Diablo-III:-Ultimate-Evil-Edition-Review Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition Review

   19/08/2014 at 18:57       Luke Cama       0 COMMENTS. - Score 5/5
 - PS4, Xbox One, PC, Action, RPG

Can Blizzard achieve what people said couldn’t be done and provide the same loot driven monster slaying experience as the PC? Yes and no. 

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition includes the base Diablo III game and the Reaper of Souls expansion, which includes a new act and most notably a completely revised endgame compared to the PC launch version. There have been various changes to Diablo III over its troubled existence, starting right out of the gate on PC with its always online requirement. Users were greeted with error messages upon login and inconsistent lag filled moments at the worst of times. Thankfully this has been omitted from the console editions, allowing full offline play. The controversial auction house has also been removed after player feedback finally convinced Blizzard that spending virtual money in a virtual store through a menu wasn’t quite as epic as killing and looting a tough boss – the very essence of Diablo.

Up to 4 players can battle it out against Diablo’s minions cooperatively on the same screen, with the camera adjusting to ensure all players are kept within a maximum range of each other. Go too far and you’ll either be pushed or teleported back. Online play is fully supported and can be combined with multiple players on the same console. Any under-levelled friends that join you will be temporarily boosted to be as powerful as your own character. They gain experience points and level up as normal. You can now mail items and equipment to people on your friends list, a feature that encourages sharing even when offline. This is especially true when gift boxes occasionally drop which can only be opened by friends. As a reward for linking your copy of the game to a new or existing Battle.Net account Blizzard will mail you an in-game legendary ring with stats that scale to your current level.

The gamepad controls are sufficient for an action RPG. Combat works well enough once you memorise all of your keybinds. With the loss of the mouse and keyboard Blizzard have opted for a cogwheel setup in the configuration UI for skills and equipped items. These can be selected with either the analogue sticks or the touchpad (PS4 version), with the former being preferable. Comparing several pieces of armour and weapons in detail can become tedious due to the lack of a mouseover function which featured in the PC version. It’s something that won’t be too irksome as you level but as your bags and stash start to become full it’s going to become more than a little frustrating as you progress. Micromanaging your skills, glyphs, keybinds and equipment is a long enough process on the PC and sadly it is a much more prolonged affair with the gamepad. For that reason I would recommend fiddling with your characters skills before you start a co-op session. 

When items are looted a simple quick compare is displayed in the corner of the screen, letting you know in what ways it is better or worse than what you currently have equipped in that particular slot. Pressing up presents a mini menu that lets you quickly equip, drop or mark the item as junk to sell later; ideal for cutting down micromanagement while levelling. You get a similar menu for new skills, although it doesn’t tell you what the new skill does, so quickly assigning it isn’t advisable. At max level you will want to examine gear more closely to see if the myriad of different possible stats are suitable for the particular build you are aiming for with your character class.

Remote play on the Vita via the PS4 works well enough, but it can be a little tricky to read the UI on the small screen. Any active skills using the rear touchpad (L2 and R2) are just flat out unusable during a chaotic fight. I would recommend enabling elective mode which allows you to assign any skill to any button, with a view to putting buffs or abilities with long cooldowns on L2 and R2 for Remote Play.

A very much welcome addition to the console versions is the new dodge mechanic. Simply move the second analogue stick in the direction you wish to roll and your character will (hopefully) dodge incoming attacks. Kill combos are now active and displayed as you slay minions. An ever decreasing lit fuse indicates how long you have to kill another enemy before the combo will end. The higher the combo the more XP is gained.

Once you complete the main story campaign and reach maximum level, adventure mode becomes available which serves as both endgame content and an alternative way to level a new character. Bounties function as small quests which usually require you to kill a certain amount of enemies, followed by a mini boss. Once all bounties are complete in a particular act you are rewarded with a chest which contains an abundance of loot, potentially legendary. These chests also contain keys which let you unlock Rifts which function as randomly generated dungeons which otherwise do not exist in the main game. Chaos inevitably ensues when monsters from different acts work together thus making for some unique strategies at times. To further boost your character as you keep playing beyond maximum level, you will earn paragon (skill) points that can be spent in 4 categories, each containing 4 different stats.

Performance-wise the game operates at a full 1080p resolution refreshing at 60 frames per second. I am yet to see any noticeable dips, even during intense screen filling fights. Visually the graphics are indiscernible from the PC version. Loading times between areas are fast, even when teleporting to different acts. The audio is impressive, with excellent surround sound implementation and punchy sound effects. You may want to adjust the volume levels to hear the in-game character chatter as it was completely drowned out during combat with the default settings.

If you haven’t played the PC version, or would simply prefer to use a gamepad with your friends, Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition is a great loot based action RPG that has addictive combat and progression that will keep you coming back for more. Just make sure you have the patience for the new menu system.

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