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News Article

First Look: We Get Handsy With the 'Diablo III' Demo

Can you believe it has been nearly ten years since the last Diablo game? While Diablo III was announced a few years ago, there is still no release date.  Right now, it looks likely that we could see a release some time in 2011.  But your FEARless reporter was on the front lines at Blizzcon 2010, where I got a chance to play a hands-on demo of Diablo III.

In case you haven't heard, the fifth and final playable class is the Demon Hunter.  She joins the ranks of previously announced classes Witch Doctor, Wizard, Monk, Barbarian, and Wizard.  The other big news out of the convention was that Diablo III will have a  player-vs-player arena mode, much like the battlegrounds in World of Warcraft.

The demo I got to play was single-player as a Demon Hunter (I had to try out the new character, of course), in an area called Hall of Agony, a fiery castle dungeon.  In the demo, you are given a quest of some sort, but I'll be honest: I was there for the killing.  And kill I did.  I didn't get a chance to really examine the beasties I was killing, but it looked like I was up against a combo of demons or witches - some kind of spell caster - and zombies.  In the build I played, the Demon Hunter had a couple ranged attacks, and an acrobatic vault ability that made for great escapes if a swarm set upon you.

The gore was pretty intense.  Limbs would randomly drop off zombies as they lurch towards you.  Most monsters would splatter the walls when killed.  Buckets of blood could be shot to retrieve loot, though I enjoyed shooting them for the explosion of blood it would bring.  The floor is covered in bloody drag streaks.  Buckets of skulls, shackles, and racks of torture  instruments decorate the halls.  You can molest corpses and steal their belongings.

I am sure that the developers polished up the demo, but it was a solid, clean build.  Quality takes time, but I am too excited for Diablo III.  Sure there is strategy, but there is also mindless, bloody killing.  And really, who doesn't love that in a video game?