|Platforms:||PlayStation, Xbox 360, PC|
Hack and slash is a genre with a long tradition. The reason why in ancient Rome there was a Colosseum where you could watch other people trying to tear each other to pieces, is that violence is in human nature. We need some channels for our psyche to manifest all of those ugly tendencies we buried down there. But since society works better when expression of violence is controlled, humans developed number of ways to release the tension. One of the recent ones is called Diablo. And don't believe what those wanna be humanists say about violent video games and bad behavior. Exactly the opposite is true.
This year, Diablo will celebrate its 20th anniversary. It's hard to believe that original release of first Diablo is 1996. Feels like yesterday when butchering thousands of enemies with a two handed sword right? No? Okay we got it, you are not that old yet. Which is why we are gonna talk about Diablo III instead.
There isn't much to be said about the story. It's good, much better than you would expect from a game of this genre, but that's just a Blizzard's standard we all love. What's much more interesting are the gameplay improvements made to the whole game system. Diablo isn't about role-playing. This RPG has always been all about skills, classes and spells and how to make the most fun with them and we are glad to say things truly have gone better in this case.
First it looked like that Diablo III skill system isn't much different from previous games. Then you notice one big and pleasant change. It no longer punishes you for "bad" choices - you can experiment with points allocation and test any combination of skills you like. When not in battle, you are allowed to rearrange all your skill points into different areas and you can do it as many times as you like, there is no limitation. That is a huge improvement on gameplay since you don't have to replay whole game just because you realize that twenty hours ago you've made one bad decision that is difficult to take back. Even though its not that hardcore any more, we actually think this is how it should have been from the start of the series.
When it comes to classes and character creation, Blizzard decided to stick to the original principles and haven't increased number of playable classes, which surely was tempting. Instead they focused even more to let players appoint different playing style within a certain class. Two barbarians are never the same and we are not just talking about the equipment here. Lots of skills have real potential and, when cleverly combined, can be used to deliver devastating output. Using only one skill maxed out to the highest possible level isn't a too valid strategy any more. Now you can engage true versatility into your class development and maybe even experience some role-playing! Just kidding.
Rest of the game is as you would expect. Action RPG at its best. There are potions to drink, followers to hire, legendary items to farm and yes, bad guys to kill. Lot of them. And you can do it with your friends much more easy than in Diablo II. Grouping system is significantly better, but nothing you wouldn't take as granted in these days.
That's about it, Diablo III is exactly what you want it to be. Relaxing, enjoyable, quite familiar with it's gameplay and most importantly it goes easy on you. So again, don't believe that killing hundreds and thousands of enemies is bad for your mental health. It has been reported that criminality rate at violent crimes has come down by 18% after release of first Diablo. When you stay at home staring into your computer's screen and pushing buttons aggressively, there is just no way you could be out there doing anything really evil would you? Now do you finally see the real positive influence of video games?