Moving to consoles after a stint on the PC, Diablo III is able to extend its audience, but does a game built for the PC translate to consoles?
Gamestyle are happy to admit that Diablo is completely new to us, we know of the game, but have never played, so was unsure what to expect when we first turned the game on. We were intrigued mainly by the name alone, it is one of those games that transcends the medium, like GTA, Call of Duty, World Or Warcraft, etc.
Diablo III is an Action RPG that revolves around you wandering around various dungeons, killing and looting to your hearts content. What surprised us when we first played was actually how accessible the game was. Expecting to be spending ages creating a character that we’d then take into the game, only to have various concepts explained to us for the next few hours, we were happy to see the game actually gets you into the action nigh on instantly.
The game relies on many things you pick up through years of gaming, as well as various little signs you understand generally in life. Before you reach your first quest, you’ll be walking down a path and all of a sudden something will glow red, it is moving, therefore it must be an enemy and must be slayed. So you do, you kill it and then spy more red glowing enemies and kill them.
It is all intuitive too, no complicated menus or awkward systems to work through, not what we were expecting at all. Even when more options open up, the interface, which has been rebuilt for use on consoles is clear and concise. You can equip your chosen character with weapons and armour that are dropped by downed ememies, or found in various chests and the like. Again expecting this to be difficult to understand we were pleasantly surprised by how clear everything was. The important attributes stood out and even the little bonuses you’d get through the various items was also clear.
Being an RPG, there is of course a lot of character progression, which basically comes from killing enemies, completing quests, all the usual things that you’d expect. The further you level up, the more you open for your character. Previous items that were unable to be used due to level restraints become accessible and extra attacks open up, there is a proper sense of progression.
There have been games in a similar mold to Diablo, but there is something special about this that makes it stand out. A quick go turned into most of the day, as we wanted to explore every inch or the world, checking every nook and cranny for goodies that could help us later in the game. Yet it is your inquisitiveness that dictates how long the game will last, the pacing of quests is really well structured and to be honest they can be completed fairly quickly, but because you want to explore, you do find that you go off into your own little world from time to time.
Whilst the game can be played in single player, there is also the option for online and single screen co-operative play, which adds to the game immensely. Diablo is a very sociable game and the enjoyment factor is increased when playing with a friend, whether that be online with a headset, or both sat in the same room.
Because there are various different character types to be used, there is great sense of replayability, as you want to progress each class as much as you can. Items can be shared between characters too, as long as they are left in the stash chest, meaning that a Demon Hunter could well find an axe, which that class cannot use, but that item can then be left in the stash for another class to pick up and use when the game is played with them.
The challenge is paced well, as your characters level up, so does the difficulty of the enemies you’ll face. Whilst the general enemies that populate the world can be dealt with swiftly and with comparative ease, the bosses will offer up much more of a challenge, even with a co-op partner you will find the bosses hard to take down, but the sense of achievement and the rewards for doing so are more than worth it.
Coming into Diablo III, Gamestyle was expecting a game that we’d appreciate at a technical level, but find that it wasn’t for us and more suited to a PC. However, what we found was a game that we really don’t want to leave alone. Once it gets its hooks in, it will not let go, you will be addicted beyond an level you though possible before you started playing.
Diablo III is a fine example of how a game that was primarily built for playing on a PC, can be translated to consoles. The consideration taken by the development team to make sure interfaces were rebuilt is great to see. Diablo III is the best example of the action RPG and until you play it, you simply cannot appreciate just how amazing the experience can be.