And you thought Diablo III was good when it launched for the home consoles…
Diablo III, Blizzard’s latest and greatest dungeon-crawling loot-fest, arrived for the home consoles last September and made quite a splash. Whilst the majority of gamers were expecting a lackluster port of the hugely popular PC game, what they actually got was a dungeon crawler that worked incredibly well with a gamepad on the TV screen, which became vastly more entertaining when played in co-op on the sofa. The game wasn’t without its problems and still felt like it belonged on a PC, but Diablo III on console was damn good.
Since this release, a lot has happened in the world of Diablo. Numerous patches have refined the gameplay further, the maligned Auction House has gone, and the Reaper of Souls expansion arrived and proved that a great game could become even greater with a few additions and a whole host of extra end game content. It has been a good time to be a Diablo PC fan.
But console owners can finally catch up and join the party as Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition not only brings all of the improvements of numerous patches and the additional content of the expansion to Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and Xbox360, but also throws in the original game. Add in a couple of extras for console owners and the promise of updates being delivered much closer to the same updates on the PC version, and you have a Diablo experience that could nearly rival that of the PC master race. Good times!
The Reaper of Souls expansion itself adds an extra act to the end of the Diablo III story, which may sound somewhat paltry to some gamers, but the expansion includes loads more content as well, and besides, the extra chapter is extremely enjoyable. Revolving around the Angel of Death Malthael, players fight and loot their way through Westmarch’s extremely good looking environments. Sure, it’s over too quickly, but it is well worth playing.
Gamers who enjoyed playing Diablo III on their Xbox360 or PS3 will be pleased to know that they don’t necessarily have to start again if playing it on the latest machines, as the importing of save games is possible through Battle.net, no matter which console they are moving from or to. The level cap has even been increased to ensure the more hardcore players have something new to aim for besides glorious Legendary loot.
However, starting again from scratch is made more worth it with the inclusion of a new class of warrior, the Crusader. This tank-like fighter will spend their time well and truly in the thick of the action, thanks to their heavy armour, shield and huge warhammer, while making use of some impressive holy powers. The Crusader is a great class to play as, and will fit in well with any team.
When you come to the end of the story, along with its additional chapter, players will have access to an almost endless amount of gameplay with Adventure mode, in which players can revisit all of their previous destinations for additional loot and new challenges, and the Nephalem Rifts, which place the player into randomized, and sometimes quite quirky, dungeons filled to the brim with loot.
Then there are all of the improvements to the base game that really have made Diablo III better than ever. However, the Ultimate Evil Edition really lives up to its name with a new addition especially for the console version.
The Nemesis System is possibly a stroke of genius. Simply put, a monster that slays the player in their game will turn up in a friends game, giving them the chance to avenge the fallen player. Should that player also fall, then the monster will move to another friend, and so on until it is defeated. The longer the nemesis lasts for, the more powerful it becomes and the greater the reward for all players involved. It is great fun.
Other inclusions for the Ultimate Evil Edition include an Apprentice mode which allows players of different levels to team up easier, player mail and gift options for those who like to share, and the glorious local co-op.
Up to four players can team up to play Diablo III, but playing it locally on the same screen is really where the fun is. Online options are still available, but Diablo III is massively entertaining when playing locally, and the Ultimate Evil Edition is the best way to play Diablo III.
Playing on the PS4 with a controller, the game is more hands on than playing on the PC. There are certain adjustments to be made when coming from the mouse and keyboard gameplay of the PC, and the PC gamers may well find the controls less precise. But the controls work, and they work well. Visually on the PS4, the game runs really well and looks as good as a high end PC.
Diablo III with Reaper of Souls is the most addictive and enjoyable dungeon-crawling experience, and the Ultimate Evil Edition is the best way for a console gamer to experience it, especially if on PS4 or Xbox One. If you already own Diablo III on Xbox360 or PS3, then it will be your choice as to whether all of this additional content and improvements are worth the extra cash. In my mind, they are. But if you have not played Diablo III, then the Ultimate Evil Edition is the best way to enjoy this dungeon-crawler on consoles. I still stand that the game is best on PC, but this console version comes incredibly close.