As with many things, there's good news and bad news here. The good: it didn't disappoint. Diablo III looks like the kind of timeless classic that its precursors were and that Blizzard is known for making. The bad news? It's nowhere near ready. It hasn't even begun to think about being ready. It could be a full decade before we see this thing on store shelves.
But how did it play? Click the link below to find out.
Gallery: Diablo III Screenshots
The Barbarian is a hulking Norseman (or bulky norsewoman) who flings his huge frame into the fray, swords swinging with blood and rage. The Wizard is, well, a wizard -- fireballs go flying, ice novas freeze enemies in place, and rays blast from her hands with magical abandon. The Witch Doctor has a bevy of different mechanics -- it's a pet-based class, in a sense, like the Necromancer in that you can summon demon dogs (which can then be sprayed with other spells to imbibe with different attributes), but in another sense, the Witch Doctor is very much a damage over time class: summon a swarm of spiders on the ground, for example, and cackle wildly as your enemies are consumed by their little legs and pincers.
And as you'd expect, Blizzard is clearly pushing the envelope here -- the Barbarian builds up rage, and can then dispense it with abilities that get more and more brutal. The Wizard's spells are more location-based than ever -- the Disentegrate ray was a favorite at the convention all weekend long, and it depends on aiming your mouse at a certain angle to attack. And the Witch Doctor is full of new mechanics -- use the "plague of frogs" spell to send out a trio of bouncing frogs, which burst into area-of-effect plague when they hit enemies, or cast that same spell on your summoned dogs to give them a poison bonus to their attacks.
The level itself was pretty standard -- leave a small town area to walk through an abandoned part of Tristram, kill ghouls along the way, and eventually make your way down into a haunted underground cathedral filled with various ghouls and cultists. But there was some good ideas in the enemies -- at a few points during the level, windows would burst open and summon ghouls behind you, leaving you surrounded (a nice twist from the usual "kill whatever's in front of you").