An Intro to My Catch Up Reviews
I’m going to work on a series of catch up reviews because of my delay in getting a current gen console, first the PS4 and then selling it for a Xbox One. I’m going to jump around a little bit chronologically to cover all of the games in a way that I believe will lead to the best review accuracy.
Given the fact that no one is probably looking for a review of a game that was first released in 2012, the buying decision has been long since made, these review will be more about my personal experience with the games than an analytical look at what might matter most to consumers. Let me know what you think!
First up: Diablo 3: Ultimate evil Edition for the Xbox One.
Blizzard’s Diablo and Nostalgia
To start out, this is not my first experience with Diablo 3. I have a long history with Diablo, I even have a vivid memory of buying it at a BJ’s as a child, it was probably the first game I paid for with my own money, because I really didn’t ever have any before that. Not quite sure how I managed to buy Diablo from a big store when I was around 8 year old, but the mid-90’s were a magical time when people didn’t care about game ratings.The original Diablo was released on December 31st, 1996, which is a pretty odd release date, at least by today’s standards. It just had to make it out in ’96 I guess.
Anyway, when Diablo 3 was first released I was stoked, because nostalgia, but I didn’t get my hands on it until it came out for the Xbox 360 when I promptly RedBoxed it and marathoned through it over 2 long days. That was a nice way to tide myself over in a time when I didn’t have much time for gaming, but now I’m back and the game has developed quite a bit since. The much hated auction house has since been banished and a hugely re-playable Adventure Mode has been added into the mix. The core story is all there, with a whole new act, albeit and pretty brief one. I have always enjoyed the loot hunt of Diablo games along with the hack and slash RPG formula. I tried going back to Diablo 2 awhile before the third installment, and I still felt the same enjoyment, but the focus on clicking and clicking and clicking really started to grind on me after a pretty short session with it. Blizzard bringing the game to consoles was exactly what I needed from the series.
Diablo mapped more beautifully to a controller than I would’ve believed, and that controller added new depth to the the already awesome, if not too interactive, formula. This new level of interactivity brought it up to the level of games like Borderlands, which offers a similar formula in a sci-fi shooter with great control feel. Controller support also turned Diablo 3 into one of the most appealing console games for local couch co-op of the current generation. Even the marketing material for Diablo 3 embraced the game as a fun Friday night with friends, much like a new age Gauntlet with a bit more depth. This is a part of Diablo 3 that I have not yet been able to experience for myself, but it seems to be tailor made for it. My gaming friends are on a board game kick right now playing Descent, which might be as close as you can get to a board game version of Diablo. One day well make the transition to it.
Diablo 3’s story is as good as any of the games in the series, I love the epic struggle between heaven and hell and Tyrael’s reformation as a banished angel turned human who you get to fight beside, but the story does always fade into to background in these games. They’re more about the loot you find and the constant grind to improve your character. The classes in this game are as great as always with new visions of the classic melee, ranged, and magic classes along with a great mix of new variations for good measure, all of which offer a ton of variety.
The Adventure Mode is probably the most talked about addition to the Ultimate Evil Edition. It offers a great system of bounties and re-playable boss fights that you and you loot hunting friends can come back to, time and time again. The bounties add just the right amount of variety to the gameplay and you get a ton of great loot along the way.
Final Thoughts about Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition
Before playing this game, reviews had long since been posted and I definitely knew what to expect. Everyone referred to this edition as the definitive version of a a game that had finally reached its great and full potential. I cannot disagree. The Ultimate Evil Edition is exactly what I wanted it to be, and it is a worthy follow up to the amazing Diablo and Diablo 2 games.
The only thing I miss about this entry, I missed in Diablo 2 as well. In the original Diablo, you never knew what quests your character would be faced with because there was a variety that were randomly chosen for each of your play-throughs. I may never forget when I stumbled upon the the bloodied man outside the cathedral warning me about the butcher, or when I got the chance to take Leoric’s crown from him. These events ere not guaranteed as they have been in the latest 2 games. Maybe it was just that I was so young, but that randomness injected in my adventures made them feel so much more adventurous. I’m not holding my breath for a more story focused Diablo game, but I don’t completely understand why they so quickly departed from the randomized quests based on level in favor of a story that not many players focus on. I love the stories and lore told in the Diablo games, I just wish they hadn’t chosen such a linear path in both of the sequels.
All in all, I still loved this game, I am biased though. It’s an awesome recreation of most of what made the first one great, with a ton of modern additions. I love the addition of local co-op in the console versions, as more and more games are getting away from it. It’s the only RPG type game that comes to my mind where I can invites some friends over to play. I love story right games like the Witcher 3, which I’m currently working my way though, but sometimes you just want to joke around with friends and play a more simple game that still offers a ton of content. Diablo 3 is just fun, with some addicting qualities as well. Depends what you want at the moment, but most of the time, it’ll be a great time.