Review: Diablo III (Console)
Diablo III finally released on console! How will this transition to another platform compliment the game and will it still receive the negative feedback from its PC release? Read on to find out.
- Worth The Time?Yes.
- Things LovedDecent graphics with beautiful visuals in certain areas; Different classes offer a nice variety of gameplay; Fun combat; Large world to explore; Interesting encounters; Tons of quests to do; LOOT EVERYWHERE!
- Things HatedVisuals fluctuate in quality; Not for everyone; Difficulty increases tremendously when playing co-op; Can become chaotic at times when playing co-op with your mates and enemies cluttering the screen.
- RecommendationFor RPG fans.
- Name: Diablo III
- Genre: RPG
- Players: 1-4 Players
- Multiplayer: 2-4 Local or Online
- Platforms: PC, Xbox 360 and PS3
- Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
- Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
- Price: R599
- Reviewed On: PS3
Say what you will of gamers and games – at least we have had our fair share of adventures with tremendous stakes and odds facing us with bloodshot and demonous eyes dripping with acidious moisture containing very little compassion within the mind of their carrier.
Let me make use of Diablo III and just transcribe one scenario on how I would probably run away to cry in the nearest convenient corner if this was happening to me in reality.
“I find myself in one forgotten and spider-infested underground cavern with some random yet very confident random Johnny I found in New Tristram (my preferred destination for grabbing a pint of whatever the barkeep has on offer before laying down on one of the inn’s uncomfortable aged mattresses to be found in one of the many rooms to let and passing out to continue my journey the following dawn).
This man tremendously overestimates his chances with the vile creatures found within these catacombs. We need to find two round artifacts giving of a bluish hue to gain entrance to an old deteriorated closed off building where a piece of the grand puzzle lies to sort out this devilish situation we find ourselves in. Oh, how I thought this would be a swift and easy path to victory. I have my bow at the ready with chittering sounds emanating from all directions and increasing in volume. Shall I make it out of these ill-begotten caves?
At first we’re faced with small spiders speedily making their way to us while we fend them off with little effort. Not long thereafter we find ourselves facing three spiders the size of your time’s removal vans. We persist and prevail – not knowing that this will be mere childsplay compared to the lengthy journey ahead of us.”
You see, if this was reality, I would very proudly evacuate my bowels and run back the way I came without even the faintest thought of returning to such a cavern.
So, who else is excited about Diablo III finally finding its way onto consoles? Not that much, hey? Well, this was expected due to the negative reception the game received on PC some time ago.
I was expecting a game within the likes of Duke Nukem Forever and you know what? It’s not that bad, people. Take a breather. We had an article last week regarding popular opinion. This was indeed the mindset I found myself in when starting the game up. Constant online requirements and auction houses be damned. (See what I did there?)
Let me start by saying that I never played Diablo III on PC. This review is proudly brought to you by the clueless miscreant whose only experience with this game is on console. I would prefer that this review is to be read while simultaneously forgetting about its PC counterpart.
The game opens with a beautifully done pre-rendered cinematic showing one of your soon-to-be follower characters – Leah and the man who adopted her, Deckard Cain going over a bunch of scrolls that talks of a dark prophecy. Lo and behold a meteor crash lands on their home / library leaving me in tears by all those books and scrolls being turned to ashes. (This does not project a good moral compass on my behalf. I get all protective over written work and only then do I worry about the people.)
The effects of this mysterious meteor are of chaos and the dead rising from their graves. Not to mention walking trees, treasure goblins and various other blood-thirsty enemies. All kinds of demons and evil entities are now walking upon the Earth.
You start the game with a male or female Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, Mage, Barbarian or Monk. I opted for the Demon Hunter class since he looked bad-ass, the description sounds alluring and he spesialises his skills by making use of various bows and arrows. Each character’s journey starts with a different viewpoint and let’s just say that the Demon Hunter class’s motivation for finding a solution to this catastrophe is somewhere along the lines of revenge.
Diablo III is a RPG with a nice nostalgic isometric camera; freeing up an analog stick for dodging buttocks-hungry cretins, God Of War-style. (The game reminds me a lot of Revenant from way back.)
The different classes offer a nice variety of gameplay from close-up fighting to long-range arrow shooting or spell blasting.
You’re sent on a long journey across a relatively large game environment with so many underground areas. The architects of that time must’ve faced peer pressure and the “in thing” that time was to build more underground areas and crypts as opposed to much needed homes. The areas you explore differ in sizes like big open forests to narrow cave-like passages underground. Having said this – I feel that the underground areas underwent more graphical polish as opposed to most of the surface areas. It’s not The Last Of Us in terms of detail, but I quickly looked over this due to the gameplay actually being fun. (Sorry to disappoint everyone who told me the game was garbage.)
The graphical quality is by no means bad. Some areas are genuinely breathtaking, but other areas do not hold the same level of detail throughout.
When examining the gameplay under a microscope it may look rather simplistic. Start quest, run to your objective while going off the beaten path for additional loot, fight a horde of flesh-eating dullards, find quest-related artifacts, destroy everything in an area, loot, turn your quest in, rinse and repeat.
I’m going to use a word I hate with every psychologically unstable fiber in my being now to describe the gameplay. It’s repetitive. If you look at it like that – every game out there is repetitive, even the great ones. So, yes, the game is repetitive, but it’s far from it resulting and leading to a deal breaker. It is still fun to battle all these vile creatures and loot all there is to loot.
You begin the game with two dedicated attack buttons and as you level up, you unlock other buttons to attack with or assign an evasive action to that button. In addition to unlocking new attack buttons you may add upgrades to these attacks or evasive maneuvers for some sweet posterior-kicking effects as you level up. You are rewarded by continuing to play and slaughtering countless spawning foes.
The enemies are weak and few at first, but as you progress you will run into new and different types of monstrosities along the way. They vary in speed and the damage they deal, as with any other RPG. New enemies enter the fray frequently and this keeps you on your toes, because you have to keep in mind the way most enemies behave and how they utilise their attacking methods. Some will attack from a distance and deal considerable damage while other, like the dusty old skeleton warrior need to shamble over to you and only then will you be served as dinner. The enemies are varied enough to keep matters interesting and if you’re not careful you’ll run out of healing potions fast. Every now and then you’ll run into stronger enemies amongst these hordes and are easily identifiable by having a yellow-outline.
Boss characters on the other hand will frequently use your behind as a doormat as they take some time to defeat and quite a few healing potion vials are needed in the process. They really are boss characters and not just another minor obstacle in your way. These are sometimes a bit too overpowered and this was on Normal difficulty. However, the thrill of finally beating one of these boss encounters is undeniable. My only downside with these encounters is that when you restart from a checkpoint you don’t get your potions back. There was one particular boss character that I defeated with a smidgen of health and no more potions at hand. A very rewarding feel, but if I had to try one more time, I wouldn’t have much gold left to buy these potions yet again.
Weapons degrade with usage and when you die their durability is degraded by 10%. It is another aspect that encourages you to be careful. Items such as clothing and weapons can be repaired by merchants. These standing around guys also have their own range of weapons and armour for sale, but I only went to a merchant when my inventory was full from the day’s pillaging or in need of healing potion. All my weapons and armour were coughed up by enemies, bookshelves, chests and tool racks along my journey. (Let me just say that my heart sank into the depths every time my character searched a bookshelf and literally destroying it in the process. Really now?) I kept everything, equipped what I needed and flogged the rest. A bow and arrow that shoots at the speed at that of the equivalent of an assault rifle today, thanks to my character leveling up and using a bow and arrow with a fast enough speed is oh, so satisfying.
Another minor addition I liked was that you may buy dyes from these merchants and change the colours of certain robes and armour pieces.
This game is fun to play alone, but it really provides all the joy when you play co-op with your friend. There can be four people playing on one console, but I only had the opportunity to try two player co-op. Using my Demon Hunter in unison with the powers of a Mage was a ton of fun. This game is truly meant to be played by more than one person in one game at a time. The difficulty changes when you have more than one player and the boss characters are truly ruthless in co-op. Combining the different classes really made for some joyous times. Being able to drop loot items for a friend doesn’t hurt either. However, I should mention that the game becomes rather chaotic when the enemies spawn in truckloads and you are not the only player. With swords, spears, spells and heads flying all over the place – it can sometimes take a second or two to find your character. Once again, not a deal breaker, but definitely not for those who enjoy their tranquility in games.
You may choose to play the game online, but I recommend it for good old couch co-op madness.
The graphics are genuinely great in some areas, but this does not count for all the outdoor areas. The sound effects get the job done and the soundtrack is subtly adding to the atmosphere and it really picks up during the boss encounters.