Diablo® III

D3 is not scary - why?

I found Diablo 1 truly creepy throughout the entire game; The Butcher's room, the boy sacrificed, the darkness...
Diablo 2 also made chills crawl up the spine at some places; The Monastery and the jail with all the naked, mutilated bodies The sunny desert and green jungles were not as creepy, but cool nontheless. Act 4 - Hell - was really macabre and terrifying.

But Diablo 3... doesn't frighten me. Not at all, anytime. Even though it has the torture Chambers with streaks of blood, instruments of suffering with attached victims, caves, dungeons. But it does not scare you.
Why is that? Share with me please.
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I'm pretty sure it's because of the idea of the nephalem reaching god like status throughout the game. You literally wreck things in this game. If the developers' intentions were to make you feel like a powerhouse that could single handle hell itself, I think they accomplished that. Unfortunately, fear and terror were compromised with that, at least that's my take on it.

Now I played and beat D2 but no where near as much as D3 (mainly because my friends were all done by the time I started playing D2) but I remember it being really spooky. And god damn, Diablo 1 was out right terrifying. I remember always just trying to survive and avoid getting wrecked. I was young at the time which probably didn't help as I didn't properly learn to strengthen up and play the game.

And lastly though, the idea for the nephalem to reach these godly status was not developed from D3 alone. A lot of people are upset that Diablo is not as dark and psychologically gritty like the previous titles, and they may be right. But when you look at the books Blizzard published in between D2 and leading up to D3, they had already committed pretty heavily to the idea of the nephalem being powerhouses ( Ex. Sin War trilogy).
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Also it's true that the Diablo universe took a strong turn to the medieval fantasy side, rather than staying on track with the psychological horror and demonic possession route. I still debate to myself whether this was the proper decision or not.

Someone on here a while ago pointed out that some of the reasons that made the previous entries dark was due to how the story basically displayed itself in a way where humans were seeing things that they were outright NOT meant to see. And this uneasiness and uncertainty actually helped fuel the atmosphere and dark edge of the previous games. To this I agree, and this element is certainly gone in D3. But in defense of D3, some these fantasy elements are really awesome and I couldn't be more pleased at how Blizzard flushed out heaven and gave us a full picture into what their world is like. And come on, the Angiris Council is just awesome especially characters like Imperious and Malthael in there.

Being thrown into a game where there is a zombie apocalypse and just dead bodies around, doesn't make a game dark. Go play Silent Hill...........you'll see dark. But again, I feel this might have been an intentional trade off from the developers. Also the gameplay is arguably the best (and I know some will argue too flasy), but it is very fun and addicting. More so than the previous entries.
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Lastly, while I am a very strong fan of Diablo 3's story that Blizzard created. I'm not so much a fan of the execution. For some reason I felt the presentation just didn't come out the way it was written on paper.

On the other hand, I think some excellent ideas would have been to focus the narrative a lot more on Leah. And I also would have shown her struggling with inner darkness much more. Maybe to the point where she was the one who accidently killed her uncle Deckard due to the uncontrollable demonic possession within her. Then showing the fallout and scar that would do to her mentally would certainly bring some interesting drama/emotion to the table.

I don't know, those are just some of my thoughts. I don't usually post here, I just read the forums. For some reason I felt like participating in this conversation.
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Diablo 3 doesn't scare me because I'm not 14 anymore.
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10/25/2013 07:39 PMPosted by Providence
Diablo 3 doesn't scare me because I'm not 14 anymore.


Love or hate the story, I think this is the main reason.
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Someone on here a while ago pointed out that some of the reasons that made the previous entries dark was due to how the story basically displayed itself in a way where humans were seeing things that they were outright NOT meant to see. And this uneasiness and uncertainty actually helped fuel the atmosphere and dark edge of the previous games. To this I agree, and this element is certainly gone in D3. But in defense of D3, some these fantasy elements are really awesome and I couldn't be more pleased at how Blizzard flushed out heaven and gave us a full picture into what their world is like. And come on, the Angiris Council is just awesome especially characters like Imperious and Malthael in there.


Just remember the chilling poems in the tomes for Halls of the Blind... :)
I love all those tomes in D1!
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I believe that the criticism of mood is legitimate, but I think that the main reason most people don't find it as creepy as the previous titles is because of time.

Actually, you know what, let's be honest here. We are only talking about Diablo I. Diablo II was not a creepy game. Even if you disagree, you can't deny that there is a larger difference between Diablo I and Diablo II than Diablo II and Diablo III.

Anyway, back the the point. First off, as Providence points out, part of the reason is that we are actually old enough to play these games now. I started to play Diablo at the young age of 8, and Diablo II around 11. More importantly though, games (and media in general) have pushed the envelope so far since 1996 or 2001. Diablo I was "edgy" when it came out. Our standards of what we find scary have changed because of society's evolution, as well as our own.
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90 Human Death Knight
5300
How was Diablo not scary?

Was it the fact that he was taunting you whenever you destroyed a Hell Portal?

Was it his appearance? His appearance gave me chills! More chills than even his D2 form.... D2 Diablo looked like a dinosaur...

Azmodan seemed evil and his appearance was scary. His Pool of Destruction attacks looked scary....

He also had sent demons to infiltrate Bastion's Keep and despite informing everyone of said infiltration the demons were about to barge into the main room anyway and did!

He poisoned the food supply using the gluttonous sneezing(that's his gas attack) Ghom who's next goal was to kill the hero and even arranged the battle to go in Ghom's favor by having Ghom wait in the lord of Gluttony's perfect battleground: the Larder while Azmodan gets the hero to search for Ghom in a battlefield perfect for the Lord of Gluttony(not Azmodan's fault that the hero was that good a fighter).

Belial isn't actually stated to be a good liar(good thing too since his lies are blatant yet constantly made) just a good illusionist who's lies are used to make his illusions more confounding(the Emperor/Belial's gaurds turn out to be snake demons and how he made the world like a twisting battleground in his final form) as per this quote from the Book of Cain:

Belial advocated the notion that perception is reality, and it was his sole purpose to dominate reality. He did not lie simply for the sake of lying, but rather to deceive with the intent of controlling others' perception of what is real. He relished the moment his victim realized they'd been deceived, that moment of nakedness and betrayal. If Belial had a weakness however, it was that he was often trapped within the intricate webs of his own machinations.


What do you know? He gets tricked by his own illusions(explains why he refers to his Illusionary giant form as his true vision)!
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10/29/2013 10:57 PMPosted by Yvenathilm
How was Diablo not scary?


I'll give a more in depth analysis on why this game isn't scary (at least to me) instead of a cheesy tongue-in-cheek 1 liner.

As I said earlier, one major factor is that I'm not young anymore. I played d2 when I was 13-14. I was far more skittish then than I am now. I've seen the things that D3 has presented many times by this point, so it's neither new or exciting.

The second point is that D3 hammers in certain points while D2 left most of it up to imagination. One particular instance that sicks in my mind is when in D2 you are going through the Harem in A2 and you just see a string of female corpses laying all over the place. How did they get there? Who knows. The game never makes it a point to tell you how with the exception of an incredibly vague "There are monsters in the Harem". That leaves the entire situation open to my mind. Compare that to d3 where in A3 running down through Azmodan's layer, Sidia makes it a point to explain to us the concept of the flayers, what they are, what's going on and so forth. The situation would have felt a great deal more disturbing if you had absolutely no idea what the array of tortured monsters were doing, and if they game made absolutely no effort to tell you why or what they were. It leaves a LOT of mystery.

The third, and ultimately biggest point is that games aren't scary. This isn't to be confused with tense. Amnesia, or Slender, or Ju On didn't scare me. They made me tenser than all hell, and made me really concerned with making bad decisions (for obvious reasons), but when the game was over I didn't feel any more discomfort from when I wasn't playing. Compared that to the Grudge movie, or The Ring, where seeing the movie had a very real impact on my emotional state long after the fact (aka I was scared afterwards). I have no idea why games AREN'T scary while movies are, other than the fact that we have far more reinforcement that this is JUST a game where as a movie we tend to get really swept up into the matter.

All in all D3 just isn't scary because I'm not young, D3 over saturates me with information deluding any possible scariness, and it's at the end of the day, just a game.
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The premise of Diablo was a group of mortals descend into the depths of the earth until you reach the hells themselves and attempt to fight the devil. (Horror)

Diablo 2 was the descent of the wanderer from hero to the ultimate evil. (Horror)

Diablo 3? A group of powerful demi gods churn through hordes of demons with overly verbose masters.
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I believe that the criticism of mood is legitimate, but I think that the main reason most people don't find it as creepy as the previous titles is because of time.

Actually, you know what, let's be honest here. We are only talking about Diablo I. Diablo II was not a creepy game. Even if you disagree, you can't deny that there is a larger difference between Diablo I and Diablo II than Diablo II and Diablo III.

Anyway, back the the point. First off, as Providence points out, part of the reason is that we are actually old enough to play these games now. I started to play Diablo at the young age of 8, and Diablo II around 11. More importantly though, games (and media in general) have pushed the envelope so far since 1996 or 2001. Diablo I was "edgy" when it came out. Our standards of what we find scary have changed because of society's evolution, as well as our own.


You make a Point. Childhood nostalgia.
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But take such a thing as the torture Chambers: In D2 it was truly creepy to walk through the jail and harem and see all the dead, mutilated bodies in pools of blood.
In D3 you have the exact same things - strung up victims, blood and awful contraptions. But D3 doesn't feel creepy still.
Why? Is it the Lighting, the soundtrack? Or are we all just old geezers now? :)
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There are three reasons why the game isn't scary.

1. In D2, the character was in the dark with only a spot light on him (in a lot of places).

2. In D2, the poor animations made the monsters walk in a creepy way (which was great for the feeling).

3. The story telling is bad in D3. What is the scariest? Going in a dark place knowing Baal is there, and when he sees you he just comes at you and kills you. Or having Asmodan explaining to you for hours how he is gonna destroy you, and when you finally meet him, he's just there in a bright room.
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11/03/2013 10:45 AMPosted by donk
Diablo 3? A group of powerful demi gods churn through hordes of demons with overly verbose masters.


I think it is pretty much this, I mean really how am I supposed to do anything but laugh or get annoyed when the main villains of the story behave as though they came out of a kids cartoon show or as though they are auditioning for an anchor position.

Every few steps popping up to let you know just exactly what they are up to. I honestly find it so...ugh hilarious in a bad way, that I find a missive on the corpse of a demon from Azmodan saying "Oh they wont suspect an attack from below" when he already appeared and stated that is exactly what he was doing...

Or Belial, I mean really comeon, all I can draw in conclusion is that he was supposed to be terrible and weak and pathetic at actually lying because from the conversations it looked as though both my Wizard and the Templar knew he was Belial as soon as he showed up everywhere you went like the freaking paperclip helper.

I'm not sure why it just seemed as though for Diablo 3 the bosses were really toned down in terms of being menacing and etc. I mean sure, the game is less scary because the story itself takes part in places that are not generally that creepy or atmospheric such as High Heavens, but -BUT- you can't deny that there is a lot more that takes atmosphere away too.

Like what is with the way Diablo says "TERROOORR? That has to be like some intended joke thing right? And of course there was literally zero build up or suspense to Belial and Azmodan especially with his little holo-confrence every 2 minutes to call you a fool and then proceed to state his plans.

Personally, when I am fighting a Lord of Hell I wanted it to be in some deep dark pit of darkness where you can barely see anything with a properly creepy atmosphere and music to make your heart race, not a massive, lit arena where the boss insults you throughout. For me, the only fight in Diablo 3 I felt had at least a bit of atmosphere and mood and fitting music to it was Queen Araneae.
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For me it's the cartoony graphics and over-abundance of bright colors. D1 and D2 had much darker colors (could be due to the graphical limitations of the time) and imagery but D3 looks like they handed a coloring book and a pack of Crayola UltraBright crayons to a group of grade 4 students to fill in.

Everything's too bright and crowds of minions no longer disapear into the shadows when you run away / reduce your light radius.

Furthermore, any scriptures that were read by voice-overs had a dark and ominous tone to them. Coveteous Shen, Abd al-hazier and the companions sound like they're auditioning for comedy night at the Apollo as opposed to setting the tone in a dark fantasy ARPG game.

This game was geared towards 12 year olds with access to daddy's credit card and they succeeded in delivering such a product in spades!
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11/10/2013 07:20 PMPosted by bearr
There are three reasons why the game isn't scary.

1. In D2, the character was in the dark with only a spot light on him (in a lot of places).

2. In D2, the poor animations made the monsters walk in a creepy way (which was great for the feeling).

3. The story telling is bad in D3. What is the scariest? Going in a dark place knowing Baal is there, and when he sees you he just comes at you and kills you. Or having Asmodan explaining to you for hours how he is gonna destroy you, and when you finally meet him, he's just there in a bright room.


These are some great points, I'd like to add one more that really struck me today

4. The art style in D3 is not realistic, its fantasy and leaning slightly towards cartoony. D2 had a very heavy lean towards dark and realistic art style, and this chills my spine a heck of a lot more. Think about how difficult it is to immerse yourself in a cartoony environment and feel chills up your spine, there's a decrease in your environmental fear when you are exploring even a slightly cartoony world.
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11/19/2013 08:03 PMPosted by Leo

Like what is with the way Diablo says "TERROOORR? That has to be like some intended joke thing right? And of course there was literally zero build up or suspense to Belial and Azmodan especially with his little holo-confrence every 2 minutes to call you a fool and then proceed to state his plans.


LOL this is absolute gold my friend, thank you for clarifying what has been in my head for 200 hours of playing this insanely fun yet not scary or story immersing game.
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Crash Bandicoot graphics.
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only 1/3 of act1 feels a little creepy but to much of the monastery has way way to much lighting going on an so do most of the crypts and caves
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