Now that I've played Diablo III for a bit, I thought I would put down my initial impressions of the game. I will start by saying that I haven't experienced any of the frustration that many other folk have experienced. I played DIII for the first time around 4:00am on Tuesday morning, and it worked well, installing without hesitation and logging me in immediately. I played some more last night, again with no problems whatsoever.
I decided to create a Demon Hunter for my first character. I don't really have a good justification for this choice other than that's the one that appealed to me more when I made the decision.
1. Voice-overs - Ever since SWTOR, I think quests should be voiced rather than simply read. This adds so much more realism to the game, so I'm glad to see that Blizzard went with full voice-over in this game. So far, the voices are pretty good and believable for the character being portrayed.
2. Simplicity - So far everything I've done has been fully explained with tooltip pop-ups, and I've had an easy time with the learning curve. I'm sure there will be more complexity as the skill progression develops, but this is definitely an easy game to pick up and start playing, even for someone who hasn't spent much time with the Diablo series.
3. Stays True to its Roots - This game is very reminiscent of DII and even DI. Obviously Blizzard went with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality as they made this game. It holds true to what Diablo has always been, a great dungeon-crawler. I felt right at home in this game having played extensively in the first two.
4. Gothic - DIII also stays true to the dark, gothic feel that was established through the first two. So far, I've not been through much of the game, but I especially enjoyed the set-up of the old cathedral with its decidedly gothic decorations along with corpses and smeared blood. All-in-all, appropriately chilling.
1. Not Enough Newness - While Blizzard did stay true to their roots with this game, I'm not sure they've provided enough of a difference from DII for this to be a truly awe-inspiring experience. It is a solid game so far, but it is so much like DII that it could almost be an expansion of that game.
2. Graphics - They are good. Everything runs extremely smoothly, but with the incredibly detailed rendering of other games on the market right now, the graphics presented in this game just don't stack up. The environments so far have been pretty well portrayed, but the character models, especially monsters have not been very impressive to me thus far. Maybe when I get to a point later in the game with larger, more intricate monsters I'll feel differently.
3. Not Enough "WOW" Factor - Don't get me wrong, I think DIII is a solid game, but I simply haven't had that point where I do in most "great" games where I sit back and think, "wow, that was awesome." The play overall has been more like "meh, not bad."
Overall, I think Blizzard has offered a solid game that stays true to the past games. So far, nothing extraordinary about the game. It is fun, but I'm not sure how long I'll stay with it, especially with so many other games out to catch my attention.