Inferno Mode: Because apparently, calling your highest difficulty setting "Japan" isn't politically correct.
Debunking the notion that Blizzard is some kind of CIA-run front company, conducting a clandestine government operation to study what kind of lies the public will believe, Diablo III will soon become a reality. Come May 15th, PC and Mac owners alike will be treated to its bounty, complete with quests, grinding galore, and in the spirit of WoW, an auction house at which one can buy and sell treasures untold. Yet as games are all about challenge, and with the spirit of Demon's/Dark Souls haunting us still, one wonders what awaits we ultra-masochists of the binary plane.
Diablo III has four difficulty modes: Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno. For those wishing to tackle the latter, thus commending one's soul unto the screaming mouth of damnation, it seems as though something painfully pleasant might be in store. Speaking with IGN, Blizzard's Jay Wilson revealed that after internal testing of Inferno Mode, available only to characters that have reached the level 60 cap, great care was given to make the difficulty acceptable to Blizzard's "super hardcore test group." After this, said difficulty was doubled. Believing that there will always be a segment of gamers that find themselves dissatisfied with a game's maximum difficulty setting, the team decided that an utterly daunting challenge would cater to such a demographic.
Diablo III's "online-only" requirement, which has earned Blizzard well-warranted criticism from those (including some of our readers) who either are averse to the idea, or live in areas without a stable internet connection, gives the option of cooperative play - something that lends itself well to the vastly increased difficulty setting. Yet hope is not lost for bitter, misanthropic recluses
like me - those who shun human contact like sunlight, retreating to a solitary existence amidst their many cats - as seasoned gamers can tackle Inferno mode alone, due to the fact that Diablo III automatically scales the game's difficulty, based on the number of players present. Still, playing as a team, particularly with complimentary classes, will give the party a tactical edge over the Luciferian hordes.
For those willing to read your humble and obedient servant's beef with Blizzard, hit the jump to read on!
Overall, I have rather mixed feelings about Diablo III. On the one hand, the hack and slash gameplay is both simple and satisfying (Diablo I and II remain two of my favorite PC games), and I'm an absolute sucker for the world created around the game, elementary as it may seem to my more pretentious friends. On the other, prohibition on mods is a disappointment, and the the requirement of a constant internet connection, DRM-minded or not, is absolute balls. Having a less than stable internet connection myself, and lacking the funds to have my own dedicated internet service, this puts Diablo III out of reach for the foreseeable future. Consequently, for all the company's concern over DRM, Blizzard has lost itself a sale: Not because I wouldn't like to have the game, but because even if I were to pay full price for it, and dutifully follow the online registration process, I would still find it largely unusable, simply because Blizzard doesn't think my internet connection is good enough - and I find that more than a little bit vulgar.
On that dour note, what do you think, fellow gamers? Sound off in the comments section below!