When Diablo III arrived with the tag line "Evil Is Back," it was hard not to look at it as a throwback of sorts. You know who the troublemakers are in this game: They have red skin, glowing eyes and razor-sharp horns. It's the devil you know.

That's not the only thing that will make players wonder where the developers have been since Diablo II came out in 2000. The top-down, god's-eye perspective takes some readjustment after years of battling from the protagonist's point of view. Forget about the open-world exploration of Skyrim; Diablo III is relentlessly linear. And the combat, at the default setting, rarely demands more than hacking and slashing your way through hordes of easily dispatched monsters.

And yet, Diablo III is nearly irresistible.

You start by choosing a character from one of five archetypes: the barbarian and monk, who fight up-close; the demon hunter, who uses long-range weapons; and the wizard and witch doctor, who wield magic. After a brief video setting up the tale -- a falling star has crashed into the human world, Sanctuary -- you're thrust into the fray.

Once you get into its rhythm fight, collect your rewards, take a breath before the next fight Diablo III is very hard to shut down.


RATING M for Mature

PLOT Get ready for a fight

DETAILS PC/Mac, $60

BOTTOM LINE Difficult to stop playing

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