OS X Gaming Journaled: Diablo Returns

OS X Gaming Journaled is a series where I document games that I’ve played (or replayed) that don’t warrant a full review, as well as my recent experiences as a Mac Gamer.

It’s an odd thing with these Telltale games now isn’t it? They release a new episode of something every month or so, and then the gaming sites seem to be compelled to do a review, as if by that point it really matters. Surely people are going to decide whether they want to get it when the first episode is out, or when the whole thing is available. Or you know, wait for a sale. Are there people who absolutely must know what the second episode is like before they can form a complete opinion?

And so it is that we have the strange predicament where The Walking Dead Season 2 went on sale on Steam this week, just prior to episode 2 being released (proving for the umpteenth time that their release schedule is largely meaningless). Does this mean that people who paid full price have been stung? It’s a situation like those poor saps who buy into Early Access titles and are regularly screwed over by the game then being discounted (whilst still on Early Access), meaning they paid a higher price for an (even more) unfinished game.

Feral Interactive’s F1 2013 was released after a bit of a delay. I believe this also marks the first game published by Feral Interactive that was released on Steam (as a SteamPlay title) at the same time as the Mac App Store. I APPROVE.

Shadowrun Returns’ new DLC was released, but unfortunately in a completely unplayable state. It was looking promising, certainly nothing like the complete overhaul that people were hoping for, but an enjoyable light bit of RPG. Sadly, all the problems with the original Mac version persist, along with some new ones, the screen blanks out periodically if you have the Steam overlay enabled, and then there was the game-breaking stuff that prevented you from actually completing the thing. Since my review, there’s been a patch released which might at least fix the most serious of these (I haven’t been back to check, but will do so soon). Update: it doesn’t seem to have fixed the problem.

So now it’s time to talk about Diablo 3. It was my guilty pleasure of 2013, the game I kept finding myself going back to despite having completed it (and finding it a bit pointless to play). Diablo 3 has received a big patch recently (2.0), bringing with it reworked loot and difficulty systems, and reworked skills. And oh my. Blizzard have transformed the game as a result. Seriously, if I thought I could find the time, the changes made in 2.0 warrant another full review.

The patch list is a very, very long list of changes, but what it amounts to is this: the game is a lot more enjoyable to play as a result of all of them. Play Diablo 3 2.0, and you’ll find there’s now only two things to complain about: the garbage storyline and the lack of an offline mode. You can now make the game as challenging as you want from the start (and adjust the difficulty at any time), and you won’t have to spend half the game browsing the auction house (not something that I personally did, but I know this was the case for people playing it seriously). To the point where in 10 minutes of loading my level 40 Barbarian, virtually all the loot I’d collected in the hours prior was made redundant through new item drops. Two hours in, I received my first legendary item.

I can heartily encourage anyone who owns the game but was put off by poor design decisions should really take another look (to sweeten the deal, Blizzard are running an XP boost for the next few days). This is the game that should have been released, and if nothing else, you’ve got to give Blizzard credit for making all the necessary nips and tucks to get there. I’ll be returning to Diablo 3 for sure, and this time I won’t be feeling so bad about it.

Advertisement