May 10 2012 1:30pm

Gaming Roundup: Diablo Returns, Wolfenstein 3D Turns 20, and The Elder Scrolls Goes MMO

Gaming Roundup: Diablo Returns, Wolfenstein 3D Turns 20, and The Elder Scrolls Goes MMO

As many avid Blizzard fans (or gamers in general, really) already know, Diablo III’s release is less than a week away from becoming reality. The May 15 launch date is welcome news to jonesing players who were unable to get their hands on a beta invite during Blizzard’s extensive beta-testing period (if you’re interested, you can check out our earlier impressions of the beta here). We already know that Diablo III begins in the town of New Tristram, where a fallen star has plunged through the town’s cathedral, leaving scorched earth and a plethora of demons in its wake. As (bad) luck would have it, the star has also awakened the undead, who are now laying siege to the township. Enter, you.

For those gamers new to the Diablo franchise but wanting to jump directly into the fray with Diablo III, IGN released a video this past week summarizing all the lore of the first two games in five minutes. The Diablo series has gone more than a decade between entries, so ardent fans might also be forgiven for needing a refresher.

As the release date nears, Blizzard has begun to ramp up marketing and promotion, which culminated this week in the release of a seven minute animated short starring the Lord of Terror himself, detailing a significant turning point in the eternal war between Heaven and Hell.

Unfortunately, we here at do not yet have the requisite clout to obtain an advance copy of the game for review purposes, so our game review will not be ready by May 15. (If anyone from Blizzard is reading and wishes to remedy this sad state of affairs, please contact us!) However, be on the lookout for our take on Blizzard’s latest offering as soon as our pre-orders are in our grubby little hands.

In other gaming news this week, Wolfenstein 3D — a founding father of  FPS — turns 20, Bethesda looks at Skyrim, then thinks “NOT BIG ENOUGH!” and announces an Elder Scrolls MMORPG, Nintendo and Sony engage in some old-fashioned trash talkin’, Dead Space 3 brings co-op gaming into the fold, and Bioshock Infinite gets delayed.

  • A very happy 20th anniversary shout-out to Wolfenstein 3D, the first shooter I ever played and one of the historical pillars of the FPS genre. In honor of this milestone, Bethesda has both released a browser-based version of the original game (meaning you can play Wolfenstein 3D at work today if you so choose... not that we advocate that or anything) and made the game available as a free download for iOS users. To commemorate the occasion, here’s a screenshot of Hitler wielding akimbo chainguns.

  • Penny Arcade’s PAX Prime, their annual Seattle-based gaming extravaganza, sold out completely in less then a week. Hope you got your tickets. We did!
  • Legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto took a few potshots at Sony’s latest handheld platform, the PlayStation Vita. Drama!
  • Final Fantasy X brought gamers many gifts, including an incredible story, amazing visuals, and the best/worst video game laugh of all time, courtesy of Tidus. Thanks, Kotaku.

  • Bioshock Infinite has been delayed until February 26, 2013, purportedly to make the game even cooler. Do developers ever give any other reason?
  • Dead Space 3 does co-op. Now you can blast individual limbs off of horrific aliens with a friend! Note: also makes for an ideal date night. not responsible for any resultant break-ups.
  • Gabriel Knight creator Jane Jensen’s new studio, Pinkerton Road, has achieved its Kickstarter goal with time to spare for a sci-fi/adventure game in the GK vein entitled Moebius.
  • Finally, Bethesda and Zenimax Online Studios have announced the development of an Elder Scrolls MMORPG, in which the player will traverse across the entire kingdom of Tamriel, not just the puny, tiny little province of Skyrim.


If there are games you’d like us to cover or blogs you think we should be following for more news, please let us know @tdelucci or @pritpaulbains.

1. sapabt
As much as I love the Diablo games, I will not purchase D3. D3 requires a live internet connection to play. D3 is not a MMORPG, but a stand alone game. When they remove this requirement, I'll gladly fork oveer my money.
treebee72 _
2. treebee72
I had sorta put D3 out of my mind until recently so I didn't go bonkers over the wait and had forgotten about the 'online all the time' requirement. I knew there was something that had given me icky feelings about this game. I also find the real money auction house a big pile of yuck. The more I look at this game again, the less it feels like I'll be able to get a complete gaming experience just by playing SP (my preference), but would have to participate in the MP elements.

Maybe I will only be buying Torchlight 2 after all...
Pritpaul Bains
3. Kickpuncher
@1 It's definitely annoying, but I'm choosing to live with it because I spent most of my time in D2 online, anyways. I feel your pain though.

@2 I'll definitely be buying Torchlight 2 as well, but I invested too much time into D1 and D2 to skip out on D3 at this point. I don't have an issue with the always-online req because that's the only way I generally play D3 but I can see why it'd be a pain for SP-only gamers.

Re: the RMAH, I don't like the concept but D2 online had degenerated into hundreds of different online auctions farming items, anyways, so at least this is the lesser of a two evils. Theoretically, it won't require you to put any money into it at all either - if you start off by selling an item, you can bank that cash virtually without ever making a deposit and then bid on other items. Personally I'll be sticking to the Gold-only Auction House anyways, as I'm sure many will - to start, at least.
Stefan Raets
4. Stefan
I'm more or less on the same page as @3. here. With D1 and D2, I played through the single player campaign once, then spent probably hundreds more hours online in the multi-player part... so the online requirement for the game doesn't really bother me. I doubt I'll have as much time to play D3 as I did D1 and D2, but I'm sure most of it will be spent online. The auction house - eh. I was blissfully unaware of all the buying and selling of Diablo stuff with the earlier games, and I doubt it'll hold much interest for me with D3.
treebee72 _
5. treebee72
I can count on one hand the number of times I did MP on both D1 & D2, and all those times were only with family members. My brothers and I did way more MP with Warcraft & Starcraft (always co-op against the cheater cheating computer!), but the Diablo games always worked better as SP for me.
Pritpaul Bains
6. Kickpuncher
@5 I can definitely understand that. The dark, gritty, atmospheric, isolated ambience very much lent itself to solo play and just getting lost in Sanctuary for awhile.

The big draw for multiplayer for me was 1) playing together with my friends, who were as obsessed as I was and 2) the better drops and harder enemies that came along with playing with allies. Once I got a taste of it, I was hooked.

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