Diablo 3 is officially out the door and in the hands of PC gamers worldwide after a long 12-year wait. The game was actually announced by Blizzard on June 28, 2008 but went into development long before that -- just one year after Blizzard published Diablo 2 in 2000. Needless to say, for Diablo fans, the wait was horrendous whether it was four years or 12 years.
With that timeframe in mind, there are reports that a group of four Korean gamers completed the campaign in seven hours -- that's from the opening sequence to defeating the final boss, Diablo himself -- playing on the normal difficulty setting. A second group of Chinese players also defeated Diablo in the same amount of time. Both parties even took screenshots of the defeated boss lying dead on the ground as proof of their victory (Korea shot, China shot).
As previously reported, Diablo 3 offers four difficulty levels: Normal, Nightmare, Hell and Inferno. Naturally as each mode increases, players will be faced with deadlier enemies packed with additional skills and higher levels of heath. But they also drop better loot in return for the player's hard work. That said, we'd like to see the same parties hack their way through Inferno -- once their characters have leveled up of course -- to see how long it will take.
Still, given that they completed the game in only seven hours on Normal mode, the campaign seems rather short given the extremely long development time. Maybe they didn't stop to read all the text? How long will it take for a single player to complete the campaign?
"This launch is a culmination of many years of hard work by our development team, and many years of passionate, dedicated support from gamers around the world," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We're grateful for the enthusiasm of our players, and for the help of our beta testers in getting the game ready for release. Now that Diablo 3 is live, we hope everyone's ready to have a hellishly good time slaying demons and collecting loot in Sanctuary."
Diablo 3 is available for Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7 and Macintosh at a suggested price of $59.99 USD for both the retail DVD-ROM version and the digital version sold directly from Blizzard. There's also a special alabaster-white Collector's Edition, sold exclusively in retail stores while supplies last, for a suggested price of $99.99 USD.