Author: Max Linskey
Diablo III was one of the most (if not the actual most) hyped games of 2012. Twelve years in the making, and released four years after its announcement in 2008, the game was finally released, appeasing many rabid fans of the series, selling more than 3 million copies in 24 hours of it’s release, and receiving the vote for best PC game of 2012.
Fast forward one year and, to the surprise of some (myself included), Diablo III is released for Xbox 360 and PS3. The game itself is essentially the same, but with a few minor changes to make it compatible with console controllers. It comes to mind then to question exactly why Blizzard released the game for consoles. Not many console users are also PC gamers, so it is understood why those who don’t have access to Diablo III would want to play it. But why one year later, after all the hype has died down? How many console gamers were actually ready and waiting for this? Diablo III was met with rave reviews proceeding its console release. And while the points those reviewers made are all well and good, there are other things that make the game go from great to just good. (about a 90 to a 75)
One, the game completely removes the targeting system from the PC version and forces you to shoot or attack in the direction you are facing. This gets much more frustrating mid to end game, when there are hordes of enemies attacking, but is still annoying in the beginning as well. Especially when move and aim are the same analog stick, unlike any other top-down game where one stick moves your character and the other aims. An easily avoidable problem that was completely overlooked.
Two, the rarity system is all out of whack. Diablo III for PC had the Orange rarity items as something received after rigorous playing and painstaking search. The console version takes this feeling of accomplishment and reward and wipes it’s backside with it, as Orange rarity weapons are as common as life orbs during and after Act II. This makes it less of, “Wow, I finally found a rare weapon!” and more of “Hey, I can sell my other two weapons because this one does 4 more damage!” This is especially awful in multiplayer, when the game loses it’s “save the world from demons” policy and instead turns into a fight for rare items. And you can’t mute your friends when they’re in the same room as you, complaining that the item you picked up is one they need.
Speaking of multiplayer, the game is impossible to follow if played with more than one person. Pressing the “A” button, like in any game, advances the dialogue. When other players are attempting to acquire items or do other things, the story can be completely skipped with a few quick button taps.
This leads to the last problem, the fact that the game is repetitive as hell (pun intended). Fetch quests, target kill quests, search for the area quests; Diablo III is guilty of all of these. Now, it is understood that Diablo, as a series, is an RPG, hack and slash game. That being said, it gets pretty old pretty fast. A group can only spend so much time before the killing gets stale, and waiting for others to maximize their characters equipment takes too long to be enjoyable.
Diablo III goes from violent demon slaying to virtual equipment organizer too often for it to be a thoroughly enjoyable game. The progression is fun and the classes are cool, but too many times in a menu takes the player away from the action, and becomes more of a chore than a quick action. With a flaw in it’s battle, unrewarding loot system and repetitive play, Diablo III loses it’s luster in the console transition, and unless you want to make enemies of your friends, is something that can be better played on the PC.
Max Linskey September 18, 2013
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