I Finally Beat Diablo III. What A Letdown.

I Finally Beat Diablo III. What A Letdown.

This is the ending of the biggest PC game of the year? What a bummer.

Congratulations! You’ve defeated Diablo III.

Greater challenges and epic items await you in Nightmare Difficulty!

I guess I saw it coming. The story up until this point had been an undercooked mess of arch codswallop. It almost couldn’t help but whiff the grand finale. And besides, story isn’t the main reason that people play Diablo III. And yet I still couldn’t help but laugh at the cheap, bland way it all concluded.

I realise that just about everyone else in the world finished Diablo III ages ago. Not me! I took my time. Also I kinda got bored with it a few times and spent long periods of time playing other things. Here’s how it all plays out, if you somehow haven’t finished the game:

First, you make your way up to where Diablo is waiting. As you go, you pass the ghosts of the people who died along the way to your final confrontation. That sounds epic, right? A real chance for the story to come full circle and tie things together in a way that makes it feel like this all meant something! Well, it isn’t. It’s a bunch of hollow dialogue that you fly past while clicking on more dudes and killing them.

The sub-boss is some angel or other, a guy who I certainly hadn’t kept track of over the course of the game’s story. Oh, but he’s evil now! Better click his arse to death. So that’s what I did, and he died, and then it was Diablo-killing time.

I made my way up to where the big bad waited. I felt no real apprehension about it. I walked into the room with Diablo. He attacked me for a while, so I clicked on him. He kept talking about “Terr-roar” in this hilariously overwrought way. Then, he warped us to a dark nether-realm where he proceeded to say the same handful of things over and over.

“You shall never wake from this nightmare.”

“Can you feel your death approaching?”

“How tastes your fear, Nephalem?”

“Can you feel your death approaching?”

“Your Nephalem power will not help you in this realm, mort-tal.”

“How tastes your fear, Nephalem?”

“You shall never wake from this nightmare.”

Counter to Diablo’s predictions, I did indeed wake from this nightmare. I’m not sure what he meant about how my Nephalem powers wouldn’t help me — I kinda felt about the same in the nightmare realm as in the regular one. So then Diablo got more difficult, and I clicked him some more, and it felt like a proper boss fight for a little while, and then I killed him.

That was all fine — I could see this being a decent fight, particularly in a big party on a higher difficulty. But after it ended… my little entourage of still-alive NPCs assembled where Diablo had fallen, and everyone stood still for a while. I gathered some loot from Diablo — I got a belt, and a staff, and a couple of archery things that I can’t use. The belt wasn’t that good, the staff was OK. And then it was time to end the game.

A cutscene played (and not even a particularly cool one by Blizzard’s very high cutscene standards). And then it was time to start all over again.

It’s not the end of the world or anything. (Heyo! Diablo humor!) No, but really, this game just doesn’t get by on its epic story, great writing, etc. I had a fine time playing it. I’ll probably keep pecking at it for a good long while. All the same, I found myself surprised by the… chintziness?… of the post-boss wrapup. A game that was in development for this long, that concludes a trilogy this beloved… well, it could have felt a bit more substantial, you know?

I don’t hate Diablo III, not by a long shot. But I’ve been disappointed with a lot of things about it. Bearing in mind all the disappointments I’d felt throughout my time with the game, I wasn’t expecting the finale to blow me away or move me to tears. But I also wasn’t expecting to be so thoroughly underwhelmed. I realise that the two games are very different (and hesitate to go down this path at all), but I have to say: The Mass Effect 3 ending was far more satisfying and less flawed than this business.

Immediately after finishing, I did what any good Diablo III player is supposed to do — I got started on my second playthrough on nightmare difficulty.

I arrived at New Tristram, again. I killed some zombies, again.

The guard at the gate said, “I’ve never seen anyone fight like that before!”

“Liar,” I thought.


  • Congratulations, you completed less than one quarter of the game.
    The story is spectacular. The cutscenes incredible. You sound bitter. The final battle IS the ending. What more do you need? Sounds like you are trying to get onto a diablo hate bandwagon, and you’re late.

    • By that logic, it’s a pretty poor game in that three quarters of the game are just the first quarter repeated at greater difficulties.

      After I finished on normal I got through to the third act in nightmare and got bored. I was playing single player though. Playing single player I found it to be a fun time-waster, but I couldn’t dedicate stretches of time to it as it just felt like wasting time that could be better spent on other games. Regardless, I still feel like I got my money’s worth out of it.

  • Most people are excited to be playing Nightmare to get more gold/xp/skills.

    You need to be this bitter when you hit Inferno

  • The writing, the dialogue, and a fair chunk of the voice acting are terrible, no argument there but you can’t really make a convincing point about it if you clearly weren’t paying attention. The fact that the “ghosts” turn in to creatures to fight should tell you whether or not they were actually the spirits of your dead friends. And Izual, I don’t think, was ever even mentioned before you fight him for you to ‘keep track of’. It just means you didn’t play/remember/pay attention to Diablo II either. I agree that the ending wasn’t really worth the journey but I think it’s very clear the ‘ending’ is just a placeholder till a future expansion is released. It seems like they were being conscious of the pacing involved when you will eventually just be clicking on to the next chapter. It’s even pretty clear what the expansion will likely be about. Here’s hoping the writing/dialogue improves for that one, because as much as I had fun playing D3, when you couple terrible story with super easy mode on first playthrough I will fast lose interest.

  • yea I wanted a bit more oomph to the ending but I really didnt feel it detracted from the game. the game is all about the phat lewt and I just wanted to keep killing stuff after that boss fight..

  • Wow, your this bitter already? Now imagine how the inferno players feel. I I played all the way through in utter denial that a franchise this awesome could turn out to be that crap. I I kept playing through hoping the fun would pick up and the game would redeem itself and finally after 140 hours of trying to find one redeeming feature I gave up and concluded this a steaming pile of mess. I wanted to love this game so badly and damn did I try but blizzard tries to kick you in the nads, every. Single. Time.

  • Diablo II ended with one of the prime evils still running around destroying the world, it wasn’t until Lord of Destruction that we sorted that out. I don’t like the idea of waiting for an expack to get a complete story but it’s not exactly anything new for blizzard, people seem to forget that..

    • Never mind that Adria as far as I’m aware is MIA. I have a feeling she’ll show up again thus the expansion.

  • Agreed the fight wasnt interesting enough! even with a big party or harder difficulties.. not much happens, painfully simple! i woulda thought after elaborate WoW boss fights that require u to plan and plot this was nothing except a mash fest… i was overall VERY disappointed with this game (story execution was shocking especially voice acting). Love Starcraft 2, looking forward to HotS!

  • It was such a great set up and first two acts that the second half of the game seems even more disappointing. But I still love the game regardless. Hopefully they can build up the story more in expansions and it could end up being redeemed like the Lich King story in Warcraft.

  • Normal is basically an extended tutorial. You’re only gonna jade the jaded and sound like an idiot to those that still play.

  • I loved Diablo one and two to bits, then came Diablo 3 and I really enjoyed it right up to inferno.
    Thats when it become obvious that no matter what tactics you use or how you tool your toon if you don’t have the right magic items your not going to get anywhere.
    Then the game becomes endless farming runs to find the “right” equipment.
    Oh but dont think your going to get equipment you can use as all the premo stuff you find is for the other classes and not the one that your currently playing. So unless you have multiple toons of different classes its pointless. Oh yeah sure you can overcome that by playing mulitplayer where everything has 110% extra health per player.
    Oh dont get me wrong there is the auction house where you can spend you toons gold for crap items that you wouldnt use because all the good stuff is in the real money auction house where you spend more money to get better gear just so you can finish the exact same game for the 4th time.
    Bye bye D3 hello again Skyrim

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