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Dark Shadows writer thinks the story for Diablo 3 is “pretty damn weak”

by Ethan Powers on July 25, 2012

Screenwriter John August has a pretty extensive resume. His writing credits include Big Fish, two Charlie’s Angels films, and a number of Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaborations including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, and their most recent endeavor, Dark Shadows. In addition to the multiple criticisms that Blizzard and Diablo 3 have already faced since its launch in May, August would like to point out that the story is another facet of the game that sucks.

August notes that Diablo 3 forces the player to be an objective spectator in the game’s events, requiring that he/she watch NPCs make important decisions rather than enabling the player to make any kind of choice. He cites StarCraft as a game that utilizes the NPC properly and develops them in a way that causes the player to establish an emotional investment with them.

“Remember Raynor and Kerrigan from StarCraft? I became invested in those characters, not because of their cut scenes, but because I got to play as them,” said August. “I kept them alive through zerg rushes, and watched as they made sacrifices that transformed them. So even when I wasn’t playing those characters, I knew them…The only NPC I cared about a little was my sidekick/meatshield, Kormac the Templar. He had a limited set of phrases, but he made an effort, and our canned conversations felt at least a little humanizing. Here’s the test: When I could have switched to a different hireling, I didn’t, because I would have missed him. A little.”

August goes on to criticize the redundancy of the voiceover recaps between narrative chapters and is of the belief that these cinematic interludes were a ploy by Blizzard after the development team came to the conclusion that the story did a poor job of connecting with the player.

“At several moments in the game — generally at act breaks — the game goes to a completely different animation style. Your character gives voiceover to recap what’s just happened and where they’re headed next. It’s oddly repetitive and tacked-on,” he said. “My hunch, though I have no proof, is that these interludes came very late in the development of the game, when someone at Blizzard realized that the player/plot relationship was non-existant. It very much feels like voiceover added to a movie that’s not working.”

Source: via Kotaku

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  • ihatehippsterscoppycat

    well no one cares cuz this game sucks top downs are so 90’s

  • RumorMan

    This guy is an asshole. Diablo III is awesome!


    Starcraft is so amazing. Probably my favourite franchise of all time. It was so fcked when they left Kerrigan to die. I can’t wait to play the 2nd one

  • StarDweller

    I agree completely. The story in Diablo 3 was beyond horrible. It took them 12 years to come up with this garbage? Are you kidding me?

    I stopped playing the game about 6 weeks ago and have not looked back since. It’s clear what Blizzard’s goal was with Diablo 3- to get as much money as possible from their customers. Real Money Auction House is a more fitting name.

  • Pat

    Diablo 3 is a dieing game, sell your crap and get out before the economy collapses and your “investment” is lost.

    Auction Hunter Tycoon is a boring game.

  • KingDL1

    I am so unhappy with Diablo 3 I can’t stand it.

  • MasterX1

    Diablo 3 ia an amazing game!

  • golsten

    I love Diablo 3, I think it´s the best game for PC ever made :)

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