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Critics praise Diablo III despite abysmal user reviews

by William Schwartz on May 21, 2012

Critics have showered praise on Blizzard Entertainment’s latest work with Diablo III.  The Dungeon Crawling sequel has recieved mostly positive reviews from news outlets, but fans don’t seem to have the same opinion.  According to the review aggregator Metacritic, there’s quite a discrepancy between what critics are saying and what users are saying.

While Diablo III has critic based metascore of 89 out of a possible 100, users have rated the title a paltry 4.1 out of a possible ten.  Here’s a selection of reviews from metacritic, and elsewhere.

“Blizzard’s expertise is staggering,” says Joystiq’s Mike SchrammKotaku – Yes – Because the action role-playing game that launched a thousand clones remains the most viscerally entertaining way to click your mouse several hundred thousand times.

Joystiq – 100 – At its core, Diablo 3 is a series of combat encounters and, when you realize just how carefully it’s put together, Blizzard’s expertise is staggering.

RPGamer – 100 –  It takes the core experience that made Diablo II great and makes it less frustrating and, more importantly, much more accessible. Where Diablo II encouraged careful planning and forethought, Diablo III encourages experimentation and fun. And hey, if you’re not down with that, Torchlight II is right around the corner.

Machinima – 95 – With Diablo III, Blizzard made one of the most approachable and enjoyable games in the world even better. In fact, aside from the annoying online-only infrastructure, I can’t imagine a single thing I would change to make this game better. That’s when you know you have a classic on your hands, and that’s also when you know you should play this game as much as you can.

Wired – 90 – It was one of the best cooperative experiences I’ve ever had in a video game, and I don’t even know who those people were. I’ve made my concerns about the storytelling in this game clear, but maybe that’s not as big of an issue. I came away from Diablo III with a great story to tell, one of my own making.

Some critics discounting the entire game for day one server issues in Diablo IIIGame Arena – 65 – I’ve played 28 hours of Diablo 3 (according to the in-game measurement) – but this isn’t the whole story. I’ve spent six hours not playing it – nearly a quarter of my time total. With no competitive multiplayer,  constant network related issues and what I feel is negative movement in terms of the ‘loot’ metagame, Diablo 3 in its current state isn’t something I see myself playing any more.

Digital Noob – 50 – Overall, while there aren’t too many flaws, their severity make it impossible to even try to fake a good score. The requirement of a constant connection kills gameplay if the servers are ever so slightly unstable, or your cat unplugs your router, and the story is just so dull and uneventful that, despite all my hoping and wishing, I have no real want to go back and play through. I will, of course, to see how all the classes handle, and possibly push through Nightmare mode.

Gamer Tech TV – 40 –   Diablo 3 is a watered down cynical game which in its current state its single player mode is broken.

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  • Jim

    Lol at those 3 low scores. Wow…really? Knocking an entire game THAT low because of an always on requirement and temporary issues that have since been solved? Talk about unprofessional.

  • Raven

    @jim, you could just as easily call the high ratings unprofessional. Even if DRM was known ahead of time, shipping with this type of DRM alienates a significant portion of the player base forever, not just launch. The DRM was only included because of RMAH, which isn’t even in game. Add the failure to include pvp, bland itemization, linear story, falsely claiming random areas (I have yet to see an area with more than 2 maps), cartoonish art style for a traditionally dark IP, unimpressive graphics, throwing out great classes for bad ones (necro compared to witch doctor?)… the only thing D3 has that warrants points is the soundtrack. Certainly, many of these are subjective impressions, but a few are not, and they warrant a loss of points. It’s hard for many players to understand why this game is getting anything higher than a 7. The noise isn’t just from haters, its from people genuinely disappointed with what the game ultimately turned out to be. places giving the game 9’s and 10’s are failing to present the negatives for their significance. had this not been blizzard, no other publisher could have gotten away with such large shortfalls and still gotten those scores short of paying for them.

  • GreenRings

    Diablo 3 is the worst game ever. I haven’t played it but from what I’ve heard it stinks really bad. Way to flop Blizzard.

  • njb

    It caters to fans. At the start it does lil to intrest a new or casual player. The first parts of the game r boring and the 1st boss is the hardest in the game. My opinion. Then when u get into its good. The auction house sounds like a bad idea. If u buy items and weapons with real money. The person u pay gets blizzard tokens and not actual money. That is annoyin to me. So i have to use the real money on blizzard games. It would have been get the money to use at ur own will or at least get more tokens. And the servers r bad, Aoe is annoyin, u think ur out of the range of it but it puts u back in the middle of it. If u play on hardcore that would piss u off if u died because of lag, u lose ur character forever. And items and equipment dropped by bosses is at least 5 levels behind ur character so u have to buy equipment for ur lvl in the auction house

  • Brian

    This is why I don’t even visit most gaming sites anymore. They are shills for the hype machine. If a developer is popular, they don’t dare go against them for fear of the fanboy backlash. Diablo 3 is garbage.

  • Bugsy187

    Diablo 3 is a disappointment. I’ve played it for less than a week and am already bored. The stellar reviews highlight dishonest journalism that we should continue to expose.

  • BenderWaka

    I truly loved diablo 2 and still play mods for it. But despite how much i want to play diablo 3 i really cant pay them for it. the game is completely un-moddable and you are forced to play online for single player. And how in the world is pvp not yet available?

    Untill the game is moddable i refuse to get it.

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