Diablo 3 on console is a thing! Be excited! Or not, I could care less! But wait, you should be excited because it is quite good! Unless you have it on pc already and have no friends, then don’t bother. Ahem. Now that’s out of the way lets delve into the endless dungeon crawling, button tappy, pants collecting-y bonanza that is Diablo 3 on the consoles. First let me warn you that Diablo 3 on console will now be called Derbablo 3 so that I do not have to constantly differentiate between the two during the upcoming comparisons.
Diablo 3 was a great game, of course everyone hated it, but it was really great! It was pretty, easy to run on any pc and was quite the addicting little bugger. The loot was pretty much screwed from the onset, and the auction house firmly locked its mouth around the balls of capitalism and yes, oh yes, DRM is the worst. Despite all of this I put hundreds of my free hours click, click, clicking away at the denizens of hell, causing them to explode all over my screen. I max leveled multiple classes and loved every minute of it because despite the aforementioned issues Diablo 3 was satisfying, had a great leveling system and in the end the loot was still a blast to collect. Yeah it may take 70 hours to gain a legendary that was not any better than your currently equipped rare weapon and you lost your tits when you didn’t even need it, but you kept in your stash anyway in a desperate bid to make it worthwhile.
So Derbablo 3! I gave you a mini-pc review because Derbablo 3 is better! Oh my! A console port of a pc game being better?!?!? Impossible you say? Well shut your face and open your earholes because we are riding this magic carpet together. Gone is the auction house! Gone is the DRM! Best of all, GONE is the old loot system. Derbablo 3 has fewer but ultimately more useful item drops, legendary items in the first few hours, less of that non-magic trash and more of that blue goodness we all love so much. These changes are great and make it such a smoother more enjoyable experience removing the feeling that the developers at Blizzard looming over you and pulling the strings. The player no longer has to just use the gold or real-money auction house to buy worthwhile items.
The controls are handled as well as they could be. In the end Diablo 3 is meant to be on pc, not because consoles can’t handle it but because action RPG’s of their nature require the clicky-clicky satisfaction for the most part. Derbablo 3’s controls work well and in some cases work even better than the pc version. With classes like the barbarian made easier to use with direct control, especially with the addition of the dodge-roll. While an addition like this is integral to Derbablo 3’s gameplay it would be wasted on pc. Blizzard thought long and hard and has made significant additions that are built for console, which makes pc users feel less like they are missing out. They end up being very different games as a result; the issue with the console controls is you lose the accuracy of the mouse clicks. This does not matter with ye old Barb or the Monk but with the ranged classes of which there are many it makes it manageable but ultimately less satisfying. I am not saying that playing as a Demon Hunter or Wizard is not fun, quite the contrary, it is just that they are not as suited as the melee classes are. I found moves like ancient spear and leap with the Barbarian were more satisfying to pull off with the controller and where on pc I avoided using these skills I relished them on console.
Graphically it runs like melted butter down a flabby mans back. And by this I mean at 60 frames per second, for the most part. There are occasional dips when you play with four players and the enemies are flowing like wine and spells are flying and body parts are sailing through the air. Otherwise it looks and runs great. Yes it is not as pretty as the pc version, the edges are jagged and it loses that nice smooth look that Diablo 3 has but it still looks pretty enough. It seems strange though because the pc version really isn’t very graphically intensive and can run nicely on nearly any recent pc. The console version loses some of the more elaborate spell effects, the dynamic grass and some of the physics. To most it will unnoticeable.
The major selling point of Derbablo 3 is multiplayer. Yes it has online but who gives a damn, it has local co-op, local co-op for four people. I understand it may be hard for any self-respecting gamer to find four friends let alone gather them into one place but if you can it is well worth it. The heads up display is designed with co-op in mind allowing all four players to fit nicely on screen. The new radial menu system works well on console and once the players are learned in it the item swapping will go relatively quickly. Choose your friends wisely though as the loot is shared on local-multiplayer and although this isn’t a problem it can be when you play with jerks. I played with a jerk. It was not fun. Don’t be friends with jerks. Derbablo 3 can be a new tool used to weed out the jerk friends as it can reveal a dark side of those you know and love. Loot makes men ravenous beasts.
So. Derbablo 3 is great. If you own Diablo 3 already and would rather just play online with your other lame friends then keep doing it! Loot 2.0 will be here soon along with an expansion and on top of that they are removing the auction house as well. If only we could get offline play… If you want to play on the big ol’ television with friends on the couch then buy Derbablo 3. Both versions are great but if you don’t own either go with the console. In some ways Derbablo 3 feels like a sort of triumphant spiritual successor to Gauntlet on consoles. And we all know that is what we really want.
+No Auction House
-New full control = Less control