Diablo 3 has finally been released to the delight of console gamers, while PC gamers worldwide let out a collective sigh of discontent. So before getting into the meat and potatoes of the console version of Diablo 3, it would be best to take a look at the original version that came out on May 15th, 2012 for PC and Mac.
After eleven years Blizzard Entertainment released the third and most controversial installment to the beloved dungeon crawler franchise. The advent of Diablo 3 would, in theory, satisfy the need of fresh content to long time players and introduce new players to the fantastic loot filled world of Sanctuary. Well, that was the plan at least.
What we got instead was essentially an extended beta test. Gone was the addictive loot system that kept fans playing for years and years. And gone was the belief that we would be getting a newer, better, version of Diablo 2, which is arguably the best game in the series. In it’s place, we got a broken mess. The first play-through of the game was so easy you almost had to try to die if you were a veteran. But that was fine, right? The first play-through is there so you can enjoy an engaging story filled with righteous angels and angry demons, and first-timers would learn why people loved Diablo so much.
The story was just a hot mess. Almost every single plot twist is telegraphed way in advance, save for one moment that broke my “Horadric” heart and made me forever hate the story. Not just normal hate, but forever hate. Anyway, every time you’re introduced to a new character, it was almost guaranteed they were going to betray you and you were going to have to hammer them to death. What’s more, the difficulty of the game went from delightfully challenging to rip-your-hair-out impossible in no time flat.
It was so hard, that the only way to survive assaults from the weakest creatures in the tougher difficulty levels was to spend time in the auction house, think eBay but for in-game items. “But it’s okay” you say to yourself, “I’m not spending any of my real money for great gear.” and this would be true, in a perfect world. The fact of the matter was this, the “real money auction house” had all of the high level gear that players needed to get through the game on Inferno, the hardest difficulty level. While the “in-game money auction house” already left the game broken, the “real money auction house” put the final nail in the coffin of the buggy mess that was Diablo 3. And mind you, I didn’t even mention the “offline mode” thing. Short version, there isn’t one.
So here we are, one year and a few months later and Diablo 3 is now out for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and is coming to the PlayStation 4 next year. And at this point, given the above evidence, you should be asking yourself “why would I ever play this game on consoles?” That’s a fair question, and here’s a fair answer: Diablo 3 for consoles, is the best version of Diablo 3 ever.
Blizzard Entertainment traded mouse clicks for game sticks–and buttons, and directional pads, and, you get the idea. Instead of mouse and keyboard you play Diablo 3 with a standard PS3 or Xbox 360 control. Each of your character’s skills are mapped to individual buttons on the game pads, and you can freely assign any ability to any button, should the ability require a button press to activate. With this setup, Diablo 3 goes from a click-fest to a beat ’em up dungeon crawler in the vein of something like Gauntlet or Golden Axe.
In addition to that, Blizzard streamlined the user interface of your character’s inventory and skill menu by adopting a radial dial system. Just point the thumb-stick in the direction of the area you which to equip something to and hit the “confirm” button.
This new version of Diablo 3, for all intents and purposes is fixed. The auction houses are a thing of the past, and to compensate for for their removal, the amount of loot and gold that is dropped was reworked to be more fair. All of the patches that were applied to the PC and Mac versions have all been built into the console versions, effectively making the game more fun and worth a play-through or twelve. A local co-op feature was also added to the game so you and up to three friends can all play Diablo 3 on the same system at once.
Diablo 3 on PC and Mac had many, many, MANY flaws, but it had it’s moments. However the console version is fantastic. It’s seriously everything that the original version should have been. Fixed drop rates, no auction houses, and best of all, there’s an offline mode. But, of course, the story is still the same. Which sucks, but hey, at least we’ll be getting an expansion sometime soon, right?
If you haven’t played Diablo 3 yet because you heard it was a mess or because you’re not a PC or Mac gamer, now is the time to play it.
Diablo 3 is out in stores now for the PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and Mac. Defeat the hordes of Hell today, maybe with friends too.