29 August 2015

Mid-Thoughts: Diablo 3 - Reaper of Souls

What's interesting is that this artwork is used for the loading screen of the game on the PS4 version (at least) but they cropped it so you can't see the wings.... so it looks like this dude has spirit armpit hair!

I loved the original Diablo. It was at a time when I didn't read game magazines and I'd never heard of it before my dad returned from Canada with a copy (huge box with plastic window and all!)... only to realise that our 486 with a floppy disk drive would not run it.

The game sat in its box for a few months while I poured over the manual, absorbing all the information that I could, until one day, at a PC fair, I made a faustian deal with my dad. We bought a pentium chip and accompanying motherboard (presumably also with compatible RAM but I forget all the details) with a CD-ROM drive and switched out the parts of the 486 using the same case without telling my mother.

I have no idea whether she ever knew about it or not but I was able to play Diablo without any hassles. I still have very fond memories of the game, its aesthetic and its replayability even though it took me a good while to understand how the game really worked since before that I'd mostly been playing Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and sidescrollers like Commander Keen and Duke Nukem.

Needless to say that I picked up Diablo 2 (and it's expansion) on day one of each release and played them for many hours with multiple characters. I just loved trying out new builds and Act 1 & 2 were my favourite out of them all.

I, like many people on the internet, did not take the reception of Diablo 3's change in tone and mechanics all that well. Sure, I didn't rant and rave about it like some extremists did but I did think that the design of WoW had crept into the franchise. At the time many people said this was being paranoid and just wanting dark game design.

I actually held off buying the game because there were plenty of other games to play (god knows how many!) and what with Blizzard's restrictive DRM, real names policy and other, in my opinion, SNAFUs I just didn't want to buy it on the PC.... So you can imagine I was happy when they announced the console versions. 

I didn't buy it when those were released because I thought that maybe my gaming tastes had changed in the intervening years and having read up on the way skills were implemented and how the story wasn't that great (according to other people) I figured I'd wait until the price came down.

Boring details finished!!