Screenwriter John August hates "Diablo III"'s narrative, according to Kotaku. The BAFTA-nominated August claims (via his blog) "the storytelling in 'Diablo III' is pretty damn weak." The game has been slammed for its overall storyline, which mines previous entries in the series, while offering new concepts here and there in terms of gameplay.
"At several moments in the game - generally at act breaks - the game goes to a completely different animation style. Your character gives voiceover to recap what's just happened and where they're headed next. It's oddly repetitive and tacked-on," August writes on his blog. Breaking up the narrative in gaming in this way is often jarring and certainly interrupts the flow of what is, otherwise, a relatively exciting adventure.
To balance things out, August states that did enjoy certain aspects of the game's story, "I dug the character introductions, which are done in that same sepia style. No matter which character class you choose, your hero is racing to get to Tristram to investigate a falling star. I love characters who run towards danger."
It's not like August doesn't know storytelling. A frequent collaborator with Tim Burton, he's crafted some of the finest narratives in modern screenwriting. His credits include "Charlie's Angels" (and its sequel), "Big Fish", "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory" and the upcoming "Frankenweenie".
Even though the game lends itself to multiple playthroughs (on various difficulty settings), August states "I'm probably hanging up my mouse on Diablo III. Like its predecessor, it ultimately becomes a game of optimization, and that's just not my thing." That's okay, the millions of daily players will make up for his absence.
Blizzard's "Diablo III" is in stores now.