by Jen Edwards
Diablo III is the game that many gamers have been waiting more than a decade for; the followup to the beloved and incredibly successful action RPG Diablo II, which launched in 2000. It’s a hack and slash (or click-click-click) action RPG in a series known for addictive multiplayer gameplay in a dark fantasy universe with a never-ending supply of in-game gold and plenty of weapons and armor “loot” that entices players to keep going level after level.
Whether you choose a digital copy or a physical disk, the experience starts out the same; you’ll receive a product key that you must associate with a free Battle.net account in order to play the game. Once you do that, you don’t even need the disk, since the game client is freely downloadable from the Blizzard web site.
That’s good news if you happen to lose the disk, because you’ll still have access to the game, though it makes buying a physical copy (unless you spent the extra $40 for the extravagant Collector’s Edition package – which includes a number of exclusive and worthwhile artifacts, including in-game add-ons, a Diablo III soundtrack, making-of DVD, Diablo skull, USB soulstone, Diablo I and Diablo II, and more) basically irrelevant. The only advantage to having the disk is not having to wait forever to download the game.
Installation proved to be frustratingly difficult for some players at launch. The process was relatively smooth on both Mac and PC for me, and oddly enough was much simpler on my relatively underpowered Macbook Air. I received several errors on my Sony Vaio stating that my video card was at first unsupported and then that my video driver was outdated, but I was eventually able to finish installing the game. Neither computer is a real gamer’s rig (the Vaio in particular is more than three years old), and I appreciate the fact that the game is playable on a wide variety of hardware and doesn’t require the absolute latest and greatest.
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