 – You Can't Spell Demon Without 'Emo'

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Over the past couple of days I have been putting in as much time as possible with the Diablo III beta, in these posts I will document my experiences as an old school Diablo fan that’s been out of the loop for a while and give you my thoughts on the beta as well as the different classes, changes and more:

For my first play-through, I had the choice between the Barbarian, the Demon Hunter, the Monk, the Witch Doctor and the Wizard. The Demon Hunter looked super badass, so I opted to give him a go.

I was super excited to finally get my hands on Diablo III. This is how it went.

Stay A While… And Glisten.

When I was making my choice of what class to play, I didn’t realize that the characters were shown in full awesome level-twenty-five-thousand armor. So it was to my dismay that I finally, finally, finally began my Diablo III adventure staring down at a really emo looking dude who was dressed more like Russel Brand mixed with a Twilight vampire than a badass Demon Hunter. If it wasn’t for his suave voice and ability to kick some ass, I would have definitely thought him a great addition to the new season of Jersey-licious.

OK, I get it. I’m a little noob-ling that needs to earn his awesome-hero badge , so I looked passed his awfully stylish shoes and ventured forth. After some zombie pwnage that would even make Woody Harrelson and the guy from Facebook proud, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I was in Tristram, but this wasn’t the Tristram I remember, no… this was New Tristram… very fancy.

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Twinkle, twinkle little star, how I wonder – why you raise zombies to eat our brains.

OK, maybe not so fancy as the place has been pulled through its own ass so badly that there are piles of dead folks just lying all over the place, the kind of dead folk that like coming back for seconds.

I’m in town because a star has fallen from the sky, but instead of just wishing for world peace, cold beer and a hot betty for later, it seems like Captain Hairdo wants to track it down and fulfill some prophecies. Stupid heroes and their stupid prophecies.

Before I know it, some more crap’s gone down, I’m in town and chatting with Deckard Cain… ’s niece? Stay a while and what now, where’s the old dude who stands next to the fountain… on that note, where’s the fountain? No but seriously, this is NEW Tristram remember, this isn’t the first Diablo, times have changed, except that Deckard Cain still hasn’t bit the bullet, but he is missing and its your job to find him as well as kickstart a heroic tale that we will probably not tell our kids without them dying of boredom due to its lack of purple dinosaurs (you never know what final versions may bring).

Also: *Shudder*.

The Devil Wears Prada

The good news is that Diablo III settles right back into the big gaping hole in your chest. You know the hole, that one left by the 11 year wait for a sequel from Blizzard while they were too busy getting rich off of confused teenagers/gamers/humans/all-living-lifeforms playing World of Warcraft who didn’t know what else to do with their time. Honestly, don’t buy shares in Cocaine and Heroine because they aren’t on the list of irresponsible things to do anymore thanks to Blizzard.

It felt a little awkward getting back into Diablo, kind of like seeing a serious ex-girlfriend after a few years. You feel like you know it back to front but at the same time, some things have changed and you can’t decide if you love it or hate… all you know is that it feels so comfortable and familiar, whilst somehow feeling different to what you remember.

It only took an hour or so until it bit. I was on my second or third proper mission, I had cleared out some dungeons. My character had gone up a few levels and found some fabulous new shoes… I mean boots… and things were really picking up steam.

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Distinguishing between the zombies and the really hammered locals was harder than I originally thought.

Things have changed though, and I’m not sure what you want to hear about Diablo III, but if you want to hear that it’s Diablo II with better graphics, you won’t get what you want. However, you wouldn’t exactly be upset with the differences either, because what’s a sequel without progression right? Oh, it’s called Modern Warf… sorry where was I? Oh yes, magic, demons… I remember now.

The point is… if you wanted to hear that Diablo III is awesome, then I wouldn’t want to let you down and indeed I don’t have to… because it’s fantastic. Every moment I’ve spent with it so far has conjured up simultaneous feelings of nostalgia and comfort as well as excitement from exploring what’s new.

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Check out my next diary entry to find out how Diablo III behaved on my less than stellar Macbook Pro, how it will probably behave on your amazing PC and before you know it we will be back to my experiences with my Demon Hunter that gets his groove back.

I’ll also introduce you to my next character, Robert “Bob” Arian, soon.

Last Updated: September 28, 2011

Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since '08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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