Game Review | Diablo 3 PS3/PC

Title: Diablo 3
ASIN: B00BT9DW0G (PS3)/B0030DH9R6 (PC)
Language: English
Publisher: Blizzard
Format: PC/PS3
Type: Game, Single Player, Multiplayer, Local CO-OP
Genre: Adventure, Action, A-RPG

Synopsis:

Blizzard Entertainment’s epic action-RPG Diablo III is moving the eternal war between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells to a new battleground–PlayStation 3! Armed with a controller and a custom-designed interface tailored for consoles, players will step into the role of one of five powerful character classes—barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, or demon hunter–and embark on a dark journey to save the world of Sanctuary from ancient demonic forces. As these heroes adventure from the humble town of New Tristram all the way to the Diamond Gates of the High Heavens, they’ll engage in pulse-pounding combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, grow in experience and ability, and acquire items of incredible power.


Features

  • Five powerful character classes to choose from: barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, and demon hunter.
  • Direct character control and console-focused changes to character abilities and combat mechanics thrust PS3 gamers into the action.
  • Four-player online co-op and four-player local co-op for seamless cooperative play.
  • Four different difficulty modes–Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno–that progressively increase the challenge and reward players with more powerful armor, weapons, and abilities.
  • Hardcore mode for players who seek the thrill of constant peril that comes with the possibility of permanent death for their character.
  • Completely reimagined interface and new dynamic camera designed specifically for console play.
  • Interactive environments with dangerous traps and obstacles, and destructible elements.
  • Randomized settings, events, and loot deliver endless, dynamic gameplay.
  • A wide variety of fiendish monsters, with unique attack patterns and behaviors redesigned for console.
  • Features like the Paragon system, Monster Power, Infernal Machine and Brawling add substantial replayability.
  • Connect with friends, send game invitations, and access voice chat through the PlayStation Network.

So, unlike a lot of people i actually liked Diablo 3, flaws and all. that’s probably due to the fact that i was never into the original 2 games, and have never really played them. So in a way playing this game was my first taste of Diablo. Any way, while the game has been out a while the other day i picked up the PS3 version (thank you amazon for taking Danganronpa back!!). I’d already completed the game several times on the PC , but the PS3 is supposed to be the ‘definitive’ version of the game, so i decided to give it a whirl.

So with out further ado, off we go!!

love or hate  the game you have to admit it looks nice! While the art is pretty much your usual ARPG style it looks well done. Playing through the game on the PC the first time i was constantly amazed at how good the game looked. For me this was especially true since at the time the computer i had wasn’t a gaming rig, yet it still looks bloody awesome.

The special effects of the attacks give the game a good amount of feedback, which it needs since early on all you’ll be fighting are the same monsters. While we get a good variety, it’s not a great variety, after a while early on it gets a bit dull fighting the same undead over and over. This is one of the problems with this style of game however, there’s no real way to counter it; so with that in mind Blizzard did a good job.

the settings and backdrops are really well done though, both the above and dungeons are very atmospheric and done really well. The changes from dark and dank to the light work really well and help set the stage really well.

What really matters however is the weapons and armour for your characters are bloody awesome. The variety is awesome

Problem i have is that when i got the set i liked i didn’t want to give it up, i hope that at some point they add the transmogrify thing from WoW so we can change armour and weapons to look like the bits of armour we like. For me i love this:

But I’ve yet to get the full set so I’m keeping hunting. The other classes all have their own unique style of armour and weapons that look pretty cool. The Witch Doctor has some of the freakiest looking armour and weapons in the game, but i just can’t get into the character So on the PC i have to admit this game is bloody gorgeous and amazing to watch. the cut scenes are amazing, the CGI in them is the highest quality I’ve seen in a while, blended with perfect voice acting, direction and atmosphere.

the big question here however is how does it look on the PS3, I’m sorry to say it’s no where near as good looking. Frankly after playing in 1080 on the PC to go to 720(?) on the PS3 just doesn’t feel right. I’m also convinced that it’s not 720, hell at times it looks more like 480. The character models look heavily pixelated and fuzzy, the backgrounds are fuzzy and washed out. It’s not a good looking game in the way the PC version is. For example I’d take ages getting my gear to look right and then trying to get the perfect screenshot lol

In the PS3 version that sort of goes out the window, though in a way that’s a good thing since i spent more time playing the game. The cut scenes still looked as good as the PC version, but they didn’t play as smooth. What this means is that graphically, the PC version is superior (is anyone surprised?).

So, now we get to the meat of the game and where things go through some major changes.

Anyone with half an interest in the game knows that Blizzard screwed up big time here. But I’ll cover that screw up last. Firstly lets talk about the combat mechanics. These are pretty much like every ARPG out there, click to move with the left and right mouse buttons being your attack/skill buttons, as well as the 1-5 buttons being your action skills. Of course you have potions as well, as and when needed. So nothing overly interesting or different there.

PS3 version is pretty similar, though as you’d expect not as good. Your movement is bound to the left stick and dodge to the right stick. Your abilities are bound to the different buttons, and after a bit of acclimatisation i found for some characters they worked really well. However for classes that need precision, such as the Mage and Demon Hunter, it doesn’t work as well. I love the Demon Hunter but on the PS3 i found it unwieldy and a pain to use, so i went onto the Monk and found it easier to use.

The skills themselves are pretty weak regardless of your class early on, but they get better as you progress. The lay out went through a revision from the PC:

I have to admit i like this interface, nice and clean with everything in easy view. The PS3 version however is not as user friendly:

The problem with this version od the skills is that you navigate with the left control stick, and frankly it handles badly. I found i didn’t want to experiment with other skills or runes purely because the interface was so clunky in it’s use.

This sadly carries over to the inventory screen, which on the PC version is a pretty decent screen, giving you all the info you need right at your fingertips.

Unfortunately the PS3 version is clunky as hell, taking a long time to get anywhere with:

Again it uses the left control stick and requires a lot of fafing around to get into a comparison menu, but even then it wont tell you what swapping around your armour or weapons will do. You have swap out, leave the inventory and go elsewhere for your info. Not an easy time of things, but admittedly after a while you will most likely get used to it, or at least i did

Now, onto the screw ups.

Always online. If you’re going to be offline you need the console version since it’s only on that version can you play offline. The PC version is always online, and had a well documented launch fail, with the dreaded Error #37. Part of me understands why they did this, since it was tied to their other failure, the Real Money Auction House. But i also figure it was an attempt to try and stop both piracy and cheating. However having a game reliant on a companies servers is never good, what happens in a few years when Blizzard decide to move onto another game and close the servers? However as the console version has shown there’s no reason the game can’t have offline capabilities. Hopefully they’ll add that in later on since they’re removing the RMAH.

The RMAH was Blizzards attempt to cash in, and make safe the selling of items, which was common place in Diablo 1 and 2. However they went about it in the wrong way completely. I can imagine the guy coming up with the idea of doing it thinking of the money they could make, and this is very true they could make a lot  of money, and probably did. However the knock-on effect of this was the ruining of the games economy. The best way to gauge this is to look at the gold buying, when it first launched you got around 1million gold per £1, however at todays prices (please note these fluctuate daily) you can only get gold in stacks of 50million and it costs you around £4. this is because the the RMAH pushed the gold price of items up to stay in tune with the cash price of items.

Of course because gold is a low drop in the game, the only way to get the gold needed to buy items from the normal AH was to buy the gold from the RMAH. Hence the RMAH destroyed the game economy.

What blizzard should have done was left it with the normal AH using only gold for purchases. This would have gotten round the buying for cash outside of the game, and added security. It also wouldn’t have ruined the economy to the extent you HAVE to buy gold to get buy.

Unfortunately both AH’s are being removed on the 18th March in the run up to the launch of the new expansion. Blizzard overhauled the loot drops (apparently) and added in a functionality where it makes most of the drops more relevant to your class. Have to admit that’s going to be interesting to see in action.

Finally, the expansion is due out later this month, and i for one wont be getting it. Not until it’s on sale because Blizzard have once again shot themselves in the foot with this release.

When Diablo 3 launched the price on amazon UK was between £20-£25 depending on when you bought it. Most people i know pre-ordered the game early and when Amazon dropped the price to £20 for 3 days they all ended up getting it for that price, due to the pre-order promise amazon has. However even in the run up to the launch day you could pre-order it for £24.99. It wasn’t until the actual launch day that the price hit it’s £29.99 price.

The problem i have is that the new expansion, Reaper of souls, is £29.99 straight away and hasn’t gone much lower. However the content it adds to the game hardly seems worth it. You get one new class and one new act, which compared to the originals 4 acts leaves me wondering if Blizzard is trying to punish their fans for the removal of the cash cow that was the RMAH.

Then of course we have the whole console bullshit going on. Blizzard have basically  told Diablo 3 fans who play on the PS3 and 360 to fuck off, the expansion isn’t being released on their platform. This is despite them making a big push to get people to rebuy it on said platforms. They made this big issue about how it was the definitive edition, but now they’re saying the definitive edition is the PS4 version and to get that you’re going to have to for out another £60 (estimated price) for it. They’ve no plans to bring reaper of souls to PS3 or 360, and ironically it wont even reach PS4 until late 2014 early 2015.

Overall i have to question blizzards business sense, cause frankly it seems like they don’t have ANY

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