Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition Review

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Diablo III has taken a few turns, had some tweaks and housed some new additions on its way to this ‘Ultimate’ version for PlayStation 4. But, as with all PC mainstays it has to deal with the conversion from mouse to controller just like its last-gen edition did, plus a brand new console audience to boot. Does it succeed? Read on to find out. (Find our original Diablo III for PC review here)

Game: Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Reviewed on:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firstly, this version is without doubt an exceptional package. With the original game, plus the expansion Reaper of Souls and all the tweaks and patches since its first outing a couple of years back, it’s easily the most preferable and complete version to delve into. Before discussing the new content, a mention should be given to Diablo III’s narrative, that despite changes to other game components remains its gloriously clichéd self. Those unfamiliar with the series before now will be given enough backstory to understand what is unfolding in front of them, and whilst the tale of rising demons and your mission to investigate their appearance is largely forgettable it never really hinders the experience – Diablo is what it is, and veterans won’t be too offended by that notion.

Visually this is perhaps the first console version to hold its own with its PC counterpart. With a graphical upgrade, a solid 60 fps (apart from the very busiest on screen moments) and a 1080p resolution, the Ultimate Evil edition really plays nicely on the Playstation 4. The interface has actually been reworked particularly well in its transition from PC to console with button mapping and radial menus that are quick and intuitive to navigate when in the heat of battle. I found when it came to doing more meaningful tasks like inventory management there’s a little more of a learning curve as you wade deep into different menu screens. You’ll get the jist of the set-up quickly however, despite some of the navigation feeling a little bit unnecessarily buried.

The movement itself works wonders on the DualShock with direct moving coming from the left stick as opposed to mouse-clicking the ground. It’s a massive difference for the better that makes the entire experience feel more natural. The right stick performs a roll dodge that you’ll only find on consoles, but it’s one that could have been left out altogether, especially if you’re coming from a plethora of console games that use it to move the camera – I often found myself inadvertently rolling around during moments of brain failure, much to my own annoyance.

The rest of Diablo III’s action role play style gameplay remains in tact. Demons, skeletons and zombies, to name a few, will all be waiting for you to mash them up for rewards from beginning right through to the end of the Reaper of Souls expansion that adds plenty more coma-inducing addictiveness to the game’s infamous reward mechanics: Kill stuff for loot, that offers better stuff, to kill bigger stuff, to get loot that offers better stuff – I won’t go on, you know how this unwavering loop works so well, and it most definitely still does without question. What’s different is that the analogue controls make it all the more enjoyable and convenient.

Because of the way the game has evolved over the past two years, progression is far more palpable than originally conceived, too. Rewards come faster and once you’ve beat the games story you’ll be able to bolster yourself further with the Adventure Mode. The mode lets you move around games story levels partaking in bounties and so forth to continue your quest of max leveling and gear hunting. Once you combine it with the expansion there’s really a ton of content to play (and grind) through before anything starts getting too tiresome. Other additions come in the form of social mechanics such as mail systems and co-op play with three other people locally. There’s nothing that does a great deal to change the experience, but co-op play can be enjoyable and none of the social tweaks hinder the experience in any way for those looking to play alone.

VERDICT

With some strong competition from games such as Path of Exile on PC, for me, Diablo III still remains the best experience of its kind and certainly stands up as one of the better action RPG’s available on console at the moment. The controls feel good, despite some overly bogged down menu navigation, and with a whole bunch of new content and graphical upgrades, the Ultimate Evil edition really does live up to its own billing. If you own both a PC and PlayStation 4 it might come down to preference when choosing a version, but for console owners that love the RPG grind for loot, there’s really no reason to look any further than this.

8.5/10

Began gaming on a hand-me-down Commodore Vic-20 back in the mid 80's and hasn't managed to shake the addiction yet. Genres of choice include anything that contains bullets and/or bouncy balls. Has been known to dabble in Destiny content.

@nickjh82

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