With all of the launch day hiccups behind us, the Blizzard fans of the world can sink their teeth into the realm of Diablo once again. Like the previous games, Diablo III is split up into Acts. When you have finished one act, you are sent into the next one, and that character can never return from that point. You must soldier on into the rest of the story, and discover the truth of the fallen star.Having just completed Act I, we’re going to give you a brief overview of the game so far, as well as some tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way. Don’t worry, we’ll keep the spoilers to a minimum.Characters and groupsThroughout the game, each character type will find themselves in areas that apply to specific strengths and weaknesses. Barbarians deal more damage than anyone else (in the beginning of the game), but they are woefully unable to deal with ranged enemies other than rushing up and smashing them to bits. Additionally, because you have to rush in to kill the baddies, you are far more likely to be affected by things like fear, stun, and blindness, which can all get you killed.The opposite end of this scale, the Wizard, pretty much dies whenever something yells too loudly, if you do not keep an arsenal of healing potions handy. Your spells work at a great range, so it isn’t generally hard to keep the undead masses away from you. When in doubt, however, run away. The Monk, Demon Slayer, and Witch Doctor each have a balance of skills that put them nicely in between these two outliers. The Demon Slayers ability to treat a pair of pistol crossbows like submachine guns is really entertaining, for anyone who is lamenting the lack of firearms in the Diablo franchise.Click to enlargeWhatever character you choose, be aware that the game is much more entertaining if you have a group of people running different characters — four barbarians won’t be nearly as fun as mixing it up with the other classes. Teamwork style kills can be a lot of fun if you work well with your team. Also, if you bought the Collectors Edition, be sure to hop into your inventory and equip the awesome-looking Archangel wings that came with your copy of the game. Everyone else in your party will ooze with jealousy.Graphics and gameplayFor anyone who has played a Diablo game in the past, you will find yourself right at home. Be at the ready with a fearsome right and left click, and you’re ready for most of Act 1. As you level up, you’ll unlock some of the extra features to your character, and it you start to play with button combinations. By the time you leave Act 1 most people will be doing at least a third less of the mindless mouse mash, but even then most characters will not have unlocked all of the basic functions.You’ll beat Act I anywhere between level 15 and 20 depending on if you were in a group and whether and how much of the map you explored. By the way, there are achievements for fully exploring the maps, as well as books that will give you additional story information.Graphically, Diablo III is great. Small things, like the animation when you knock down a bookshelf, or when a little demonic frog explodes, really show the attention to detail that the Blizzard team have given. When you equip different armor and weapons, no matter how small, if there’s a change in gear there will be a change on your avatar. You won’t be eyeballing an opponent and saying “I wonder if he’s got the Vampiric Bracers of the Lion” but the character certainly begins to take shape as you equip them. Later in the game, in fact, dyes for your items become an item you can buy. Color matching your gear is something Blizzard picked up in World of Warcraft, and it looks like that trend will continue in Diablo III.Much to the excitement of gamers the world over, there are very few cinematics and the ones you do see you can bypass quickly. Personally, I have enjoyed what few in-game videos I’ve seen so far, but it is great to know that Blizzard is making it easy to move past those videos. Especially if you are playing through with a third or fourth character, you really won’t need to see it again. Interestingly enough, if you are in a group and your friends bypass the video, your character will be left standing still while everyone else goes and continues the game.Final ThoughtsSo far, Diablo III is exactly what I hoped it would be. The multiplayer is what really makes the game. Playing this game solo is certainly a lot of fun, but the challenges and entertainment of running through a horde of demons with a few other people really makes the game a lot of fun. The battle system is designed to really make the game more challenging as you invite more players to the game, so especially in the early levels it is important to focus on teamwork.See you all at the end of Act II!