I remember installing Diablo on my computer way back in 1996 and being delighted that I could play the game with only the mouse. It was the first action-based title that I could control without any assistance. Countless denizens of Hell could be slain with a simple point-and-click. When Blizzard announced Diablo III, I hoped that my return visit to Tristram would be just as accessible as my initial foray. After completing the game on Normal difficulty settling, I’m happy to report that the basic mechanics remain the same. Diablo III incorporates a few new aspects like crafting weapons and jewels, but the core task is the same: click on the monsters until they are dead. Some might find this repetitive; I find it deeply satisfying.
The art and sound design are up to Blizzard’s usual high standards. Each chapter has a distinct atmosphere that ranges from Gothic foreboding to hellish landscapes. The story is a bit thin, but games like Diablo aren’t played for the narrative. My Demon Hunter, Tiffany, and I are now embarking on a second playthrough on Nightmare difficulty. I may even summon the nerve to roll a Hardcore character who cannot be resurrected after dying.
I’m sure I’ll tire of the game eventually, but probably not until the inevitable expansion.