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Where Are All The Diablo 3 Reviews?
Today the action RPG Diablo 3 launched in countries throughout the world. No doubt many of you searched Google for reviews only to find that...well, there aren't any. So, what happened?
The answer's pretty simple: Blizzard didn't give press access to the full version of D3 before it was released. They actually did the same thing with StarCraft 2 a couple years back. If memory serves, the rationale with SC2 was that the revamped Battle.net was an integral part of the game and reviewers would miss out on a vital information if they reviewed it without checking out the online features. Presumably the same logic applies to the lack of advance reviews of D3.
There's no way to write a review based on the beta version of the game, either. The beta was only a portion of the game's first Act. Testers barely dipped their feet in the full game so it would be dishonest to render a final judgment just based on that.
Could Blizzard have pulled servers away from the beta and set up some special playtest for press with the full version? Maybe. This wouldn't be a taste of the true online experience, though. Playing alongside hundreds of reviewers spread across the world really is a lot different than playing with millions of people in your own country.
I'm not saying all of this to complain, mind you. The press ultimately gets more freebies and early games than we deserve. With regards to D3, Blizzard is giving review codes to select press. If anything, forcing all press to start playing the game at the same time is a boon to us or any site without the clout to secure "exclusive world first reviews." We're all on a level playing field for this game, more or less.
I'd imagine that a lot of people have already made up their mind one way or the other with this game. Still, it's been so many years since Diablo 2's release that for many people, Diablo 3 will be their first experience with the series. It sucks that they'll have to wait for publications (or their friends) to play through the game to find out whether it's a worthwhile purchase.
The upside to the lack of early reviews is that you'll find out more about the game's stability at launch. If every gaming site had published their review last week, you would not have heard about the disconnects and lag that everyone's experiencing on launch day. However, press have to cope with the same issues as everyone else today so expect to read all about it in their reviews.
Anyway, just thought you guys and girls would want to know what the deal is. We hope to have our review up either later this week.
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