Diablo III has had its fair share of issues from it original much maligned release on PC, where it seemed like if it could go wrong, then it would go wrong to a rather luke-warm reception on consoles in 2013.
So it would be very easy to be skeptical about its latest release on Sony PS4 and Xbox One under the name Ultimate Evil Edition, which essentially boils down to the including the Reaper of Souls expansion and a host of improvements from the original release back on PC.
Gamestyle reviewed the first console release on Sony PS3 and were fairly positive about the game, however we are not veterans of the series so overlooked some of the issues that others may have had. It will be a waste of time going over all the basics of the story and the basic controls.
One thing we said, was that it was a game that will eat up your life and to a degree it did that, but due to system limitations and what seemed like a lack of people playing it was generally a lonely experience, which isn’t how Diablo is best played. Plenty of fun could still be had, but it was missing a certain something after a while.
That certain something was friends, with a limit of 100 maximum friends allowed on the PS3 at the time, it was very difficult to find another friend playing the game, let alone at the same time. However, with those limitation all but removed on the PS4 it is a whole other ball game.
You boot up the game and it is very rare you won’t see at least six other people on your friendlist playing the game, just there for you to jump in and play with, or start your own save up and have then drop in to your game. On daily basis you will be sure of getting the best out of Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition because you can share the experience as it was intended.
How co-operative play is handled here is what makes the experience all the more pleasurable. If you jump into a friends game as a Level 10 Wizard for example, but they have a Level 65 Witch Doctor, then your characters attributes are scaled to fit in with their game, yet you still receive all the bonuses to help level up your character. It is a perfect system, as it assures that no one is left out, you don’t have people trying to avoid others because they may not put in 15 hours a day, or have a feeling yourself that you shouldn’t enter a friends game because you have only just started.
Facebook, EA, Ubisoft and god knows how many other game publishers and hosts have been trying to thrust social gaming into our faces, but here is Blizzard who have made the perfect social game. A game that makes it stupidly easy to enjoy with friends, or just anyone who may be playing, with the simplest drop in, drop out co-op we have witnessed in any game. Doing everything right to make sure no one feels excluded, no matter their skill level.
The only thing this may have going against it is possibly the aesthetic, the heaven vs hell storyline and the dark visuals may put many casuals off initially. However it is also easy to get a partner or friend playing locally, just tell them it is just as simple as a LEGO game to get into, it worked for us and had new players hooked who would never previously have considered a game like this.
The reason? Because it is for them just like the LEGO games to a degree, you wander around, smashing stuff up, beating on enemies and moving through levels. Diablo III actually plays better on a controller than it does on Keyboard and Mouse and we don’t care who that annoys, for us it is true. It is easy for a newcomer to pick up and play alongside you and still keeping the drop in, drop out online co-op also.
There is one big issue that must be addressed though. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition is a dangerous game, it has the powers to manipulate time. Starting a quick session at 7PM will somehow see you lose at least sic hours of time as we know it, when you look up and see it is now 1AM.
It also has this ability to stop you moving away from the game, every time you plan on calling it a day, you will either level up, find a legendary item, finish a quest, find a new event or one of your friends will jump into your game and of course it would be rude to just leave them alone. Take that cycle and repeat every single day!
Diablo III was always decent with the basic mechanics, but it did have many issues that veterans of the series didn’t like, but the Ultimate Evil Edition has ironed those issues out and produced one of the best co-operative games you can ever hope to play.