One hell of a sequel
Diablo III’s wafer-thin storyline starts off with a falling star that heralds the arrival of the demonic forces of the underworld. At this point it becomes your character’s job to lay waste to an unremitting horde of hell’s minions as you plunder dungeons, catacombs and ruins for gold or weapons.
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As with many role-playing games, you can choose your character from a selection of different classes. Along with the usual wizards and warriors are some less familiar types, such as the martial arts expert monk, the assassin-like demon hunter and a witch doctor.
As you progress, levelling up your character will reward you with a series of creative upgrades and abilities, which can be continually customised and combined to make your hero a force to be reckoned with. The randomly generated environments are large and varied, the catalogue of bad guys is equally diverse and combat is satisfyingly chaotic.
Sticking with an overhead view and simple point-and-click controls favoured by older games, Diablo III manages to look highly impressive, with detailed environments and atmospheric lighting effects. Sound is good too, with solid voice acting and rousing background music. The game’s technical requirements are not overly demanding, although an internet connection is needed at all times. This allows you to invite friends to play along co-operatively, join public games or trade items with other players. An upcoming online-auction feature will eventually allow players to sell in-game items for real money.
However, Diablo III’s online element is also the game’s downfall. Early server problems have resulted in annoying error messages, with players finding themselves kicked out of their game, losing progress and valuable treasures as a result.
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It has been 12 years since the previous instalment but Diablo III is simple to play, yet very difficult to put down, with enough content to keep you going for months
Simple point-and-click controls; creative character customisation; lengthy campaign; drop-in-drop-out co-operative play
Weak plot; always-on internet required to play; dangerously addictive
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