Can three times really be the charm?
Diablo III, after what seems like an eternity’s worth of a wait in the fifth ring of Hell, is going to be released a week from today. I’m not going to mince words: I’m waiting with rabid hunger like Cujo staring down two walking steaks in a locked car. The release of the third installment of everyone’s favorite demon-slaying, loot hoarding, cow-horde loving adventure has been anticipated for years.
A question I was recently asked by a fellow journalist in the gaming press gave me about a half-second’s worth of a pause. “Do you really think a click-click-clicky game is going to appeal as much as it did 10 years ago?”
For almost a second I was stopped in my tracks, and then it came to me. Absolutely! Why? Call of Duty of course! If any franchise has proven it can give you nearly identical installments and game mechanics (for way more than three iterations)… and still have people lining up, it’s Call of Duty.
I’m not really trying to bash on the CoD crowd, but it made me realize that I will be ready to tear into that fedex package with identical fervor. I participated in the Diablo III Open Beta weekend. I, like many others who did, felt it was a wonderful, wonderful cock-tease. Inevitable promise of gaming orgasmia, but over just before some seriously awaited penetration.
The hype engine is high for this title… to say the least. Diablo III has been in development for almost ten years. The game has faced major direction shifts that gave people reason for unease and pause. Blizzard has proven more than once that it can make an incredibly addicting and fun game. Diablo as a franchise has a fan-fervor like few games I’ve ever seen.
That can be a bad thing in many cases, and who hasn’t heard of the hype machine destroying a game’s release. A certain massive multiplayer adventure in Hyboria comes to mind, or the Stronghold series, or (and the list goes on.)
What Diablo III has going for it, is similar to the CoD series. Blizzard is not reinventing the wheel here. They know their product and buyers. Diablo III seemingly has everything we loved about the first two games. This opinion gleaned from a tease worse than a 15 minute lap-dance, over a minute too early.
Release day will tell, for sure. Blizzard is sticking to the mechanics and features that made the previous two games in the franchise something of an obsession. Hype machine or no, that can only be a good thing.