Crafting gives you something to do between bouts of dungeon crawling. The town hub - a safe area where you can store items, get healed, and trade with merchants - has a blacksmith that can break down rare items into materials.
You then use these to craft new weapons and armour. The quality of the recipes you have available depends on how much money you've invested in the blacksmith's shop. For every lump sum of gold you give him, he offers better items to craft. It isn't a staggeringly complex system, but it's an entertaining distraction from regular combat, and a good way of making some extra money. If you craft something special, you can flog it on the auction house for a tidy sum.
If you want a vast, open RPG like Skyrim, Diablo is not the game for you. It's a tight, focused experience, and heavy on action. Even though it should be massively repetitive clicking on monsters for hours upon end, it really isn't. The constant stream of new skills you unlock, endless supply of loot, and randomly generated levels keep you interested.
It only gets better when you play with friends. Working together to take down bosses and discover secrets in dungeons is the very definition of classic role-playing, and it's always nice to have someone to show off your awesome new hat, or magic pants, to - and to trade with. But you can still enjoy it on your own, thanks to the lengthy, involving story.
Diablo 3 is like a combination of Blizzard's other two big games, StarCraft and World of Warcraft. It has the social elements, fantasy setting, and tactical combat of WOW, but with the real-time gameplay, and top-down perspective, of StarCraft.
The DRM issues and busy servers have left a bad taste in many peoples' mouths, and not being able to play solo offline is ridiculous, but if you can get past that, you'll find a supremely polished and rewarding role-player that's a blast with friends or alone, and fiendishly addictive.
Blizzard have taken the seemingly tedious act of clicking repeatedly on a goblin, and turned it into one of the most entertaining RPGs in recent years.
One of the most madly addictive RPGs of recent years. A modern game with an old school feel, that really shines when played with buddies in co-op.
- Addictive loot system
- Satisfying combat
- Big, challenging dungeons
- Server troubles affect single-player
- Slow first few hours