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Perndog Perndog is offline
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 10:21 AM        Hellgate: London
Gamespot and IGN don't have reviews up yet, the bastards. But I knew it had to be good, so I picked it up while I was at Target yesterday. I played for a couple of hours last night to celebrate Halloween (I did the party thing last weekend). Thoughts:

1) I'm sad that I have to turn off a bunch of eye candy to get it to run smoothly on my new expensive gaming laptop (geforce 8600 GT video). But I do have enough juice to run a consistent 30 fps while looking halfway awesome if not totally awesome. Even the most basic spell effects are capable of some pretty impressive lighting displays if your machine is up to it.

2) Lots and lots of Diablo influence, naturally. And then lots of World of Warcraft splashed in. Town portal, identify scroll, skill trees, globe on the left for health and globe on the right for mana (power or energy or something). Special named monsters who drop phat lewt and are surrounded by basic versions of themselves. NPCs with ! over their heads to give you quests and with ? to finish quests. Standard WASD+mouselook controls.

3) I'm playing a ranged class, and so far it doesn't make a difference whether I'm in first-person or third-person view. As long as you keep the crosshairs basically on the monsters, the game engine decides if you hit them. Of course, sometimes it's not so easy to keep your crosshairs in the right place. There's still a fair bit of quick action required, particularly with bosses.

4) There are way too many things you can do with items right away. If you don't want something, you can either sell it or break it down into components. You can upgrade existing items by a) adding those basic components to it to change its level, b) buying one of three progressively more expensive tiers of random attributes, or c) adding "modifications" to socket slots a la Diablo gems. Mods can be removed at any time at a price. I've got like a dozen equipment slots and damned if I know what the best way to improve this stuff is.

5) The manual is thin, and there are still a couple of icons on the HUD that I don't understand at all. Also, I didn't quite get how the spells worked at first. The spell you start with as an Evoker says "level 1: +100% psychic damage". The weapon you start with says "16 damage" (don't remember the exact number) and then in the detailed description mentions some damage type. So do I need a weapon that does psychic damage to use my spell? As it turns out, no, it just adds 16 psychic damage on top of the 16 I do just by shooting. Direct-damage spells don't have their own damage ranges, they're dependent on the stats of your "focus," which is the weapon that casters use. More skill points in a spell make the percentage higher. So now you know.

6) Overall, I think it has huge potential, and I can't wait to get further in. Not sure how far I should go before I start over, though, because if you played Diablo II shortly after release you know that your first few characters end up with crap for skill sets because you don't know what works best until after you've already locked yourself in. I still mourn my poor Lightning Sorceress who got to level 28 before she realized that lightning can only ever be a secondary specialty (well, back then at least, I don't know how the tweaks in the recent patches have affected that).
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Fathom Zero Fathom Zero is offline
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Old Nov 1st, 2007, 04:28 PM       
I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for it to finally come out.
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Perndog Perndog is offline
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 12:03 PM       
Okay, at least one thoughtful and intelligent review is up:

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php...d=86786&page=1

I disagree with this guy about the voice acting and the storyline. Well, the storyline isn't spectacular, but it's engaging enough if you want it to be.

He's wrong about the view thing. I play almost exclusively in third-person view with my caster, and it works fine. I just have to remember to aim high if I want to shoot straight forward over the ground rather than directly at some monster.

And as far as randomly generating the terrain of a real-life city goes, I prefer a little awkwardness and maybe even a little blandness to having to cover exactly the same ground with every new character I start, and I don't care if it's not actually London, because that's not the point.

Other than that, now that I've played a little more, I'm pretty much on the same page as this reviewer. The game holds up a huge sign saying "Diablo fans will love me" and it delivers on that. But it has some technical issues, the multiplayer experience is not well-defined, and the overall experience, while very enjoyable, is not the revolution a lot of us hoped it would be. On the plus side, the $10 a month premium membership deal means they can afford to add a lot of content going forward, so we won't have to hope and pray for years that our patch 1.10 will finally come out and shake things up.
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mew barios mew barios is offline
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Old Nov 2nd, 2007, 07:53 PM       
i was wanting to play diablo again without actually playing d2, which burned me out forever when i tried hardkore mode. this looks like what i want
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