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The Diablo series, which began in 1996, pioneered the action role-playing game genre. Presented in an isometric view, action was fast, frantic and addictive; click on enemies to attack them and use the loot, or dropped items, that are found to make your character stronger. Diablo III, releasing exclusively for the PC, doesn’t reinvent the series; fans can expect the same action role-playing gameplay they’ve come to expect but now with a few twists. The storyline from past games continues, as players are still in the land of Sanctuary, though two decades into the future. The game focuses on the last two Lesser Evils, Azmodan and Belial, though one can assume that, just like past games, Diablo himself will be making an appearance as well.

Diablo won’t be the only familiar thing players encounter, should he return; Diablo III includes many throwbacks to past games in the series. Players will revisit the village of Tristram, the setting of the first Diablo, Deckard Cain reappears to guide you on your journey and even past bosses, such as the Skeleton King, reemerge to battle you once again.

However, this time in battle you have a few new tricks up your sleeve thanks to the refined combat system. All of your character’s skills are available to you at all times and become more powerful as you level up; there are no more skill points, allowing for more open ending gameplay. Each class has over twenty skills, ranging from powerful group attacks to defensive boosts to keep you alive. Also gone are health potions; health orbs now drop from your enemies encouraging offensive, fast-paced gameplay.

The biggest change to Diablo III is the auction house. Now, items that your character has no use for can be sold on a global auction house to other players for real money. The flipside of that is true as well: you can also buy items from other player for real money.

Diablo III, releasing May 15th, 2012, offers just enough tweaks to a classic formula to make it feel new; the perfect formula for both series’ fans and newcomers.

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