At the 2008 Blizzard World Wide Invitational in Paris, France the third installment in the Diablo series was announced. If you call yourself a PC gamer than you most likely hold Diablo 1 & 2 in high regard as some of the greatest games ever made. Unfortunately it was recently announced that Diablo 3 had been delayed to 2012 meaning you’ll have to wait longer to get back to Diablo.
On September 20th it was revealed that closed beta testing had begun for Diablo 3 and the internet soon exploded with gamers who wanted in. Luckily I was one of the people who got into the beta. Since there is no NDA for the beta I’m going to give you both a rundown of the beta, and my views on it.
Once you start the beta you can choose the character class you want to play as. There are five classes and unlike previous Diablo games you can choose the gender for your character as well. The following is the list of playable characters: The Witch Doctor, Barbarian, Wizard, Monk, and the Demon Hunter.
The Demon Hunter (class I chose) takes the best of the old assassin and amazon classes and rolls them into one über-class. They mainly use crossbows and are extremely powerful. Similar things can be said about both the Wizard and Witch Doctor who are revised versions of classic Diablo characters. The Doctor has multiple abilities and can summon monsters, harvest souls, and more.
Once you select your class you must make your way towards the location of New Tristram, a setting that is beloved by Diablo fans. From there you receive your first quest: find and eliminate the Skeleton King. To do this you must locate an individual who can help you take down the king. This man, is Deckard Cain.
Along the way you’ll encounter many enemies and this is where things get fun. Using the Demon Hunter’s special crossbow attack takes out essentially anything that comes towards you. Believe me, there is nothing more satisfying than hitting 8 monsters with 1 arrow and getting insta-kills. Throughout the quest you will be fighting plenty of Risen and even though you can take them out quickly they can still gang up on you and eat your lunch while you frantically run away trying to use a health potion.
Diablo 1 & 2 implemented one thing that has showed up in games such as Borderlands and Torchlight and has made the Diablo series loved: loot. Thankfully, this returns and you will become addicted to the game just to see what types of loot you will get next. The simple crossbow you start out with can be exchanged for powerful and unique bows that can take down the biggest Grotesque. One of the small but appreciated changes from Diablo 2 is that you no longer have to manually pick up the gold that drops when you defeat enemies or open different nooks and crannies. Now you just walk over it and you automatically pick it up.
Speaking of the Grotesque, there are new monsters appearing in Diablo 3. Like I said, the Grotesque are essentially dead skin sewed together resembling a giant pinata. ” They are fat, white, humanoid monsters, who run up to a player who comes into range, take a single hit, bend over backwards, and rupture into a massive fountain of wriggling silver eels. They are also capable of dealing damage by producing spikes from their short, stubby arms and slamming forward”.
Just like Diablo 1, King Leoric is causing havoc and chaos as the Skeleton King. It is your mission in quest 1 of the beta to find him and destroy him. During your journey to the fallen king you encounter a templar who is one of the three followers you can have in the game. Just like the PC the followers gain new skills, equipment, and more when they reach new levels. When you finally reach the Skeleton King an enormous battle erupts as you and your follower fight many skeletons and dodge attacks from the king himself.
When you finish the fight you get a nice message from Blizzard saying “you have beaten the Diablo III beta”. Aside from this you get some epic loot from Leoric and just like that you have finished the beta. The only thing left to do now is play through the beta again as each class until you either get bored, frustrated, or go insane. The latter being most likely.
To be honest, the beta is extremely fun, addicting, and a fantastic taste of things to come. Even though you can’t play Diablo III until 2012 there is always the next best thing: playing through Diablo 1 & 2 again in anticipation! Diablo III is slated for Q1 2012.Diablo 3 Beta Impressions,