Sometimes it’s nice to step out of your comfort level when it comes to gaming. There are always certain genres that you never imagine yourself playing for one reason or another but that time that you do take a risk on a game that you might not always think is to your taste you can be pleasantly surprised.
I tried the Diablo 3 demo back when it was released for the last generation of consoles and I really didn’t like it at all. As soon as I saw all the different stats flying about it instantly turned me off even though the controls were a lot better than I thought they would be considering it’s something that had come over from the PC. In my office at the time there were a lot of guys playing Diablo 3 on PC and they were all getting intensely into it, they obviously had played previous versions, they were people who would crate spreadsheets to keep a track of their characters and what loot they were looking for; how could they get that extra 2% block chance in order to help their character to survive in the Hardcore mode run through?
It’s that type of stat based dullness that switched me off ever thinking about Diablo on the current generation of consoles. Then I realised I needed something to tide me over until Destiny and then picked it up because I’m a magpie, most new things I must buy.
I had a quick look through the character types; Crusader, Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor and Wizard, decided that Crusader looked the coolest and set up my character Jeor and went to save some old bloke in a Cathedral. After many hours of battling my way through various dungeons and monsters, levelling Jeor up, unlocking new abilities and changing my armour sets something hit me; I hadn’t done much else since the game began other than hit the same button again and again whilst occasionally hitting a different one. I found myself just sitting back and finding the endless hordes of enemies and the way I cut them down in my path strangely therapeutic and then of course there is the way that a lot of the areas look exactly the same.
That something that hit me was the realisation that the reason I was actually enjoying Diablo so much was because it was pretty much Dynasty Warriors.
After reading that last statement I’m sure some of the internet crowd will be up in arms (I’m looking at you N4G) but before you get your panties in a collective bunch realise this, I love Dynasty Warriors and that comparison is a compliment. After being worried that I was going to be overwhelmed with stats I soon realised that, if you aren;t a spreadsheet wielding maniac then you don’t need to be worried about that. You can enjoy just endlessly twatting the same button on your controller again and again and again whilst hordes of minions are ripped in half in front of you. Throw in thee odd different button press and you pull off a different ability that just about breaks up the monotony keeping it interesting enough.
It’s not just the combat that draws me to the comparison. As I’ve already mentioned when going thorough each act the locales are all pretty much one in the same, if you have been in one dungeon or cellar in Dahlgur Oasis you have seen them all, they look great but it’s exactly the same. It’s the same thing Dynasty Warriors has done over the years, how many battles of Hu Lao gate have their been? And how about the want to try out other characters and their weapons, special abilities and story content? At some point I will want to see how the Witch Doctor is different to Jeor the Crusader in the same way I will play as Guan Yu on one run through of Dynasty Warriors (insert any number here) and then make my way through the other characters.
I’m actually amazed at how much I’m enjoying Diablo and it is all down to the realisation that after taking away the micromanagement of stats it is essentially Dynasty Warriors. That’s certainly not why millions of other people will like the game but if you are someone who is put off by the perceived level of complexity in Diablo then I would urge you to reconsider. If you want a game that you can just sit down and smash your way through for a couple of hours at a time I certainly couldn’t recommend anything better…Well, except Dynasty Warriors