BLIZZARD'S much-anticipated Diablo III has been 11 years in the making and will finally be released this year but 99 lucky StarBytz readers got themselves an early taste of the action RPG.
In partnership with official game distributor Asiasoft, 99 keys to the closed beta version of the game were allocated exclusively to StarBytz readers.
The "Keys to Diablo III" contest was conducted via the Star TechCentral Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/techcentral) from March 26-30 to determine the winners.
The beta version allows players to try all five character classes in the first act up to the Skeleton King encounter, along with a taste of various in-game features such as crafting, the auction house, hosting and joining public games.
One reader and contest winner Jason Lee said his first impression of the game was "awesome" after having created a female Demon Hunter and rescued Deckard Cain.
"Combat is still a click-fest as any a Diablo or Diablo II fan would remember, and the graphics are very nice to look at, much like a watercolour painting," he said.
Lee added that despite the "old-schoolness," the game has received a touch of modernity like in StarCraft II where it awards achievements and other milestones to gamers.
Diablo III is slated to be released on May 15 on Windows PC and Mac OS X platforms. For more information, go to www.diablo3.com.