“Blizzard is like the Apple of video games. They just know what they’re doing.” This is what was said 3 hours in a same screen 4 man co-op by one of my fellow players. And he is right, Blizzard Entertainment has got it together when it comes to making a addictive, fun games such as World of Warcraft and Starcraft. Diablo III has been long over due since its predecessor, but when it first hit PC back in May 2012, it was well worth the wait.
So now to get many console only gamers introduced to the world of Diablo, as of last Tuesday Blizzard has released a Xbox 360 and PS3 version of the game.
Now this isn’t just a simple port of the game, many tweaks had to be done in order for the Diablo III to be playable with controller and for the epic same screen co-op to exist. For starters the big change was of course the ability to play co-op on one console, which Blizzard did a great job with polishing. At anytime can a player join in a game, select an existing or create a new character, without going to the title screen. And just as easy as it is to join a game, a player can simply drop out and keep all the gear and loot for there next play-through. Yes, it is very awesome to have 4 players ripping and shredding through enemies on screen, while at the same time swearing and yelling; “Get OUT of the fire!!” from the comfort of your living room, but here is a downside to playing on one TV. Unlike the stingy PC version where rare loot is dropped, well… rarely, with the console version you will be receiving a better weapon or armor piece just about
every elite unit or sub boss battle. Which means with you will be spending a lot of time watching another player comparing spoils and trading gear quite a bit. It basically got to the point where smoke/food/bathroom breaks were necessary in order for everyone to adjust there new skills, exchange gear, and sell/salvage loot, just to keep everyone from getting impatient and pissed from waiting on the new guy or that guy who likes to look at every drop as if it might have some secret ability.
Another key difference is the lack of the auction house, both in-game and the “controversial” real money auction house are not present. If you are like me though, you really could care less, since it really isn’t needed with the increased chance of rare gear to drop. Of course though there are complaints regarding the lack of either already booming through online, but get over it, you dad can’t buy you that chest piece you always wanted, but I bet there is candy that needs to be organized in to rows somewhere for you. Of course the ability binding and interface has had a makeover to benefit the fact that you could have 4 players at one time. The major difference is the positioning of health and mana orbs and the the the cool-down/skill icons displayed. It has been set up very similar to other console action RPG’s to where it doesn’t take up a 8th of your screen, otherwise things could get pretty messy on screen as if they already are not. Overall, job well done on transferring Diablo III to console.
Now that we’re done comparing PC vs console differences, let’s get to the core of the game for those of you who haven’t played Diablo III or are unfamiliar with the Diablo series. Diablo III is a action RPG, with a unique combat system similar to a D&D style but with no need for pen and paper. It involves the use of different skills to perform attacking, defending, buffing, etc. actions with a combination of micromanaging equipment to defeat the army of enemies spawning from Hell. The game not only involves quick skill, but also the ability to plan tactics according to your enemy. The best way to put it, Diablo III is a bit like WoW but with quicker action and less size and managing equipment/skills. However; the amount of time that you will put into building your character(s) will basically give you a sense of pride and commitment to your alter ego. You will put so much effort and time into building up your wizard or monk, that it will become the equivalent to your next born.
You will get to a point where you will become so skilled and spected, that you will run through a bloody mess of demon parts and realize, “Holy crap, I just owned that mob.” And if you play co-op it will become a race to who does the most damage or who has the best gear, your friends will soon become rivals, and your rivals will soon become enemies as you or them ninja every loot drop. But hopefully you can keep it all together and just have fun with your friends.
Now Blizzard is known for having superb graphics and sound; myself, I usually don’t care about these sort of things as long as the game is playable and fun, but even the blissful sight and sound explosion of Diablo III made be stop to enjoy. The quality that you get from this game is extraordinary, and I have yet to skip a cinmea even when playing through a second or third time, yes, there that good. Playing this game with surround sound is amazing in itself, there is a few times I will hear a zombie mob behind me and I still jump a bit. Unlike a first-person game where sound is located based on where you are looking, in Diablo III you will be walking through a demon infested over-world and hear your enemies from your back right and you know that there is a horde to the south east of the screen. Playing on harder difficulties this is very helpful. Speaking of harder difficulties not only is there your standard easy, normal hard, that increase damaged received and decreases damage done (you also get better drops when raising the difficulty to master), there is also Hell, Nightmare, and Inferno mode which face you with not only stronger and more enemies but enemies with more abilities and ways to kill you. What I wish more games had that Diablo III has is Hardcore mode, and get this, if you die with this mode active, that’s it your character is dead and is’nt coming back. makes you think twice about rushing in especially if you are a high level.
If you want to play a game that will keep you occupied for the next few months that is a great time and hell of fun, then you should definitely pick up the Xbox 360 or PS3 version of Diablo III, and if you already have it on PC, well good for you. Blizzard has already confirmed that there will be a PS4 release of Diablo III and hopefully it will have the Reaper of Souls expansion that has been confirmed also will be coming to console a bit after it is release to PC in 2014. When that happens, I will of course will probably playing Diablo III well into next summer.