It’s been a long time since the last Diablo game was released, 2000’s Diablo II. Finally, twelve years later, at midnight this past Monday, Diablo III, the follow-up to one of the most popular RPGs of all time, was released. That’s a long time to wait for any form of media (imagine if your favourite band took that long to release their next album), so the hype surrounding the launch both surprises me (you’d think people would have given up hope by now that it would ever come out), and pleases me (I am glad that people are so devoted to a game on the platform that people keep referring to as “dead”).
Blizzard fans sure are a patient bunch, but their patience has been rewarded with an ultra-polished, super-balanced end product. Blizzard are perfectionists, who subscribe to the “it isn’t done till it’s done” philosophy of game design, and we are all better off for it. While I haven’t had time to get into the full game myself, from the time I spent with the beta a few weeks ago, I am confident Diablo III will probably end up being one of the best games, on any platform, that I play this year.
To celebrate the launch of Diablo III, Future Shop opened all their stores across Canada (apart from those in Sudbury, ON, and Quebec) at midnight to throngs of passionate Blizzard fans. In Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver, Future Shop also hosted special launch events, with cosplay contests and plenty of prizes to give away to happy fans. I was on-hand at the Yonge and Dundas Toronto event, and you can check out the pictures I took at it after the break.
When I got to the store around nine o’clock, there were already over one hundred people in line, some of whom had been there since that morning. The draws for the prizes (which included SteelSeries Diablo III accessories, a gaming laptop, and a gaming desktop) didn’t start until after eleven. By then, the line had grown even bigger to what I was told was over three-hundred passionate PC gamers.
The doors to the store opened right on schedule at midnight, and the fans entered in a very orderly fashion – how Canadian! At the counters, the Future Shop employees, who all seemed to be in pretty good spirits, even in the middle of a midnight shift, were on hand to help out, and there were plenty of copies of the game to go ‘round. The store manager was even kind enough to allow the first few people in line to take home the Diablo III promotional stands (which you can see pictured above).
One thing that did get lost in the shuffle of all the Diablo III madness was Max Payne 3. It, too, launched at midnight for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. While I am sure there were some Diablo III fans that also picked up Max Payne 3 at the same time, I didn’t see anybody in line buy it, but it wasn’t like I was exactly staring over everyone's shoulders as they made their purchase. In the slideshow below, the people pictured holding copies of Max Payne 3 were Future Shop employees.
You can buy Diablo III right now at any Future Shop, and, while the hype of the launch event is over, you can still take advantage of Future Shop’s promotion by getting $10 off any game purchased from Future Shop in June if you buy Diablo III between now and....
Check out more pictures from the event in my slideshow below, and stay-tuned for my hands-on preview, which should go up on the Tech Blog in a few days, once I've been able to spend some quality-time with the game. I’ll also be posting a full review, but that won’t be ready until I’ve beaten the game at least once, and played a fair amount Diablo III’s online co-op multi-player.
All the prize winners at the event:
Slideshow of pictures from the event (click on pics to embiggen them):
All pictures © Alex Davies
A fallen star burns across the sky, signalling the rebirth of a long-forgotten evil, and calling mortal heroes to arms once more. This limited edition collector's set commemorates your return to the darkened world of Sanctuary. Inside, you'll find a treasure trove of rare and legendary items to aid you in your apocalyptic battles at the End of Days.
Two decades have passed since the demonic lords, Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal, set out across the world of Sanctuary on a vicious rampage, twisting humanity to their unholy will. Yet for those who battled the Prime Evils, the memory fades slowly.
Co-designed with the creators of Diablo III, this mouse is built to win. An ambidextrous shape, a comfortable grip, and oversized pressure points ensure smooth glide for quick movements.
The SteelSeries Diablo III Headset equips players with 50mm speaker units surrounded by leather ear cups that reduce external noise while enhancing the positional sounds from the game. Its over-head suspension and lightweight construction makes it comfortable for hours of game play.
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