Available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Reviewed on Xbox 360.
It has been a while for console gamers since the last iteration of the Diablo franchise to home systems, but let me tell you, it is well worth the wait. Personally, I was lucky enough to have the chance to play Diablo III on the PC when it released last year, and I was taken. The game was just as good as they hype it received, and barring some always online hiccups, and the occasional server error in the first few days, the game has been nothing short of a masterpiece.
As far as the story and concept of Diablo III is concerned, there are literally no differences in presentation between console and PC versions. The game and narrative moves at the same pace, with people joining in as they wish, similar to the PC version. The narrative of Diablo III is not something that most people will really care for. It is amazing in its own right, but the real reason that people log on to Blizzard’s infamous dungeon crawler is for the loot, and just as the PC version gives you the loot you desire, so does the console. To sum it up, fans of Diablo can expect a similar, worthwhile experience from the console edition as they would the PC edition.
Now let me tell you a bit about the differences between the two versions. While the console version is extremely similar in nearly every aspect, there are a few minor differences that make themselves apparent very early on, the first of which is the controller. In a game like Diablo, a controller actually complements the gameplay quite nicely. While playing both versions of this game, I personally preferred the mouse/keyboard combo, there was nothing unfamiliar or out of place with the controller mechanics. Everything seemed fluid, well mapped, and quite frankly feels as if it were made to be played with a controller.
The only real problem I found between the two versions was the in-game menu. While the i-game menu was still very intuitive, it took some getting used to. The PC version of Diablo III had a much easier to understand menu layout, as most of the available options were located on one screen, as apposed to different sub menus. This will make itself very apparent when searching for loot, or trying to sell, repair, or craft different items.
The only other difference, and understandably so, is the graphics. The PC version, even when run on some of its lowest settings, still looks leaps and bounds better than the Xbox 360 version. While I suspect that the PS3 version may see a little bump in this category, I can’t imagine that it could ever out preform the graphical capabilities of the PC version on a decent gaming rig.
The best part of Diablo III, no matter what platform you choose to play, is the co-op. The game becomes much more fun when enjoyed with friends. What really helps the console edition stand a bit above the PC edition is the fact that it enables local multiplayer, meaning 4 people can play on screen or via system link. This is a huge boost for those players that enjoy playing games in the same room as their friends, something that is not as focused on in this generation of gaming.
Overall, this is basically the same Diablo III that many of us have played before. Tons of places to explore, a blast to play with friends, loads of items to loot and more. Diablo III does a great job of seamlessly transitioning from PCs to consoles, and if you have never had a chance to play it because of a lack of a strong enough rig to run it, playing it on PC is definitely something I would advise you try.
A review copy of Diablo III was provided by Blizzard.