It’s been years in the making, but finally fans all over the world are getting their first look at the newest Diablo title from Blizzard Entertainment. The Diablo III beta was launched late last week and Blizzard was kind enough to let us check it out firsthand.
To call the Diablo franchise a success is a huge understatement as many fans are still playing Diablo II nearly 12 years after its original release date. Some gamers might recall seeing these long, long wait times for sequels in the past. In some cases the new games were worth the wait like Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which took up several years of my life. However, other games, like Duke Nukem Forever, turned out to be a major flop. Only one way to find out whether Diablo III shares the same fate, let’s dive into the gameplay.
The beta is made up of the short segment of the first act of the game and ends at the defeat of King Leoric. All character classes are available, including Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor and Wizard. I was able to grow to about level 10 before completing the beta, and I will say it was a solid 3 hours or so of excitement. Movements, attacks, potions, items, and inventory are all very similar to its predecessor.
From a performance standpoint, I was able to play the game at the highest graphic settings available including 1920×1080 full HD with my unlocked Sapphire HD 6950 card. I also tested out the game with a HIS HD 6770 and was noticing some lag and artifacts at the highest settings. This card was not designed to handle HD gaming, so it’s not really a big issue. At lower settings, this GPU managed to handle the game flawlessly.
The graphics were outstanding, in my opinion. For a game of this nature, graphics are not usually a focal point but the effects were solid, especially the lighting and shadows. Although improvements can be made according to longtime Diablo fan and Overclockers.com editor Matt Green, who hopes AA and dynamic lighting are available in the final game release:
AA should be there since it’s an option in the settings, but there’s just no mode other than off. Dynamic lighting would be nice, to see abilities light up the environment, like a Wizard’s spell shot down a cave would light up the cave along the spell’s path.
As stated above, there are some settings that do appear in the graphics menu that cannot be toggled in the beta. It is likely that these enhanced effects will be added in the final version of the game, although we cannot confirm that.
For your viewing pleasure, we created a gameplay video to showcase the full experience of Diablo III (please note the gameplay was not created in HD resolution, so graphics may be less impressive):
Also, check out some screenshots:
To stay up to date on the latest game releases, rumors and performance data, keep a close eye on the OC Forums Games section. Currently there are several active threads on the upcoming Battlefield 3 beta, Resident Evil 6 trailer and the discussion that inspired this article, Diablo III NDA Lifted.
Additional Resources from the official Diablo III website:
If you have the beta, please share your impressions with us regarding GPU performance, gameplay, and anything else.