I played Diablo 3 for around 90 minutes last night, my very first gaming time ever spent in the Diablo franchise of which I know very little about. I can now officially report my first impressions.
My very first impression was “oh gosh, I have to use my left click to move instead of right clicking like in League of Legends”. That actually took me a good 20-30 minutes to get the hang of. Even after an hour of playing I was still constantly spamming my right click spell accidentally trying to walk somewhere. But eventually I more or less got the hang of that. My next problem was that I kept misclicking on bad guys and walking toward them, something I generally didn’t want to be doing since I was a wizard. Then I figured out the shift-attack thing and I started doing much better.
I think in 90 minutes of playing at a rather slow pace I got to Level 6, dying twice in the process. The story is as interesting as any other well-crafted RTS campaign style story, and I especially like how all the character voice-overs and little cinematic things are specific to my character’s class and gender. The story is rather intensely dark but comparable to a lot of the undead-themed content from Warcraft III and WoW so not terribly over the top so far. Though I always have to chuckle at how these tiny villages of a few dozen people can somehow spawn hundreds and hundreds of zombies.
The steady progression of my character’s power, even in that short timeframe, was very fun to watch and is obviously the largest hook in the game. I unlocked my first rune for magic missile and it was cool to see the graphics effect change also, that’s definitely some real neat graphical polish if every single rune effect changes the graphics of the spell also. Probably my favorite ability so far is Arcane Orb, I just love the feel of the explosive force and how you can almost feel the impact in the way the enemies react. The sort of “real physics” feel to the game is a big step up from Warcraft’s combat where your character basically plays some animations and you watch numbers scroll across the screen. The combat in Diablo is definitely much more fun to watch and be a part of and I imagine as my character gets more powerful it will only make the combat even more intense.
Other than my initial clumsiness with the UI I don’t think I have any real complaints yet, but I’m quite early in to the game. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who have power-gamed their way through to the endgame already but at the rate that I play it will probably take me many, many weeks to get to the higher levels and so far I find myself looking forward to the journey.