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Diablo III (Console) Review

The pure buzz that was around Diablo 3 when it was originally released for the PC over a year ago was so frenzied, there was little chance it could have lived up to all of its hype potential and sadly that’s exactly what happened, dividing many gamers opinions, though this was mainly down to the usual server issues that now is associated with online only games. With Diablo 3 what us console owners get is a very rare situation in that we have a port that manages to surpass the original in most ways.

Set after the end of Diablo 2, that threat of the Lesser Evils still looms, with Deckard Cain and his niece Leah working through ancient texts and deciphering that there is an oncoming war on the horizon. This realisation however comes too late, with a falling star lighting the skies and destroying the cathedral where Cain and Leah worked. Somehow surviving the ordeal, Leah runs to the local town of Tristram, telling tales of how Cain is still alive but hidden somewhere within the falling stars crater, from which the dead are now rising. This is where you come in, a hero that teams up with Leah to first save Cain, which then leads to many shocking discoveries and a huge quest to stop this evil threat once again. Having not played the previous games of the Diablo series really does not affect the overall experience of this game as it quite skilfully deals with its back history with plenty of conversations you can have with the many townsfolk, each giving a little more backstory to the whole experience, of course you could just ignore all that and go out swords swinging.

With five classes to choose from both with male and female models, your first and probably the toughest choice of the game is who to play as, as each one looks totally badass. The huge Barbarian, reliant on brute strength and melee weapons; the dual crossbow wielding Demon Hunter; the lightning quick hand to hand specialist Monk;, the Witch Doctor and their summoning powers or the Wizard who is able to command the elements. Each one is extremely powerful and fun to play with and each have many different abilities that sets them even further apart.

Once decided you are ready to set foot into the world of Diablo you are treated to a spectacular isometric action adventure game that lets you continually upgrade your character into even more of a fighting machine. The Diablo games have always been about the loot and this version is no different, with gold and weapons and armour falling from every orifice of fallen foes and treasure chests, each mission you partake in being yet another reason to collect loot galore. The amount that you collect can at times be overwhelming, but thankfully the menu system is very easy to navigate and understand, with all of the different attributes and areas that you can alter easy to reach and swap items around. As well as an awful lot of loot to collect there is also the deep character levelling system, with a huge assortment to unlock, offering even more special powers and as you progress, more buttons unlocking for use, increasing your firepower and giving you more moves to pull off when in fights.

Though early on most of the fights tend to be of the more hack and slash, with progression will bring you up against some truly ferocious foes and with these, more tactics are required, with the fights becoming more of a ballet of death, you dodging the incoming attacks whilst throwing in the occasional slash and then keep your distance, slow and steady wins the race on these occasions.

With mission’s coming thick and fast, you can easily forget this is really a multiplayer experience, so when you start to struggle with some of the later acts, having a few others on your side really helps. When online you are able to join or invite three other players, with the game adjusting the difficulty of the enemies but also the rate of loot drops, adding a further challenge. When in groups it is more akin to the classic PC experience, with specific characters taking on their roles, Barbarians getting in the fight and Monks maybe hanging back a bit a healing from afar, its tactics like this that will get you through some of the harder dungeons. If you prefer to avoid playing online fear not as you still get to take someone along for the fight, with you being able to select from one of three other adventurers, these three followers have similar attributes to the games classes, with a Templar, Scoundrel and Enchantress. They will follow you whenever you request their assistance; with the more fights they are involved with also ranking them up in a similar war to yourself, unlocking even more powers, plus you are also able to load them with even better gear.

With hours of intense battles and dungeon crawling plus lots of enchanting items via your blacksmith, it is at the end of the game as to whether you will either love or hate Diablo 3, you can either hang up your weapons and move onto another game, or, the real goal of the game will be to attempt the numerous other difficulties that unlock as you progress. With the subsequent difficulties following the same story you do get a few extra challenges thrown in plus the random dungeon creator keeps things fresh with you venturing into unfamiliar territory over and over again to collect even more powerful equipment than before; so if grinding and looting is your thing, Diablo 3 is a must.

Presentation is also a key factor here, graphically the game looks fantastic, the isometric camera gives the dungeons a real physical presence to the game and the animation s of the constant swarms of monsters is great to watch, from charging at you to them exploding or crawling across the floor, their bodes ripped in two. The only issue is that the game does seem to have a split second pause every now and then; it is not during the ferocious battles so it does not really affect gameplay though it certainly was noticeable.

The in action displays default option is also not exactly their best with the game going for a minimalist approach and keeping the screen clutter free or placing health bars at the side of the screen which I personally found rather awkward, taking my eyes away for the action; however with a bit of tinkering in the options you can customise the screen to how you see fit, with health bars above characters and even hit scores appearing above the enemies to show how much damage you are inflicting, which is a definite requirement as at times it is hard to see just if you are connecting or not.

The enjoyment of the game is also helped along by the controls which are pretty much spot on for the console controllers, with each button relating to a special power and the right stick becoming a doge and roll control and potions on the left bumper, my only issue is that the basic action button is also the interact button, causing you to talk, quick progress text or even travel to another area in error when all you want to do is fight.

With so many fights taking place, you can expect a huge range on monsters, each more ferocious than the last and offering quite a few challenges along with them, as even they have certain abilities shared between them all, with teleporters flashing around everywhere, knockbacks sending you flying, the plagued that leave toxic puddles everywhere or the really annoying wallers, who create huge walls around you. When attacking, each monster will have their own health bar and also a description of their attribute which is essential as you can then alter your tactics, which is easy on the initial difficulty but when they start adding even more to each monster, things get a lot harder.

Diablo 3 has been recreated for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and in doing so really nails how a console game of this nature should work with it being dungeon crawling at its best and is a welcome addition to the console games market, here’s hoping they keep up to date with more DLC in the future.

Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version Tested: PS3)


+ A successful port from PC to console
+ Very easy to get into

Edited On 08 Sep, 2013

( 3 )
Akemi no Zero's avatar
Akemi no Zero 3 years ago
I really don't know what to think of this. I've never played diablo III on pc. But is it really worth it? It looks nothing special to me but I mite give it an go. If they release an demo on ps store at some point.
Zombieflamingo's avatar
Zombieflamingo 3 years ago
I have it on both PC and 360 and have to say I far prefer the console version. The radial menu for the loot is easy to go to and the addition of the roll just makes it so much better. If you like action RPG games it is probably the best on current gen consoles. If you have a reasonably good PC get torchlight 2.
superniceguy's avatar
superniceguy 3 years ago
This game ran fine on my 2004 Pentium 4 PC with the latest but defunct AGP Graphics Card. I doubt the game will be much better, if at all, on next gen, so probably best get it on current gen unless planning on selling your current gen console or your friends are all playing on next gen.

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