It’s been quite some time since I have played Diablo II, a little over a decade. So when I heard over a year ago that they were releasing Diablo III for PC I was very excited and a little disappointed at the same time. I loved the predecessor when I was a kid and played it on PC but knew I probably wouldn’t get around to playing it this time since I’m not usually a huge PC gamer. For people like me, hearing the title was going to make its way to console was elating and I couldn’t wait to play it. A couple days after it came out I bought it for Xbox 360 and one level 60 Demon Hunter later, I’m hooked. As always I like to get the bad news out of the way first, so let’s go ahead and take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of Diablo III.
As promised let’s start with the bad. Of course when being moved from PC to console you’re going to see the graphics suffer slightly. For some this is a deal breaker, for me not so much. Also, the game has been slightly reconfigured to play smoothly with console controllers. Once again, some PC diehards will not find this acceptable but I feel a lot of the reconfiguring has improved the game play. Inventory style was changed. Instead of a grid system where you try to make everything fit, you get a list with a carry limit. I still feel this is an improvement in my opinion. However, it is a change to the original style of the game.
Now the ugly, because let’s face it, it’s always better to end on a happy note. Diablo III for console has local four player co-op. This is awesome and terrible at the same time. All local players share one screen for their inventory and skills menus consequently causing the game to be paused every time someone wants to change a skill around or check the magical attributes of an item they just picked up. I’ve tried out having completely local four player games and at times I can say this feature can be downright infuriating. Though the quick equip button on the directional pad offers small solace from fighting over the menu screen it’s just not enough to solve this issue. Local two player teams can manage with minimal stress but it seems anything above that just leads to frustration.
After getting that all off my chest, here comes everything I love about Diablo III. First of all, direct control over your character and adding in a dodge move to the right thumb stick, has been really fun for creating action-packed battles. It feels so much less stifling and more fluid compared to the PC version’s point and click control style. The look and feel stays true to its predecessor for me which added to the nostalgia factor. Loot drops are much more frequent and legendary drops are much easier to get. Some would say this means the loot system is “broken” but I and many others agree this has been a real improvement to Diablo III. Sometimes, I’m playing simply because I’m on a loot hunting frenzy and that alone adds hours of replay not counting playing though as different characters on different difficulties. Who doesn’t love awesome loot that makes you feel like a god? Even though the game has been changed to be console friendly, all the tactical and character personalization is still there. Console players do not have to create a Battle.net account and the game can be played offline, a very nice option for individuals who can’t or just don’t want to play online. Diablo III is still more fun to play with a few friends than alone, but if you plan to play on a full team I would highly suggest playing online. All in all I personally give Diablo III a 9.5 out of ten, even though there are some bad things about the game I have been thoroughly enjoying every hour I spend dungeon crawling and hunting for that next amazing legendary drop. I hope you do too.
Final Score: 9.5/10