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Gamescom: Diablo 3 Hands-On

It seems that if you don’t speak German in Cologne and just walk into places, people rarely stop you. This was the case for me this afternoon when I got my hands on Diablo 3.

Previously in 2009, I got a hands-on with the Barbarian, which is everybody’s favourite character. I now opted for the Demon Hunter.

I started off with my character in the Halls of Agony where I smashed many little beasts with my ranged attacks and got familiar with the controls. Left click, right click. Okay, sorted.

Using the tab key will quickly change the skills and what I later discovered was that my left click was a damage dealing magic projectile which chained enemies together, meaning they took equal damage after an attack on one of the monsters. The right click sent forward to enemies something of a time bomb. As the bomb landed, it would tick for a second or two and then deal some area-of-effect damage.

This was a great combination which I used throughout the game, constantly linking monsters together with damage taken and then dropping multiple time bombs on enemies. This worked really well, coupled with my main kiting ability which was a leap/roll that got me out of danger quite often.

I breezed somewhat through the Halls of Agony to be met up with a non-player character (NPC) outside the dungeon. This was where our next quest was and it seemed it revolved around finding Leoric’s lair and ultimately slaying him.

This all sounds very familiar to the beta that players may get their hands on later next month in September, although one of the staffers at the Diablo 3 booth assured me that this was not the beta version.

At first glance, Diablo 3 doesn’t look like much but all it takes is for a gamer to sit down and get into it for a few minutes and it becomes that instant gratification game which every gamer should spend a large portion of their gaming career playing.

The game looks great and has a certain sleek look that reminds of the previous Diablos. It is ultimately the perfect next step in the series and will combine a mix of questing, looting and mindless clicking in order to progress to the next stage. This is, at its core, exactly what Diablo has always been about and it’s fantastic to see that Blizzard isn’t skimping on any of that action.

It’s always difficult to write a hands-on for Diablo 3 and admittedly I have struggled in the past. It’s not that there isn’t much to talk about, it’s just that there's not anything new that we don't know already. Anybody with their ear to the ground knows that the game is good and 95 percent of the gaming population world-wide has decided whether they are going to play Diablo 3 or not already.

I’m just here to tell you that Diablo 3 is everything that you want and is likely to be everything you expect, and it will probably even exceed those expectations, depending on how much you know about this series.

See the video below in full-screen at the Diablo 3 Beta Gameplay B-Roll trailer page.

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