Diablo 3 Console Edition is the newest addition to the Diablo family. Should this edition be allowed to take your on a journey some players may have never experienced, or should it be banished back to hell where it came from?
When Diablo 3 first come to light in 2012, it had mixed reviews with players due to the various tweak, patches, additions and removals from the game world. This continued over time, but since has been improved past its general release. There are still issues with the game, but a lot of the problems that were patched into the title were since removed and updated.
So where does the console version of this title fit in?, well it’s a fully updated, altered and different experience from the PC edition of the title. You still get to explore the game in its full glory, but there are a few additions, tweaks and extras that really make this edition stand on it’s own. You not longer require an internet connection to play, you have local co-op and the auction house has been banished from the experience. So now your loot really means something.
That being said, has these additions really made the game wroth your time and effort?. We previously reviewed Diablo 3 for the PC when the game released. That was before Blizzard started to alter the game through patches and make the experience a little less enjoyable. That full experience we first encountered has been restored somewhat through future patches, but does the console edition of the game suffer from the same fate?, or does it welcome you with open arms.
The game’s audio hasn’t changed since its general release, everything is still at a nice high standard which is pleasing to the ears. The music, action, dialog and general soundtrack all complement the game very well. There may be some instances where the audio isn’t quite as high quality as the PC version of this title, but the general audio experience is of a nice high quality.
Blizzard have always had the broader scale in mind when it comes to their visuals. There isn’t one game I can think of that won’t run properly on one of my machines, mainly because they allow for super low fidelity on their graphics. At first glance the graphics are somewhere around the medium settings on PC, with slightly lower quality textures. That being said, the games looks outstanding on every level. There’s no lack of detail and the game looks just as beautiful on consoles compared to its counterpart.
The game does take a few hits in the visual performance department at times, and character models, even though still detailed, are using a much lower mesh. There are times where the game does slow down, and various amounts of screen tearing take over. But this is to be expected with the amount of intense visual activity on the screen.
The story and writing are still the same high quality with no alterations from the PC release, so there’s nothing new to repeat here from our other review, but after putting some time in characters, story and having plenty of time to experience what’s really going on in the story. It’s main focus is around characters you don’t have any real connection with. They drive the story for your progression, but once they become less important your focus is more on what’s in your killing path than what’s going on in the story. If you’ve also experienced the story before, skipping everything also becomes a habit as nothing really changes. You may find some books or odd dialog and NPC interactions you’ve not experienced before on previous playthroughs, but these will be the only small segments you won’t want to skip.
The story and dialog experience is well worth you time, but you may feel like you’re just being strung along with padding at times as the game goes from high fast paced action to lots of dialog between areas.
Diablo 3 has fairly general gameplay which matches all other dungeon crawlers, pick your class of choice and carve your way through the various enemies until you reach the finale. The usual loot grab and farming applies, which is what you would expect from this game genre. But there are quite a few differences between the PC and console edition of this game.
Your overall gameplay experience will differ depending on your class, play style and how you interact with the game. There’s obviously the right and wrong way to use each class, but that doesn’t stop you from jumping in with a demon hunter, or witch doctor and trying to turn them into an unstoppable tank.
One of the biggest differences between the PC and console edition of this game is the UI. The UI is broken up into segments and uses various radial wheels and basic up or down stats on all gear and items you find. You also have access to the more detailed information, but this streamlining allows for players to make quick decisions and groups all items up into their own sections of the radial menu instead of having a general inventory with all items. Some players may hate this layout, but it’s the most functional for the console systems. Using a pointer to select every item and swamp them in and out is tedious enough, but doing it with thumb sticks just doesn’t cut it.
The overall menu system is laid out well enough to makes the experience comprehensive, though there are things about it that really make the game more tedious. Mainly, dealing with your followers or party members. Accessing your party members is done through the inventory, so finding out basic information like their level, or class can be tedious. The one bonus to this is you can see their full equipment load out and what items they’re using.
The co-op experience is just as engaging online as it is offline, the only main difference is that local players will have to share loot, and be forced into the same general area. So you can expect local players to complain slightly about being forced back to the host player if they go too far and reach the edge of the screen. This can be extremely annoying if you’re fighting enemies towards the boundary, then you’re teleported back to the host as they’ve run off a different way.
Your online experience will be slightly different, which matches the PC experience. Unlike the PC edition of this title though you can play without having extra lag or connection issues as the game isn’t forced to be always online. You will run into lag even if you’re hosting though. There having a full lobby still results in laggy output in the other users connection aren’t as good as yours. This has caused some annoying instances of dying while playing with other players as you have no control over the quality of your connection.
Aside from the general updates to the UI, and various other console tweaks, there’s also been new additions such as a dodge and evade which has been tied to the right stick. This changes gameplay slightly as before you would have to use your special abilities to evade foes, but now you can dodge without a cost of your energy.
There’s a lot to be desired from Diablo 3, some of which has been for filled with the console edition. Removing the auction house really makes playing the game more enjoyable as you can’t farm gold, then just buy the best rated item. You now need to be careful about what you pick and choose, and farming for items will be the only way aside from trading with other players for better gear. The auction house has become a big unwanted part of Diablo 3 on the PC edition. So it’s removal is a welcomed addition to the console version.
So is the console edition of Diablo 3 worth your time and money?, from my standpoint, yes and no. For previous players of the PC version, they may feel like the game doesn’t match up well, or even has things setup slightly differently. This isn’t a bad thing, but there’s no auction house of any kind, but there is local co-op and a full offline mode which really makes the experience worth while.
So if you’re a multiplatform player, and want to experience the best of both worlds with Diablo 3, then getting your hands on this edition is worth your time and effort.