We’ve seen several beta articles by gaming writers who had never played any past Diablo games… and here’s another one. This guy is not only new to Diablo, he’s practically an isometric ARPG virgin, with only some light experimentation with Darkspore in his resume. So what does he think of the Diablo 3 beta? He appears to like it on the whole, but has a lot of specific complaints.
He doesn’t care about the lore and thinks the story and dialogue is corny, he’s not much of a fan of the interface, and he was bored by the simple melee smashing play style of the Barbarian. On the other hand he’s a big fan of the Witch Doctor and Wizard, and he likes a lot of the small touches. Here’s a quote; the whole piece is short and to the point, so check it out if you’ve got a minute.
The interface, I’m told, has been simplified. Although I don’t have past series entries to compare it to, there are few complaints from me on this front. Dumping equipment in the field in favour of new equipment can be a frustrating affair, but getting to grips with what I’m carrying and which skills I can equip – not to mention how they all work – is simple enough. And of course, the central gameplay conceit – click on everything until you win – is a breeze to pick up. But even in the scant few hours of gameplay offered up by the beta, it’s clear that Diablo’s clicks offer up a bit more than those of the comparable games I’m experienced with.
The sense of your avatar’s progress is constant, as they go from listlessly hacking away at enemies to bringing the pain from all angles, hacking into zombies with enormous new weapons, within an hour or so. The overworld is a nice change from the static division of levels I’ve encountered in other games, and the way environments change – buildings crumble, boxes explode, chandeliers drop on enemies – is a nice touch. The co-op is really nicely integrated as well, but as is often the case with games like this you’ll need to be fairly evenly matched with your teammates for it to be worthwhile.