Even though I haven't played the previous Diablo games before I wanted to try it out!
"Diablo III is an upcoming dark fantasy/horror-themed action role-playing game in development by Blizzard Entertainment, making it the third installment in the Diablo franchise. The game, which features elements of the hack and slash and dungeon crawl genres, was first announced on June 28, 2008, at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Paris, France, and is set to be released in North America and Europe on May 15, 2012, and in Latin American countries and Russia on June 7, 2012." - Wikipedia (25/4 - 12)
Game story: The game story/storyline was very easy to follow even though I haven't played the previous games in the Diablo series. The story is based on the previous two games which tells us about the three prime evils
Diablo, the Lord of Terror
Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred
Baal, the Lord of Destruction
In the BETA you start out in the town called New Tristam. As many of you might understand, this indicates that a significant amount of time has elapsed since Diablo II. You're about to seek a fallen star that crached onto Tristam Cathedral and the only one who survived was a girl named Leah Cain. She thinks that her uncle Deckard Cain is still alive after the comet crasched and you're going to try and help her find him. This leads to fights in the ruins of the cathedral and meeting enemies that you didn't think you would.
Character: You could choose to be either female or male and choose your class. I do know that some might want to customize their character(s) so I would've liked to see an option so you at least could customize your character a bit more but unfortunately Blizzard has chosen to skip that part.
But the game is about the game story and the game itself so I guess this isn't too important.
Classes: There are five different classes; monk, witch doctor, demon hunter, barbarian and wizard. Since I like mage or ranged classes I picked wizard to start with.
Skills: The skills were nicely done and most of them were pretty useful and using them against mobs gave you a pretty easy win. A friend who played as a witch doctor thinks that the skills were really overpowered in that class.
You couldn't choose your own bindings between the skills since each skill had an "original" binding already. If you had two different skills that had the same key binding, you could only choose to assign one skill at a time. In this way depending on what quest you were doing and mobs you were facing, you had to assign the one's that you could find very useful.
Gears and items: By killing mobs, they would drop different items, gears and gold. You could find some of the stuff very useful and the stuff you didn't want to have, you could either sell to different NPC's in town or put in your stash. Gears had differen't abilities and some of them were only for a certain class so you couldn't use it. I only picked up one of those through the time I played the BETA so guess that they're rare. Although I missed that there wasn't some kind of special "class master" NPC that could hand out a quest so you could receive better gears for your class.
You could after a finishing a certain quest "upgrade" or make another item at the Blacksmith's. You could buy items from NPC's too of course.
The environment: In game, the environment were nicely done with effects like fog and such which made it more realistic and harder to see if mobs were close or not. Also, you couldn't really look into a tunnel if you weren't in it. With the sound effects of a monster being close, you had to be fast and attack it if it was hiding inside the tunnel. Almost every character was dubbed, even your own and if you're not the type who likes to read I guess that you would find it very useful. Anyhow, it made it a lot more realistic.
NPC (Non-player character): I really liked the idea about the NPC's talking to eachother if you stood close to them, giving you more information about what have happend and their own thoughts and feelings as citizens. You could get pretty good information about the storyline in this way. There were also characters in game that would follow you (or you them) depending on the different quests. Your own character did talk to the different characters in game as well so it was easy to follow conversations. Also, the characters would fight against enemies if they were close.
EXP and levels: Killing mobs and finisihing quests would give you EXP. I'm not quite sure what Diablo 3's highest level will be but sources says.
Level 30 - Normal Difficulty
Level 50 - Nightmare Difficulty
Level 60 - Insane Difficulty
Hot keys: Something I missed here was the ability to move with WASD instead of your computer mouse. Although this might not be a big problem for people who are used to play games where you have to move with your computer mouse but might be a bigger problem for gamers who plays a lot with WASD or the arrow keys. Otherwise it was pretty easy to use and most of the key bindings were like the "normal" one's; (I) for Inventory, (M) for map and so on. Read more about the skill bindings on "Skills".
Summarize - My own thoughts after playing the Diablo III BETA
Actually, I thought it would be more complicated and harder but on normal difficulty, it wasn't. I do think that they made the skills a bit overpowered and they should at least give more unskilled Diablo players some challenge. I do think that it seems to be a pretty awesome and fun game and the storyline is pretty exciting. I liked the idea of primary skills because this would make you really think about what kind of skills you really need in different situations.
So am I going to pre-purchase this game?
My answer is: No. This is simply because I would like to play the previous games first although I might buy this game later on. I've heard that Blizzard usually don't make too complicated games. I would guess that this is because they want as many as possible to be able to play the game and in this way, they'll earn a lot of money.
And also for the big Diablo fans out there, Steelseries will be selling gaming gears and there'll be a Diablo III computer mouse. This computer mouse will count how many clicks you have used during the game. This will perhaps give you a bit more challenge when you try to click as less as you can through out the entire game?
Thank you for reading my review of the Diablo III BETA. I hope that You found this update interesting and if you got any suggestions, questions, compliments or anything, please post it as a comment on this update!
Your own flag. You could customize it and unlock different designs
An aura, you could find those in different places.
See that pomegranate-looking thing? That would regenerate your HP (health points) and those were dropped by killing mobs.
Choosing your primary skill
In New Tristam (look at the chat window to see what I ment with "having conversations")
See the two different "balls"? The red one shows how much HP you have left and the purple one (which is half in this picture) shows how much energy you have left so you can use spells.