Diablo 3 reinforces its position as lord of the loot

There are few series capable of maintaining interest after over a decade of hiatus, with every scrap of new information poured over by a throng of gamers in anticipation of the next release. Diablo is one of those series, instilling such a compulsory need to play that one can still find gamers online, working through Diablo II for the hundredth time. During Diablo 3 lengthy production period, we have seen would-be impersonators attempt to cash in on the loot-centric dungeon-crawler format that the second Blizzard hack and slash ushered in. Yet, even in the now-saturated genre, Diablo reinforces its position as lord of the loot. The third game is near flawless, embracing the standards of its forbearers while complementing their blueprint with every form of solo and multiplayer content we could have asked for.

Diablo II’s 2001 expansion pack, Lord of Destruction, delivered closure with the slaying of Baal, eliminating the last of the three Prime Evils of Hell. With the destruction of the corrupted Worldstone at the hands of the archangel Tyrael, the mortal realm of Sanctuary seemed destined for peace. Yet when we begin Diablo 3, the venerable Deckard Cain is pouring through tomes in the ruined cathedral of Old Tristram and the prophesied End Times seem to be closer at hand than expected. A “star” shoots down from the heavens and obliterates the church, with Cain’s niece Leah witnessing the impact and apparent death of her uncle. Word of this falling “star” has spread to all corners of the world, beckoning a hero to take up arms against the demonic forces about to invade Sanctuary.

There are five different character classes equipped with various skill sets for taking out these forces. Each has its own personal back story, and each plays differently from the rest. On a basic level, the Barbarian barrels into the fray with brute strength, the Monk uses healing and precision melee attacks, the Witch Doctor inflicts curses and summons minions, the Wizard rains powerful elemental damage, and the Demon Hunter is a master at ranged attacks and subterfuge. However, these are the mere templates of each class. Not only is each character distinctive enough that you’ll be encouraged to try them all out, but each can be played in an entirely different spectrum.