Review: Diablo III

diablo III coverLove it or hate it, Diablo III sold a crap-load of games on PC last year, 12 million in fact so it’s no surprise that a lot of people can talk about the game; some of it good, but a lot of it, well, not so good. Regardless, after an absence on consoles for over a decade, Blizzard have decided to take their massive seller to consoles and the result, maybe surprisingly is that the console version of Diablo III is the definitive version to play.

Diablo III is all about two things: killing and looting. Say that about most other games, and you’re in for both a snooze-fest and a bore-fest. Blizzard though, have managed to create a game that’s so finely tuned, that it just makes you want to keep going and going.

There are some obvious differences from the PC version to consoles, most of them are small and offer and easier experience with things like a radial menu and direct control over your character but the addition of a dodge instrumental to making the general gameplay so enjoyable.

This dodge mechanic mixed with having direct control over your character means that the fighting will be noticeably faster than its PC counterpart making each encounter that much more frantic but enjoyable. Even with the massive orgy of blood and slashes, the game mostly keeps to its 60 frames per second promise with only slight dips infrequently.

This does mean that the visuals have taken a noticeable dip compared last year’s PC version. It’s by no means an ugly game but there are some muddy textures and some noticeable jaggies on characters. That being said, it’s a testament to the art design at Blizzard that this game is still amazing to look at with environments teeming with personality and atmosphere in some places.

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If you’ve never played a Diablo, or similar type games before, it’s all rather simple: Go into an encounter, kill everything, pick up the loot, rinse and repeat. Sounds like it’ll grind and get repetitive rather quickly but there’s something that’s just so captivating that keeps you going. From seeing the next environment, to just seeing those numbers rise on your loot, this game can easily suck you in if you’re a fan of stats and numbers. The action though is fast and varied enough that even newcomers and action fans will find a lot to like about Diablo III.

As fun as Diablo III is on its own, it goes up another notch as soon as more people join the fray. It must be said right away that this game is easily one of the best couch co-op games out there right now. It can also be played online though as private, invite only sessions, and even joining up with some randoms for some mayhem.

Those who are fans of these games, and Diablo III in particular will be happy to know that the loot drops are far generous than the PC version with at least half a dozen legendary weapons guaranteed to drop in a single playthrough. That’s still not to say that the game is easy; you will most likely die on normal if fighting by yourself but it never feels cheap.

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The multiple difficulties, as well as the ability to play with others, and then of course the, dare I say, addictive nature of the loot drops makes Diablo III one of the most replayable games in some time. You could easily sink hundreds of hours into this game and still find some enjoyment whether its from the difficulty levels, hardcore runs, or even playing through the game with a new class, Diablo III is a game that could easily do you until next gen should you wish.

Diablo III on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is the definitive version of the game. Controls feel natural, almost as if the game was made for consoles alone. The interface is functional but not perfect for navigation, but the overall gameplay is stellar. It’s easy to pick up, hard to put down, and great with friends, what more could you want from this game.

SCORE: 8.7/10

Written by: Jason Redmond

Owner of Game-Smack, Jason plays everything that's possible. Goal of Game-Smack: Overhearing a stranger "Game-Smack? I've heard of that. It sucks!"