Monday, May 21

Diablo III: Starter Edition shines a Torchlight on my impulsive nature

I was so close to buying Diablo III. It was in my cart, I only had to click a few more buttons to have Blizzard's latest masterpiece in my hands.

I held my nerve though and instead appealed to someone, anyone to send me a code for the downloadable trial. Thankfully, a generous Tweeter came to my aid and after about six hours, I was ready to play. For the record, I too encountered an error upon trying to log in to Error 12 to be precise. After a quick google, I knew to change my account settings and soon I would start my journey into the depths of hell.

At first glance, Diablo III isn't much to look at. The character models for each of the classes look a little simplistic, especially when compared with those seen in Max Payne 3 that saw release in the same week. I chose the balding, bearded monk, assigned him my standard name (Dutch, in case you were wondering), and started clicking.

With its subtle hints of narrative, charming art style and visual splendour, I soon found myself hooked. For about three hours I clicked and clicked and clicked some more. I clicked barrels and jugs and skeleton warriors. I clicked loot and gold and rearranged my inventory multiple times. Alas, sleep was required as work -- bracketed with a lengthy commute -- awaited me the following day.

I tried to return to New Tristram the following night, but twelve hours away from the house had me exhausted. "Tomorrow," I thought the following day, and "Tomorrow" soon became yesterday with no additional play to be had. I finally found the time to get back online, and I proceeded to click some more. It felt more laboured this time, far less compelling. It was nothing like those first three hours.

Those first three hours. What was with this irrepressible sense of deja vu?

Torchlight! Nearly three years ago now, I bought Runic Games' highly-regarded Diablo clone during a Steam seasonal sale, and proceeded to invest a fevered three hours in the click and loot heavy RPG. After that, I never played it again; save for a failed five minute attempt to re-engage with it last year.

Back to Diablo III. After more clicking, kicking, and with Templar in tow, I defeated the Skeleton King and reached the end of the trial. With some satisfaction,  I clicked "Cancel" instead of "Upgrade now" when Blizzard came knocking at the end. It turns out, this kind of Action RPG just isn't my thing. Thanks to a near-stranger and three hours of play, I was able to ascertain that without dropping sixty dollars on the retail version.

How are you enjoying Diablo III? Has anyone upgraded from the Starter Edition?


  1. I have played about 3 hours as well, but I picked up D3 boxed, regular edition along with Max Payne 3 on launch last Tuesday. I love it so far, picking the Monk as well. I have many friends that play, so we will be cooping frequently. It is more fun to play co-op than solo. I am enjoying Max Payne 3 first, before I delve more into D3.

    1. Really good, the presentation is great and the gameplay is immersive. THe improvements to bullet time and shoot dodging are nice- and the animations are smooth. The story is engaging as well. As an uber fan of the series, it lives up to the series. The multiplayer is fun and well done as well.