After 12 years, the gates of hell have opened again. Diablo 3 is finally out. I have spent about 3 hours in the game and am far from finished (also, I skipped the beta so this is my first contact with the game). These are my initial impressions:

1)      It was impossible to log in right after the game unlocked. Blizzard’s servers were overloaded and at this point I expect “Error 37” to become an internet meme of some sort.

2)      I did log in around five hours after launch. This time, without a hitch. Character selection is the first thing to do. As expected, there is no customization here beyond choosing a gender and class. The models do look pretty though. I decide to roll a mage.

3)      The first few minutes are a bare bones tutorial. The control scheme is an exercise in simplicity.

4)      The game looks ok. I was expecting more textures and the ability to pull back the camera little more would be welcome. People with old hardware will be pleased however.

5)      Art direction is awesome. The whole thing is very gothic and “diabloesque”. Nicely done devs.

6)      Whoa! Killing stuff is fun! There is a tangible sense of feedback right off the bat.

7)      What the …lag?!! In a single player game? I’m sorry, but this is bullshit. DRM or not, I should not have to experience this as a customer. Color me disappointed.

8)      Sound direction in the game is phenomenal. Effects are done just right and the music is quite simply, awesome. Nailed this bit Blizzard.

9)      There isn’t much of a story so far. And whatever I have seen in terms of plot is laughable. Characters seem to have no, er, character. There is not even an attempt to engage the player on an emotional level. This game is all about loot and killing stuff. Lots of stuff.

10)   Holy crap this ice beam of death is awesome! Pew, pew, pew ZAAAAAAP! Did I mention killing stuff is fun?

11)   There is some banter with NPCs. People talk when you are around even if you do not initiate dialogue, shedding more light on recent events. Too bad I do not care. Seriously, I could write better than this.

12)   Character development looks interesting. It’s too early to comment on how deep this is (only made it to level 9) but it looks promising. The rune system should provide a ridiculous amount of customization. I wish there was more info on skills though. Mousing over does not tell me how much damage a particular attack does. Maybe I’m missing something.

That’s all for now. Remember, these are just initial impressions. I get the feeling this is going to be a loooong game. I shall try to get some co-op action going later in the day if I can. Stay tuned.