Blizzard opened up the Diablo 3 beta for this weekend as a stress test. Download was kinda slow. 300kb/sec. It was about a 4 gig download. Uncompressed, the installer approximated 18 gigs. It took a decent amount of time and I’m on a Corei7 3.7 GHz desktop with 16 gigs of RAM. This only affected the decompression and installation, not the download… however since I started the download at work, it was ready by the time I got home.
The game runs VERY smooth, first off. My graphics card is a GeForce 9800 GTS, so most definitely not high end of the available cards. More after the break. SPOILER WARNING!
Action is swift and immediate. The premise is that a star falls to the planet and lands… in Tristram on the cathedral. Town is Tristram as well. New Tristram. it’s just down the road from the old one, but the old one was abandoned for obvious reasons. The undead are out and are your typical zombies. They shamble kinda slowly towards you. When you kill them, the top halves of their torsos crawl towards you and they feel faster than the regular mobs. Another mob that’s out and about are creatures that vomit onto the ground and every time they do, it spawns another baddie.
So after you clear those out, they send you back to town and you talk to some lady. She’s apparently the niece of some guy named… Deckard Cain. I’m sure you didn’t see that one coming! I assume she’s the lass in the below trailer that’s been out for a good number of months.
Deckard Cain is missing. He was in the Cathedral and she wants to find him. Guess what YOU get to do! When you get to the old cathedral, it looks like a typical dungeon. Most items can be destroyed. Upon occasion, you’ll see boards leaning against the wall. if you attack them, the wall comes tumbling down. They’re there for a REASON! You can use them to drop onto unsuspecting undead. When you get down to the second level, it cuts to a scene (non cinematic) that shows Deckard Cain running out of a room chased by 3 skeletons. The ceiling falls on the 3 skeletons also destroying the ground beneath them, saving Cain. Then a green gas rises out of the ground and a large skeleton threatens him with death and we learn the skeleton’s identity because we can now see the crown above his head. But we killed King Leoric in Diablo 1!!! Yes. Yes, we did. The star that crashed into the cathedral brought him back and it’s time to kill him.
To kill him, you have to go get his crown. But we saw the crown ON the King already! No, we saw a crown on the King’s GHOST. So, it’s off to another crypt to find the King’s crown. Only once we place it on his head can we destroy him again. Get the crown, head back to the cathedral, and you start finding tomes around. They detail the events of a man named Lachdanan. This name sounds FAMILIAR! Oh, right… he was a knight you ALSO killed in Diablo 1. See, Lachdanan was sent to Westmarch for battle. Upon his return, he found his King Leoric insane and the royal guard corrupted. The royal guard had attacked Lachdanan’s company. The tomes detail what happened when he returned. He went and killed King Leoric, but was cursed for eternity by Leoric’s last words.
So far, I’ve come across 5 tomes detailing Lachdanan’s past. I also got them all in order, which is very surprising since they were spread out across 2 visits to the cathedral.
From this point, you find your way further and further beneath the cathedral until you get to the King. It’s a fairly straightforward fight, but the King has quite a few hitpoints. The fight ends there as does the Diablo 3 stress test beta, but you are free to replay as much of it as you’d like. Also, with as much detail as they put into Lachdanan’s history, I think it’s safe to assume we’re going to see him on our journey after Hell’s minions.
2 Thumbs up!