A PRIME EVIL FOR A NEW GENERATION
If you’ve had an itch for taking down enemies and picking up vast amounts of awesome loot on your newest generation console, wait no longer because Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition has arrived for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The PC port or console update brings with it the Reaper of Souls expansion, allowing console players to at last access Act V campaign story. After the campaign play, different game variants are included for after a player finishes the story, and a new character class.
In this review I asked for help from a fellow writer, so I could focus on the video review
From Patrick Garrity:
Diablo, Diablo, Diablo! We meet again. Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition just released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One and I’m all smiles! This is my fourth outing with Diablo 3 since its launch (May 2012) and I have no regrets playing through this wonderful title again. Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition is the end all be all version of the game for consoles. With the inclusion of Reaper of Souls expansion and the original version of Diablo 3 included this title is one not to pass up.
Diablo 3 is an action/adventure RPG game which pits you against the forces of hell and heaven in the world of Sanctuary. Nothing is safe here as evil lurks behind every corner. The Reaper of Souls expansion offers a new act to the original four and a half hours of end game content with Adventure Mode, Rifts (quick twenty minute random instance runs) and gear hunting till your thumbs fall off. The story picks up right after the events of Diablo 3, with a new nemesis, Matheal (the angel of death) raising hell in the city of Westmarch and the surrounding areas. He’s captured the Black Soul stone from the Horadrim and wants to ruin your previous adventures hard work.
Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition plays like a charm on the consoles. This game was meant to be played with a controller. The movement and response of your attacks feels so fluid, you feel as you’re part of the excitement taking place on screen. Another goodie this game offers is it supports four player co-op off one machine if you choose so, or grab three of your buddies via the PSN or Xbox Live and get to slaying demons. The game plays great solo, but even better through multiplayer!
Each of the existing character classes have returned with skill changes and new abilities. New difficulty levels have been added and the loot system itself has been completely overhauled. Legendary loot drops are far more frequent and you find said goods more often for the character class you’re playing as, for the most part. Reaper of Souls added an additional class called the Crusader. The Crusader is badass! Think of a paladin on steroids, this guy will blow some demons up without breaking a sweat. He’s holy power based and has the option of wielding a 2-handed weapon in 1 hand!!!
Loads of new crafting recipes were added too, along with legendary patterns. The Mystic was introduced in Reaper of Souls. She is a very powerful ally. The Mystic grants you the ability to enchant your gear and switch stats on your items. She can also offer a transmographication for your gear, allowing the player to wear specific looks, crafted by the player..
I’m excited for Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition. I haven’t been able to put it down over the last week, the game is that good. It plays amazing on the consoles. I have experienced no slowdowns or stuttering at all. The load times between zones are faster than anything I’ve seen, proving that Blizzard made good use of the next gen consoles’ power! Graphics and physics are phenomenal; Sanctuary comes alive on my screen and Hell has never looked better. Stop reading and go pick up a copy of this game right away!
From Scott Deisner:
A few of the more minute details worth noting that some users may be interested in knowing about or could find annoying.
Nemesis enemies are a new addition for the game. They are enemies that spawn because of your fellow PSN friends falling in battle. Once they fall, the enemy that killed them leaves their game to hunt for more Nephalem blood, namely yours. Horns will sound, and your controller will shake as if the ground beneath your character’s feet rumbles. The Nemesis will burst forth from a portal, and you should be as prepared to fight as you are to flee.
If you’re interested in remote play like I am, it’s worth noting that Diablo 3 doesn’t make any interesting strides forward in button mapping. L2, R2, L3, and R3 are all mapped to the back touch pad which can bother some players. It is worth noting that skills can be mapped to different controls, making it easier to play with the portable PlayStation device, but some skills will still end up relegated to the back.
While the Ultimate Evil Edition brings wonderful graphics and gameplay to PS4 and X1, it is not without it’s flaws either.
The game gives each class six different abilities to be choose from and each of those abilities have different runes which alter the skills, granting them different effects. Some will pull enemies to centered location, others will stun, some will burn, and others will freeze. While these sound like fantastic choices, they are more of an illusion of choice than anything. Some skills and runes are simply far more effective than others, making them a much more natural choice.
Of course, being a port, the story for Diablo 3 has remained untouched, meaning that the whole thing remains incredibly dramatic. Characters express a sense of terror and impending doom in their actions and dialogue, but you’ll never feel that through the gameplay. Instead you’ll joyfully mow down the hordes of hell, sometimes laughing, but rarely feeling a sense of fear from an incoming battle (that is, unless you’ve ramped your difficulty up way too high for a first playthrough). When bosses take the stage in cinematic sequences, they’re meant to be threatening, but you’ll never be intimidated either. I often found myself simply thinking ‘You’re next’.
The Verdict: 8.9 out of 10.0
Blemishes aside, Diablo 3: Ultimate Edition is one of the best games to have for either console, in this first year of the new generation. Even though graphics for the game do not reach a pinnacle within the industry, there is something to be respected within the active numbers of enemies within a given area, as well as explosive effects when debris comes flying at the screen. It looks clean and precise. With five different classes there are a variety of ways to play that can aid in keeping gameplay feeling fresh. Of course, if you feel like sticking with one character, with ten different levels of difficulty, bounties, nephalem rifts, and four player online AND offline co-op, this is a game that should not be missed.
Scott Deisner is an Associate Writer for Middle of Nowhere Gaming. He enjoys story and character driven content above all else, things made from potatoes, and long walks on sandy beaches ;P You can follow him on Twitter.
Patrick Garrity is an Associate Writer for Middle of Nowhere Gaming and a Jersey native, who loves video games and enjoys the industry. He loves rum and wants to be a pirate one day. Follow him on Twitter.