It may have taken over ten years for Blizzard to return to console gaming, but the wait was well worth it. Diablo III on PS3 and Xbox 360 (a PlayStation 4 version is in the works), offers not only a different experience from the original PC version of the game, but a better one.
Using traditional point-and-click control mechanics, the mouse is used to move your character, attack Diablo’s minions and pick up loot. The console edition of the game removes the need of a mouse, offering full control of your character with the left analog stick, while the right stick is used for the newly included directional dodge. The fluid character movement feels natural, making navigating across the demon-filled world of Sanctuary a breeze. I don’t think I can ever go back to click, click, click, clicking again.
Unlike the inventory system in the PC version, which items had unique sizes in the inventory box, every item now takes up a single inventory slot. A radial menu allows you to view all of your equipped armor, weapons and any items you may be carrying. It’s noticeably slower approach to item management, but works well enough. A newly introduced junk feature allows you to quickly mark any item not worth saving for quick selling when you get back to town. The quick menu shows you the name and quality of items you pick up, allowing you to easily equip or drop items without having to open your full-screen inventory menu. It doesn’t show the attributes of the items however, besides a simply better or worse rating for three categories: attack, defense and health.
Players don’t have to sign up for Battle.net or log on to any servers to play the game; play the game online or offline. Regrettably, this has led to wide spread item duping only days after release, a practice which I don’t condone. Both the gold and real-money auction houses have been removed and thanks to Blizzard’s newest set of loot rules, you’ll see more relevant loot drop for your class. Leveling up my Wizard, aptly named Merlin, to 60, I found the majority of legendary items that were dropped featured an abundance of intelligence, the primary stat for the class.
Supporting up to four-players locally, loot is shared between all players and opening your inventory pauses the game for all players, slowing down the experience dramatically.
Even if you already own the PC version of the game and have multiple level 60 characters, the differences in the console version of the game freshen up the experience. Visually, the game does suffer from some jagged edges and the quality of the visuals are a step below the PC version, especially considering the game doesn’t include native 1080p support. I couldn’t think of a better way to send a few nights with friends running circles around Diablo, satisfying the loot whore in all of us; as long as everyone is playing online. Read through our review of the PC version of the game for even more Diablo III coverage.Note: The Diablo III Console review was written based on the PS3 version game provided to us for review.