You may have heard the news by now, and probably reactions from apocalypse and/or desperate denial of such to celebration and elation over it. But all the reactions are based on one story reported in gaming and general journalism: Gamestop is shutting down over 120 brick and mortar stores in favor of AT&T tablet exclusive and Mac exclusive ones.
A game with a storied past, Diablo 3 had a very polarizing effect when it first launched. Fans of the game adored it to fanboy levels, while others hated the game with a passion known only in places that either start with H or have 7 suns to talk about the fires of. I myself had fun with it, but I didn’t find anything particularly exceptional besides the volume of polish (as much as I still personally love the Belial fight). So when I finished the game, I reviewed it for FrontTowardsGamer.com and pretty much was done. I don’t tend to play games a second time.
But when the expansion was announced, I pretty much knew I was returning. The idea of fighting the Grim Reaper himself was too much to not want to try. And with friends I knew would be right there with me for the fight, how could I resist? I picked the game up opening week, though I knew it was going to wait a little while due to all the games coming out at the moment that I wanted to play… one after another. So how was it? Actually, it was really good.
When I saw Ether One’s trailer, I saw the potential to really play with an idea. After all, what could be cooler for a game then to go into a diseased mind to fight the disease? The potential was there to do some amazing things with this, and the trailer suggested you were going to be in danger in the mind you were trying to fix. This had all the potential in the world to be something cool, interesting, and if not a technical masterpiece, at least something to be remembered. Well, they got the last part right, but not much else. If you play, you will remember it, but you will likely also remember wondering why the hell this was even made as a game.
Friday, the news was released, and we found out Gamespy, a service that was at one time synonymous with PC online gaming (and even played a roll in many console games going online), is officially shutting down at the end of next month. This news obviously brought out the troll fights online as suddenly every console fanboy saw ammunition to fling at their life-long hated enemies. Suddenly “PC games lose server support too! SUCK IT PC GAMERS!” was the battlecry across several comment sections. The sad point they missed is no one ever said that at all. But, as a writer who talked about Nintendo pulling the plug on their online service and talked about it as a warning for games disappearing when that entire generation ends, I feel this point really should be addressed. (Incidentally, the fact that Gamespy is shutting down scant days after Nintendo turns off the Wii network, and were intricate in creating it is rather suggestive in my opinion.)
I heard all the warnings. I read the Steam forums as this game was getting ready to launch. Everyone warned me and anyone else who would spend the time reading not to buy this game and that it would be terrible. And yet I couldn’t help but think their reasoning was flawed. It seemed that everyone had shot the game down because it was a port from iPad, rather then even look at the game itself. I suspect most people complaining had never even played the game in any form before they started bitching.
With this in mind, I took the plunge with the intention to play, review, and report to you all if the game actually is any good. And as I finish it, I find myself disappointed. It was not the doom and gloom that the always complaining Steam forums made it out to be, but it definitely wasn’t good either.