Diablo III is one of those games I first played when it released on the PC. I enjoyed the game a lot, but it felt for the longest time like there was just a certain something missing. Perhaps it was the lack of customization towards stats that Diablo II had. Maybe something in the story didn’t feel like it met the mark. It’s really hard for me to put a finger on exactly what it was, but Diablo III has been a completely different experience for some reason. Something about console play feels very natural for the game. It’s also much more accessible to the field of friends I have and it makes playing very enjoyable.
The button mapping is really nice, although there are moments where the X button feels like it might be mapped to a few too many things. If you don’t like the default mapping you can simply go into the options and set the game for custom mapping. Starting your character is simple and jumping into a game with a friend is really streamlined. Oddly enough, you can’t log into a friends game while their game is paused. All of the lands are the same as they were with PC and so it will provide a lot of familiarity for those that are used to the PC version.
The multiplayer aspects of the game are really great. Friends can jump into your game just the same as you can theirs with a lot of ease. Diablo III offers a unique feature for playing with friends that might be sitting on your couch next to you. If they don’t have a character, they can create their class in the middle of your game, no log out required. As soon as they select what they want and name their character, BAM, you’ve got a player to join you.
Understandably, Diablo III came out on the console quite some time ago, but this has been my first excursion to play it with Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition. Fortunately, having never played Diablo III on the console, it was all about acquiring lots of achievements in-game and experiencing the new class introduced by Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. The expansion has loads of new features for console players to experience as well as a new Act in the story.
In Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, you must face a new enemy hailing from the heavens. The angel of death, Maltheal, has the Black Soul Stone and has plans for the future of mankind. Your hero must journey through a new city, face angelic reapers, and stop Maltheals plans before it’s too late. The story in this game is really well told and I enjoyed facing angels rather than demons. It’s a welcome change from the monotony of killing the demon hordes and provides an interesting variety to the standard massacres.
Graphically, there isn’t any kind of improvement other than looking phenomenal on a PS4, but it’s hard to say that anything doesn’t look good on the system. The game renders at 1080p and runs smoothly. There is never a moment of lag, even when there is a horde of elite enemies with a load of abilities. The only problem when there are a lot of enemies and you’re playing with friends, it’s really hard to make out where your character is sometimes. On numerous occasions I lost track of my hero and just kept mashing away with abilities until everything died.
The new adventure mode also creates a new level of variety and freshness to the average grind in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. Once you have completed all five acts on any difficulty, you will unlock adventure mode. What makes this mode unique? Well, you can still travel through each of the acts, but you aren’t playing the story in adventure mode. You may freely travel to complete quests in each Act. Once you have completed 5 quests, you will be rewarded with a horadric cache. These caches can be quite valuable for the loot that drops out of them. You also earn blood gems that can be used with a mystery item vendor. The mystery items are a complete gamble, but you have the potential to get some great equipment.
So, with all of the great features and smooth gameplay, what’s bad about the expansion? There are a few graphical glitches that I came across personally. There was a moment in which I slayed a zombie and as soon as its torso hit the ground, the head of the creature turned into Mr. Fantastic and stretched across the screen. It was laughable, but that was the only occasion I ran into an issue. Another of our writers also encountered a unique issue. He had played the Diablo III on the console before expansion release and unlocked many hours’ worth of in-game achievements. After installing Diablo III: Reaper of Souls he started up with his normal hero and all of the in-game achievement progress had been reset. With the release of any new game/expansion there are always a lot of bug issue’s, but this is a pretty significant one.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is a ton of fun and even more so with friends. Blizzard Entertainment has done a great job of adding another amazing AAA title to the Activision family. If you were at a loss with the PC version like I was, definitely give the console version a go. It’s a refreshing experience and all of the new feature in the expansion are phenomenal. I look forward to future expansions if not only a future release in the franchise. Dig deep and defeat the lords of hell on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC.
Bringing out the inner nerd in everyone!