Christmas surprises with ‘Diablo III’

Before this Christmas, I had little desire to play any “Diablo” game.

I remembered briefly playing the PC-based role-playing game on my friend’s computer as a teen, but I never had the latest computer rigs to pursue PC gaming. Titles like “Diablo,” “Neverwinter Nights” and “EverQuest” escaped me, even though they’re hailed as great RPGs of yesteryear.

I pondered this as my folks asked, a few days before Dec. 24, what I wanted for Christmas. We had a shortened Christmas this year due to family commitments and busy schedules, so we weren’t exactly on the ball when it came to presents.

I told my father I would might enjoy “Diablo III,” which came out onto consoles earlier in 2014. The game originally had a rough launch in 2012 as developer Blizzard made the game required to always be online. That, understandably, backfired.

Yet I heard rumblings about how fun “Diablo” could be, though I wasn’t certain whether I’d like it. It looked foreign to me, as many PC games do.

I was so, so wrong to feel apprehensive about this game.

“Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition” will feel like a great discovery for those who are, like me, occasionally behind the times when it comes to games. It’s an RPG that’s light on plot — just enough to give you a sense of purpose — and rewarding enough to keep you hooked as you gain levels and explore the world.

This game is your standard save-the-world fare with one key difference: The world is constantly beset by demons, everything feels like it’s the edge of the apocalypse, and many classic Miltonian demons — think Belial, Mephisto, Baal, etc. — make an appearance as bad guy bosses.

The gameplay is repetitive, but the game gives you consistent rewards as you progress at first. You’ll face hordes of demons and monsters as one of six classes of protagonist — barbarian, wizard, demon hunter, etc. — but you gain levels easily at first and seem to get access to exciting-sounding equipment.

Of course, after the plot plays out you find you can explore various worlds, play through different gameplay modes, go on epic quests with friends online and face much bigger, badder monsters to gain awesome-looking rewards.

It’s standard RPG fair, but the console version of “Diablo III” balances this better than many similar titles. In addition, the graphics look quite sharp, the sound is well-done and the online services work well. “Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition” even includes the game’s expansion, “Reaper of Souls,” which offers another set of plot-based missions, a higher level cap, more rewards and even a fun new class.

This game is a bit older, but it’s worth a try as people look to spend their Christmas money. I’d recommend this Playstation 4 and Xbox One title, if nothing else so I can get a few more people to play with online.

Mower County

APS board approves sanctioning boys volleyball

Education

Austin Seniors receive Horatio Alger Scholarships

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Man sentenced to over eight years for criminal sexual conduct with a child

Grand Meadow

2 injured in Saturday afternoon crash

Mower County

Courtney’s bench: Family and friends honor loved one lost in hope to raise awareness for mental illness

Mower County

Summerset Theatre opens Season 56 with the musical ‘Annie’

Adams

Adams Dairy Days celebrating 50th

Mower County

Gabby Weiss passes away, legacy will continue on the baseball diamond

Mower County

New sculpture is giving visitors another destination stop in Austin

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Convictions: May 27-June 3

Mower County

In Your Community: Duplicate Bridge

Mower County

In Your Community: Mower County Senior Center

Education

Education Briefs

Education

Pacelli Honor Roll

News

US hiring and wage growth picked up last month in sign of sustained economic health

News

Many Americans are still shying away from EVs despite Biden’s push, an AP-NORC/EPIC poll finds

News

After 41 years, Pat Sajak makes his final spin as host of ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Mower County

Several file for local offices

Agriculture

Minnesota ID‘s first case of avian influenza in a dairy herd

News

D-Day anniversary haunted by dwindling number of veterans and shadowed by Europe’s new war

Mower County

Shawn Tweten steps up to challenge Finstad in primary

News

Well, hello!: ‘Hello, Dolly!’ opens CST’s seventh year

News

Appeals court halts Trump’s Georgia case during appeal of order allowing Willis to stay on case

Mower County

Institute scientist Hilakivi-Clarke receives grant to study possible benefits of organic, pasture-raised beef