Review: Diablo III Console Edition

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Twenty years have passed since the Prime Evils were defeated and banished from the world of Sanctuary. Now, you must return to where it all began—the town of Tristram—and investigate rumors of a fallen star, an omen that the End Times have begun.

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Pros:

  • Smooth detailed gothic style graphics.
  • Some gorgeous level back drops from the darkness of the cemetery to the snowy ice caps, Every level has some truly lush back drops.
  • Maintains the same level of finish as the PC version.
  • 4 Different classes to choose from like Witch Doctor, Barbarian, The game allows multiple saves so you can give all characters a chance.
  • Smooth new control system for the pad, All menus like inventory are streamlined, Use the left stick to navigate the menus and with inventory management it is all done in a wheel type function. It works really well and doesnt add any extra game time or confusion. Its clear and to the point and best of all natural.
  • New improved camera that allows all players to see exactly what is going on. The scenery that may obstruct your view goes transparent, In doing so, Eliminates blind spots ad awkward moments.
  • The game now has both online and offline multiplayer. Offline multiplayer works really well and has its own mechanic, All loot collected is shared among everyone. Online is the usual method where what you collect is what you get. Bonus being, You can only see your own loot on screen so need to get too worried.
  • The gameplay itself has been streamlined, On PC you had loads of things you could interact with, Dead bodies for example required a click but on the console version its automatic, Triggered by proximity.
  • You can skip conversations and videos which is handy if you are on a second play through or have done the PC version.
  • Load times in general are a lot quicker. The only long loading times are in between acts and the first initial load of a saved game. Jumping in and out of dungeons is defiantly quicker.
  • Drop in/out co op available. Opening and closing your party set with different options like friends only, LAN or online can be changed when ever.
  • Depending on your character, You can hold down the attack button instead of single presses, This speeds the game up a fair bit.
  • You can unlock a AI companion that will fight with you. He levels up and has abilities that you pick, You can give him new items to make him stronger and more helpful to you. You unlock new companions in game but can only ever take one with you. Changing between them is easy and can be done whenever you like from the hub world.
  • Levels are generally very open with a lot of hidden dungeons and caves to find. Within these the game goes to a more close quarters combat style. Find chests, bodies and hidden loot all over the world.
  • You have a central hub where you can buy/sell/repair your gear, Later in game you can unlock new shops and upgrade your existing shops and blacksmiths to make better gear available.
  • The level cap is set at 60 so it will take you many hours of play to earn enough xp. You wont max your character out on any one playthrough unless you do some serious farming.
  • Apart from the main story you can also trigger and find side missions, Usually these are found whilst doing a main mission. Completing these give bonus loot and drops. Side missions generally give you a more surprising mission than the main story.
  • Environmental damage is everywhere, It does damage to your enemies but not you, Use it for your advantage. Levels can crumble or fall away as you cross a bridge for example.
  • The music is brilliant and does a really good job of creating an atmosphere.
  • Killing enemies or destroying objects in quick succession grants you a combo multiplier bonus. Example: kill a huge mob of enemies quickly will net you a bonus exp for your combo.
  • The main story has 4 acts which all take place in very different locations. You will encounter different enemies every act and a boss at the end.
  • You dont need identity scrolls in the console version. The PC version did when I played it at launch, require you purchasing identity scrolls to identify rare items. This has been taken out and instead is just a free button press away to knowledge.
  • The campaign length will vary on difficulty but you can usually expect a 6-12 hour campaign on your first run through.
  • Unlock new difficulties with better loot and drops by finishing the game on the lower difficulties.
  • The quality of the drops are better overall compared to the PC version, This could be down to the fact that the real money auction house is absent. This is a good thing, Trust me.
  • The game really opens up on the higher difficulties and requires better skill management.
  • Skills can be changed whenever you like from the inventory menu.
  • The game is not missing anything the PC version has except the auction house. If anything it has more on the console making this the definitive version.

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Cons:

  • Frame rate issues happen alot in built up areas with a high enemy count.
  • Screen tearing is common but you soon learn to live with it.
  • Trophy pop has a slight delay and locks the game up momentarily. More of a freeze than a lock up.
  • The laser in the PS3 gets a serious work out, Many times I could hear the laser going nuts. Im on a brand new 500gb slim.
  • The story hasn’t changed and is still cheesy and forgettable, But then you don’t play these games for the story.
  • New players will find the game very repitive but this is due to the genre of the game, It wont be for everyone. Kill enemies, level up kill stronger enemies, rinse and repeat then fight a boss and unlock a new area, rinse and repeat.
  • Couldn’t find a way to save when you wanted, Instead I had to rely on the autosave kicking in which can be random at best.
  • They have taken the mission/side mission complete icons directly from the PC version, Meaning it still has the Blizzard achievement score on the bottom.
  • Nearly everything in game is done with the X button, Which is fine but you can accidentally trigger actions or have it where your attack stops for a bit or just plain doesn’t respond. This is especially common in built up areas with a few environmental triggers etc.

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In Summary, This is the definitive version of Diablo 3. Blizzard have done an amazing job of stream lining the whole experience and making it easy to play with the controller. Adding offline and no online drm authentication is only a good thing. New players may not like it due to the grinding nature of the game but to the vets out there, You will like the changes. The game is solid and despite a bad story, The game is very playable and enjoyable with all the boss fights and skills to unlock. Managing your inventory is easy and quick, With handy compare screens and notifications on what items are new or old. They have also lowered the chances of picking up items that are not for your character. The lower levels dont yield the best drops so to get the most out of the game you really must go through it several times. If you do find it boring then I would suggest playing it in co op, It serves well as a good distraction whilst you chat to friends. For Blizzards first console port of this type of game, They have done a great job.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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