We saw a bunch of hands-on reports early last week, plus the masterpiece that was JudgeHype’s mega-report, but since we can always use more first person accounts of playing Diablo III, it’s nice to see a better-late-than-never hands-on reports pop up at AusGamers.
The report isn’t exactly extensive, but there are some good bits about the Barbarian (the only class the writer played to any extent), and the early quests. Here’s a quote, and as usual, thanks to fmulder and his preternatural ability to spot new D3 stuffs the instant they go online. (Once in a while, when I find some obscure D3 news thing that fmulder hasn’t posted yet, I send him a taunting PM. Happily, he’s man enough not to reciprocate.)
Heavy, hulking and powerful, the Barbarian moves with deliberation and purpose. His shoulders seesaw with each step, as if ready to shoulder barge anyone or anything that might get in his way. From the outset of our demo, we were charged with seeking out Deckard Cain’s adopted niece, Leah, who acts as a sort of bridge between everything Cain has learnt since the first game and now (which we’re also assuming will help newcomers come to grips with the series’ complex and deep lore). But before we can find her within the city walls of New Tristram, we must help the city’s soldiers fend off hordes of attacking undead, brought to life by a “Fallen Star”, the catalyst for what will invariably be the long Diablo III journey ahead.
The Barbarian, as was described to us by Rob Pardo, is a warrior “looking for a foe worthy of his blade”. Death doesn’t scare him, rather, he invites it at every turn, provided it’s an honourable, hard-fought one. But in saying that, death won’t find him quickly thanks to his tenacious attitude and abundantly powerful skillset.
Speaking of the Barbarian, no one at Blizzard has given a direct comment on it in many months, but it seems that their original idea, that the male Barbarian would be the same individual who was (one of the) heroes of Diablo II, has been scrapped. And now the D3 male Barb is just a Barbarian who is twenty-years older than the usual twenty-something heroes of such games. Why? Why not. Where was he twenty years ago when all the Barbarians were defending their homeland from Baal’s armies?