Blizzard’s world-renowned action role-playing game, Diablo III, has finally made the transition to Playstation 3 after being released on PC the year before. The end result is a near-perfect port that does the franchise justice
As the hero, you are sent to investigate a star that falls from the heavens and hits Tristram Cathedral, burying itself beneath the building’s foundation. Decker Cain and his niece Leah were inside the cathedral researching an ancient prophecy when it was struck by the object. Leah escapes with her life, but Decker Cain vanishes without a trace. You are asked to search for Decker Cain and to uncover the truth behind the falling star.
Like the PC release, the player can choose from five different classes- Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor and Wizard. The character creation process is simple and involves selecting your character’s gender, class and inputting a name. And while it’s required for the PC version, Playstation 3 gamers are not required to create a Battle.Net account to play the game. This decision simplifies the process and allows the player to start gaming immediately.
The game spans five chapters as the player explores the outskirts of New Tristram and eventually High Heaven. As you explore the enormous game world and its many cities, you will encounter a number of merchants where you can buy and sell items as well as repair your armor. There is an Artisan NPC in every town that can teach you either the blacksmithing or jewel crafting craft skill. These skills will grant you the ability to craft armor and weapons, but the quality of these items will vary based on your overall crafting level.
Also important to your character is a stash box (or storage container) that can be found in every town you visit. Since your character’s inventory tends to clutter up quickly, you will find yourself making numerous trips to town to unload valuable gear. The stash box starts you off with 20 slots, but additional ones can be purchased later.
The gameplay has been streamlined for console gaming. For starters, the complex inventory system from the PC version has been replaced by a more attractive inventory window that scrolls vertically. The drag and drop mechanics for equipping armor and weapons are now reduced to pressing the X button. The armor categories are cleanly laid out around your character in the inventory screen, and your character’s Skills, Party details, Quest information and Lore can be easily accessed by pressing the L1 and R1 buttons.
Aside from these changes, Diablo III plays identically to its PC counterpart. Combat is still gory and action packed as you massacre Dark Cultists, Highland Walkers, and other demonic abominations. Creatures explode as you hack them to pieces; decapitated heads roll away after being severed from their bodies; and explosions send body parts flying in all directions. The combat experience is definitely one of a kind.
The controls have made a flawless transition to Playstation 3. Every button on the gamepad has a function. The X button is used for basic attacks, while Square, Circle, and Triangle are assigned to special skills as they unlock. The L1 button accesses healing potions, while R2 executes your character’s special attacks. Moreover, the world map can be viewed by pressing down on the directional pad.
Initially, Diablo III’s biggest attraction was its player-based auction house. Similar to MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, the player could sell armor, weapons and trinkets to other gamers for real currency. Once a sale finalized, Blizzard would receive a percentage of the sale and the remainder of the money could then be either deposited into Paypal or stored in your Battle.Net wallet.
Sadly, Blizzard made the decision this year to omit the auction house system from Diablo III. While not perfect, it provided a new platform for gamers to interact. Plus, it reduced the amount of illegal gold and item farmers in-game.
Diablo III continues to exceed all expectations as a console release. It blends solid hack-and-slash gameplay with an intuitive, console-friendly menu system. As an action role-playing game, Diablo III is one of the best action role-playing games available today on Playstation 3.
Platform: Playstation 3 (Also Available for Xbox 360)
ESRB: M (Mature)
|While there is an obvious difference in quality from its PC counterpart, the Playstation 3's graphics still manage to impress.|
|All the trademark sound effects from the PC version are present.|
|The gameplay is brutal and challenging.|
|Diablo III is the best action RPG on Playstation 3, bar none.|