Oct 16, 2013

[Games] Diablo III (PS3)

Back in the day, I got to try out the PlayStation port of the original Diablo. It was a weird and painful experience given how tricky it was to manage your skills and combat in general just with your controller. And while the 2-player cooperative mode was nice, it wasn't exactly a version of the game that went down in history or anything like that.

So when a PS3 port for Diablo III hit shelves, I was initially skeptical about the experience. But then again, Tobie and I lack computers that can handle the PC version of the game, so getting a PS3 disc seemed like a much cheaper alternative so we could play the game.

And the end result was...actually rather brilliant. And given how Tobie and I tend to favor local cooperative play games, this stands out as a pretty good addition to the collection. More than a good local co-op adventure, the game is a pretty good adaptation of the PC version as well. And that's a pretty impressive feat as well.

The console version of Diablo III was made available for the PS3 and the Xbox360. It has also been announced for the PS4. It remains to be the same action adventure hack and slash game.

Picking up 20 years after the events of Diablo II, you get to be one of 5 different character classes exploring the world of Sanctuary. Just like the PC version, you can to choose among the Witch Doctor, the Barbarian, the Wizard, the Monk, and the Demon Hunter. Similar to the PC version of the game, you can also determine the sex of your character whether male or female regardless of character class. The changes are largely cosmetic and have little effect on the game's story.

The game adapts the PC version's skill system by mapping the different skills to different controller buttons.There's a bit of a learning curve to figure out which button triggers which skill but over time it becomes pretty intuitive to battle across the stages. Initially your are locked in terms of which skills can be assigned to each button but you can also select the option for free-assignment if you already feel more comfortable with your skill options.

For local cooperative play, you will need to utilize other user accounts on the same device to save your character data. You can also enable network play to add some online players to aid you in your quest for a maximum of four players on-screen.

There are comments about how the video quality isn't quite up to par to the PC version, but I feel that the differences are minimal given all that they still managed to achieve. We experienced no slow down when fighting larger hordes and utilizing different skills all at the same time. So if there were trade-offs for video, it was to good effect in terms of ensuring the game still runs smoothly.

Since you share a single screen during local cooperative play, this also means that you'll be competing for loot drops and such. The PC version made sure to have each player gather his own gold given multiple instances of the game, so naturally there was no way to implement that on the same console. This isn't a bad thing for as long as you and your local cooperative player are on friendly enough terms.

The story as a whole was retained for the console version and a lot of side quests were added throughout the stages. There were also minor tweaks made to the game such as the introduction of Nephalim Glory charges that trigger when you cause a significant amount of damage in a short period of time. The buff appears as globes similar to health gloves that given players increased speed and damage while the buff lasts. It stacks to a limited degree if you continue to collect globes.

On the whole, Diablo III for the PS3 is a great port and a great local cooperative play game. Many of you many not care about that feature all that much, but it's definitely an impressive game feature in my book. Thus the PS3 port rates a solid 5 hordes of enemy monsters out of a possible 5.

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