Saturday, 7 September 2013

Diablo III for Console - Final Round Review

With the release of Diablo III on console, Blizzard has made one of their most loved franchises more accessible.  Porting from the PC version (released May 2012),a few key changes have been made to this already awesome title, smoothly transitioning to it console.

The most obvious bonus for the console release is the lack of server issues that plagued the PC version at launch.  Auction House has also been removed, and I personally am glad; I can only imagine how insane this would become.

The inventory has had a complete overhaul.  You now have an item wheel that is a lot easier to use and with the help of analogue, navigating it is a breeze. Rather than trying to manage your space by size you are only limited by amount, and instead of a body plan for armour the item wheel is made up of what item goes where.  No matter the location it is easy to manage your weapons, armour, and accessories, even in the heat of battle.

Couch co-op has to be the best thing about the port to the Xbox 360 and PS3, as you can have up to four players all using one screen and one copy of the game.  The screen can become cluttered though, even with only two players, but as there is no splitscreen option it could be worse.  When sufficiently far enough away from another player you will be automatically teleported to them, even when playing ranged.  Thankfully the teleporting doesn't happen in online co-op.

It is simple to join or host an online party, either with friends or strangers.  The drop-in, drop-out feature is so straightforward that you will never have to play alone again.  Even dropping in and out in couch co-op is as simple as pressing start or turning off the controller.

There has been literally no change to the story, quests, or characters, and the immersion is as deep as it is on PC.  Nearly everyone has a story; Tyrael, Leah, your followers, the merchants and even the Prim Evil himself, they all have something to say.

My only issue with Diablo III, on console, is the graphics.  Cut scenes are great, but during gameplay there is a strange mixture between too much and too little detail.  During combat there can be so much happening at once on screen it becomes hard to focus on where you are, who you’re fighting, and even if you’re facing the right direction.  It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does it can lead to mass confusion.  Between fights can become the opposite, and lack of detail in some areas makes the game seem bland.  

There are a lot of button configuration customisation options for Diablo III, allowing you to play how you like.  I have only come across one problem with the controls during my playthough on console.  It is easy to miss dialog boxes on screen, as skipping them is the default primary attack and while being attacked yourself it is hard to not fight back, thus losing some story.

With no step backs or leaps forward, Diablo III has made a solid port from PC to console.  Being accessible to a wider audience and with the help of an effortless co-op system, a wider range of people are able to enjoy one of the best RPG’s on offer.  The ease of the port to this generations consoles excites me for the PS4 and Xbox ONE version and the expansion (Reaper of Souls), which are on there way.

Final Round Rating  -  9/10

 - Steff Webb

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