Title: Diablo III
Platform: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbone One, Windows, OSX

Reviewed on: PS3
Genre: Action RPG, Dungeon crawler
Players: 1-4 local and Online Co Op

Written by Sky 25th November 2013



















So straight off the bat I’ll admit it:  I never really got that far into Diablo II before I got bored and went back to playing Call of Duty (don’t judge me! We all played that game at one point in our gaming career). Regardless I had a faint idea of what the franchise was about and what it had to offer, even then I decided not to buy it when it came out on PC. And so it was; many days passed and the announcement came that Diablo III would be released on console, and I was interested immediately. Well I was intrigued at best, to be honest, as the port to console would not just be a carbon copy.  We were given a great deal of control over our characters and were not limited in any way compared to our PC counterparts.

I bought the game for a great price from my local store, achieving the Limited edition without having to pre-order. One of the perks of living in a small town! The gifts were neat; a few extra pieces of armour which boosted things like, loot-drops and exp gained +25%.  Can’t really argue with that right? Except maybe they looked stupid, however I didn’t feel at all cheated by Blizzard for a change!

So the game itself without even playing it yet had me impressed.




























So, once I’d progressed by the introductions and tutorials and all that boring crap I found the difficulty at first beyond easy.

I smashed through dungeons and was picking up easy rare items. I considered changing the difficulty up, though I would have had to start from the beginning again. A page Blizzard could have really taken from Bethesda’s book: allowing players to up the difficulty when the game becomes too easy, and even for those weak hearted, useless, excuse for gamers who want to turn the difficulty down when things get too hot. Now note I said 'at first' the game was too easy, and I mean that literally.

One minute I was skipping through dungeons, b***hslapping all the mofos, until BLAMMO!

I reached the sands and all of a sudden I was being melted by little green wasps?! I crushed a giant cleaver wielding demon who snacks on flaming corpses; yet I’m bested by some oversized green wasps?!

Gimme’ a break!

Seriously, the jumps in difficulty between acts and some sections is totally ridiculous; the transition was not at all smooth.

They could have spent a little more time smoothing over the difficulty curve of the game.

Other than that I found very little flaws for this game, except a few hitches with the frame-rate now and then, but remember:

this game was ported from the PC and it took some decent specs to run that smoothly.  

So you really can’t justify complaining about that, not unless you’re a punk, you’re not a punk are you?


The game runs on an in-house graphics engine;

the style is attractive, though colours can be a little over saturated at times but most of the time it’s on key.  

Now this is crucial; Depending on what system you’re playing on, it might make a difference on the game looks and plays.  

From my experience on the “Phat” Ps3, I’ve had a great solo and 2 player local experience.

Although when I was online or had 3+ players I discovered some lag and frame rate issues, which most claim they don’t or didn’t experience.  At least not until there were 4 players all in game at the same time and even then it’s only when under siege by a mob.  So perhaps the PS3’s younger, slimmer and cooler brother will have the capabilities to handle what it’s matured brother mightn’t.  Though, that’s just speculation based on experience.

But as I said for the most part this game’s graphics are consistently good throughout, to be expected from Blizzard I suppose.  





























Throughout the game the player is presented with some gorgeous professional, hand drawn artwork, which are used as cutscenes.  It feels a little cheap and cheesy at first, but as I’m a sucker for a guy with good hands, wait, *cough* .

As I can truly appreciate the handiwork of a pro-artist I can’t help but enjoy the artwork, what can I say?

The game incorporates a fair amount of environmental interaction too, I never really used it much myself - but it’s a neat feature. Dropping some very conveniently placed chandeliers upon a group of zombies is pretty fun, no matter what way you look at it.  

That along with destructible environments, though I’ve come to understand that the barrels and vases almost always had gold in them, though now, they rarely do - regardless they’re still fun to smash up; you’re even rewarded for how many you can smash in a row with exp.  Also once or twice I’ve caught a Treasure Goblin hiding out in a barrel and once in a web.


The audio is pretty decent.  Scoring most of its points with its immersive ambient sounds that help fill the gaps when you’re running around like a lost dog in a dungeon. The voice acting could be better, then again, it’s on par with most games out there so in that respect I can’t complain too much.  

The music is great, but I’ve hardly paid attention to it; one particular track I can remember is the battle with the Spider Queen, I can remember the soundtrack really hyping me up for a pretty decent boss battle.

Had I one complaint, the attacking sounds get pretty repetitive, in particular the mage’s Blades attack.


Game feels great…. moving on… What…? Fiiiine-


Throughout the game I never really felt as though I was not in full control of my character.

Moving around feels precise and once you’ve become well practised you can take full advantage over the dodge function.

This function is controlled by the right analogue stick (default), and especially useful against much larger enemies and dodging floating green wasps of exploding doom.

Moving through the maps is a comfortable experience, it’s not too cluttered and your movement animations are smooth though when you gain speed boosts your character might float a bit.

It reminds me of when you see someone walking along on those conveyer belts at airports or two floored supermarkets?

 

The gameplay can hardly be described as linear either, as you are constantly going back and forth to areas from the home-point, and occasionally revisiting areas you’ve once been. And now my most prized aspect of the review is this:

While unlike most dunegon crawlers, Diablo 3 does not utilize random dungeon generation, there is still plenty of variety and is done in favour of creating more intricate and planned out maps/scenarios with randomised events, and loot drops.

Not one playthrough will be the same.  

This is absolute genius; it keeps the player on their toes at all times, and constantly throws mobs of random enemies at you that could drop some neat loot.  


Simply put, this game is some of the most fun you can have solo or with friends.

There’s so much to do and even just blasting through the dungeons is major fun and a great challenge.

There’s always a good variety in enemies making you switch up your style a bit, leaving you without the option to just choose a skill set and stick with it throughout.  

If you do find yourself doing that, you’re missing out.

Plus it’s a waste of all the great skills this game has to offer, who can’t love summoning a fire breathing Hydra, blasting down demons with a flurry of arrows, or even summoning a pack of venomous dogs to fight for you?




























There’s plenty of weapons and armour to choose from, each with totally varied and random stat boosts, some even with cute little joke stats, such as “These pants occasionally make you stink!”;

took me over a week to finally get better leg armour than those pants.

There’s even a little bit of customizability with different colour dyes, and some cool blue or red floaty angel wings.


Now then, to the conclusion, what is my opinion on this game?  

Honestly?

I think it’s great; I’ve spent a good couple of weeks playing only this game. I’ve played most of the characters, though seen the other characters in action.

My particular favourite is the Wizard character, with a cool arrogance and her outcast background.  

I’ll enjoy a lot more time on this game - I can tell.

It’s a game I’ll always consider on my shelf if I’ve nought to do.

This game can provide a well needed change of pace after a long or stressful day.


This game has that magic formula that games like Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, Arkham Asylum and such have, in that they’re incredibly addictive. Whenever I turned this game on I’d play for a couple of hours minimum, and personally that’s a major chunk out of my day. I can’t deny that Blizzard have made a smooth move bringing this game out on console, especially after giving us exclusives and removing the dreaded auction house.

The community for this game are ‘apparently’ great on the PSN servers at least.

I haven’t particularly spent much time online with randoms but as far as I can read; people seem to be active and ready to listen. Folks tend not to take on difficulties they can’t, unlike good old Mass Effect 3 randoms.


This game has that magic formula that games like Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, Arkham Asylum and such have, in that they’re incredibly addictive. Whenever I turned this game on I’d play for a couple of hours minimum, and personally that’s a major chunk out of my day. I can’t deny that Blizzard have made a smooth move bringing this game out on console, especially after giving us exclusives and removing the dreaded auction house.

The community for this game are ‘apparently’ great on the PSN servers at least.

I haven’t particularly spent much time online with randoms but as far as I can read; people seem to be active and ready to listen.  Folks tend not to take on difficulties they can’t, unlike good old Mass Effect 3 randoms.


All in all this game is worth the purchase, especially if you need a good co-op game to play with a friend, for as long as you are prepared to share that loot, ahah.  I personally grudge giving Whistler any items, regardless of whether I can use it or not.

I wouldn’t say this game is the best dungeon crawler I’ve ever played, but it’s top five, mostly since Champions of Norath and Dungeon Siege carry some good childhood memories with them.  


This game still feels fairly fresh out of the oven and into the console world, so the prices may still be a touch high but at least it’s worth it. Over the next few weeks I can see this dropping to around the £28 mark, especially in your local supermarket.

They tend not to have a clue about games - they didn’t really click on to the Call of Duty franchise until late black ops and were selling these titles at £35 and pre-owned for £10. But even at it's current price for the Playstation 3, Diablo 3 is still more than worth it with a estimated total of 17 hours for the main storyline and almost double for the completionists out there.

 


Pros:  

Audio-visual beauty,

Precise controls,

Variability,

Easy to follow story.


Cons:  

Regular Frame-rate & lag issues with 3+ players,

Voice acting and score mediocre at best,

Insane spikes in difficulty.

 

Final verdict ,

And so it is that I’d rate this game a nasty 8.5 out of 10.


Written by,

Sky























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