Diablo 3 Console Review
Game developing company, Blizzard, has been known through the years for making quite addicting PC games. Whether playing their accredited World of Warcraft tirelessly, strategically maneuvering through Starcraft, or questing for legendary loot in Diablo III, they have given us games that we have poured countless hours into and even, for some, revolved our lives around. Unfortunately for some of us however, these games have been limited to PC, and as many of us know, PC gaming can be quite expensive! Sad and left out, us console gamers have been dying to get our controller-prone hands on a bit of Blizzard’s MMO, strategy, and dungeon crawling action. After years upon years of hoping, the time has finally arrived as Blizzard has created a console version of one of their famous franchises and one of the most well-know dungeon crawlers of all time: Diablo III. And boy is it everything we could have ever hoped for!
Diablo III opens up with a beautiful cutscene, showing a young woman named Leah and her uncle, Deckard Cain, a seemingly paranoid old man with the inclination that there has been a prophecy of the end of the world, which he has been trying tirelessly to pinpoint. Searching through ancient books, their research is cut short as what they assume is a star drops into the cathedral where they are researching, taking Uncle Cain with it. The story continues as an endless battle to find out about this “star” and save Sanctuary from Cain’s prophecy.
Diablo III comes packed with lore, and to delve deeper into it, there is a section titled “Lore” in the menu screen where you can read up and get some better insight on the world of Diablo. Each character also has their own unique backstory, and each of their stories have given them a reason to hate the demons which they have banded together to fight against. Although the story could stand on its own, Diablo III has become known primarily for its stellar gameplay.
Diablo III is a dungeon crawling experience where players get to choose from one of five heroes: Wizard, Barbarian, Monk, Demon Hunter, or Witch Doctor. Each class has different abilities and play styles. Whether you want to exert all-out brute force with the Barbarian class or perform powerful area of effect spells with the Wizard, there is surely a class that will suit your gaming needs. Traversing through large dungeon corridors, your only goals are to defeat the demons anxious to slay you and collect all sorts of loot along the way, making your character more powerful and harder to defeat.
It is no doubt that Diablo III’s PC version was wrought with problems upon its 2012 release. With rage-inducing error messages forbidding buyers of the game to actually play, the inability to play offline, and a real-money auction house that forced gamers to shell out even more of their hard-earned money to advance their character, many Diablo fans were surely disappointed with the game. Thankfully, Blizzard corrected these problems for the console version of Diablo III. The real-money auction house is now no more, the game functions fluidly and properly, and you no longer need to be always online!
Many may have been skeptical as to whether Blizzard would be able to pull off the feat of making a console version of Diablo III as the game has always used a keyboard rather than a controller, but they did so perfectly. Instead of using hotkeys on your keyboard, each skill is assigned to a different button on the controller. Saying goodbye to the traditional Diablo point-and-click mechanic, we are now able to fluidly move our character, suiting well for a more action-oriented console gaming market. With this improved feature, slashing and cursing foes is gratifying and leaves us feeling like we bare immense power.
Blizzard also added a much-needed feature that was not available for the PC version: a dodge mechanic, which is enacted by merely using the right stick. This is extremely helpful when caught in a mob of enemies, making it easy to gain some distance and attack from afar. In addition, Blizzard made changes to the menu system to make it easily accessible and well-suited for a controller. The inventory now consists of a radial menu system. This system makes it easy to sort through your inventory and compare items. No longer do you need to use the puzzle-like mechanic where you have to try to perfectly make items fit in your inventory.
Diablo has always been a game that is formatted to be played with friends, and the same goes for this new version of Diablo III. The game allows for 4 player co-op either online or local, but online is definitely the better option. Local co-op provides its problems, as loot has to be shared with everyone, and upon receiving loot of course one wants to see what they have gotten in their inventory, but unfortunately for everyone else, this pauses their game and forces other players to have to wait until they are done making their decisions. This can be quite a time-consuming annoyance for those playing with three other people, each vying to make changes in their inventory. Online co-op though is funner than ever and easy to maneuver, making it one of the best co-op experiences of recent years.
Diablo III brought some beautifully dark graphics to the PC, and the same can be said for the console version. Although character models are small and it is hard to see intricate detail in them, what matters is the backdrops in which they are placed in, and many areas are surely awe-inspiring. Blizzard has created the element of fog extremely well, and an eerie tone is easily set. Mana, Arcane Power, Spirit, and Fury/Discipline pools are beautiful to watch swirl around in their containers and add a bit of color to the game, making us feel absolutely empty when the pools are depleted. Coloring for spells and action moves also look amazing and give us a sense that we have performed something truly ethereal. Although this game may not look as great as it does on a high-powered PC, it surely does the PS3 justice and shows off its capabalities.
When it comes to sound, Diablo III has never been known for an astounding soundtrack and it isn’t one of their high points. However, performing moves on demons unleashes a sound of fury that really shows that you are enacting a large amount of destruction, and when grouped up with friends, the sound of butt-kicking is so overpowering that you feel truly epic and like you are the best demon slayer around. Diablo III also holds some amazing voice acting where nearly every NPC you come across has a different voice, and your own hero is constantly making commentary. As the fog sets an eerie tone graphically, there are often creepy tones audio-wise that make the scenery even more menacing.
Does Diablo III’s console version stand up against its PC predecessor? Yes, yes, and YES! With improved gameplay mechanics, amazing online co-op along with the ability to play offline, and beautiful graphics, the new and improved Diablo III is amazing enough to make us want to leave the PC version entirely and fully commit to our console copies. This game is definitely worth the price of admission and will give us hours upon hours of obsessive dungeon crawling fun. Why are you still reading this? Go play the game and let us know what you think!