Diablo III (Xbox 360) Review “Dungeon Crawling Delight!”

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Diablo IIIPublisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Price: $59.99
Release Date: September 3, 2013

After a long wait for a sequel, last year Blizzard surprised us with the game Diablo III for the PC. Can tell you i was very excited when this game came out for PC, so excited i was hooked to my computer up to five in the morning, sadly i was not playing but staring at error 37 all night long, then i went to bed. Glad to say this time around all i had to do was insert the disc and enjoy the console release, SCORE!
But how good does it hold against the PC counterpart and most importantly was it too late for a console port of the long waited sequel? Let’s find out!

Story
Twenty years transcurred from the events in which Diablo lord of terror was defeated. Undead and monsters are ravaging the land as a new menace rises.
A mysterious man that played a huge role in the battle two decades ago is back with a warning, as two of the remaining prime evils are trying to take over the world.
The decisive battle between angels and demons, the fate of humanity and the world known as sanctuary lies in your hands!
Diablo III
Gameplay
An action role-playing video game with very similar gameplay as previous titles in the saga, if you are an old Diablo player you know everything there is to know about the mechanics, that hasn’t changed much on this release. But if you are a newcomer to the diablo universe let me give you a small introduction to how things work.
Monsters will drop gold and loot, most of it will be trash you can sell to the npc, your inventory will fill fast but you can always warp back to town, this was one of the best features the Diablo games has to offer, as you can open a portal in the fields or even the dungeons to get back town, sell loot, refill potions and fix your gears, head back by using the portal right to the same spot in the dungeon and go wild in a boss fight!
Even when this is not an open world there’s a lot to explore and discover as you wander into the acursed lands of sanctuary, abandoned basements, catacombs, caves and much more, all filled with perils and powerful enemies.
Let’s talk about the classes, here things changed a bit compared to Diablo II as some of the classes are gone and new ones were added to the game, here’s a breakdown:

– Witch Doctor: very similar to the Necromancer class from Diablo II, this class can make use of shamanism and voodoo magic, giving it power to summon creatures and cast curses on enemies among other things, powerful but highly dependant of mana which can be depleted fast.
– The Barbarian: powerful melee fighter, really boring at early stages of the game (at least it was for me) but really powerful and strong once you level up. As you can take on entire swarms of enemies with powerful cleaves, jump and crushing enemies, as you can imagine, Fury makes this class a tank.
– The Wizard: as D2 had a sorceress this time around we got a wizard. A master of elements plus teleport and time shifting abilities, that makes it a really interesting class to play. Another powerful and mana dependant class.
– The Monk: another melee fighter and my personal favorite. This is an interesting mix of a fighter and a healer due to the holy powers of the monk, this can also be a paladin/tank job if played properly. High damage resistance thanks to the monk buffs and fast attacking speed makes this a killer class.
– The Demon Hunter: this one is a combination of D2’S Assassin and the Amazon class, by using crossbows and bombs, in similar fashion to The Barbarian’s Fury this class uses Hatred for fast regeneration and attacks.

d3-console1
What’s interesting about the classes is you are not limited to one build, each class has different ways to be played and a vast array of skills that will adapt to your own style, making your character unique and enhancing the way you play the game.
For example you can pick a skill to help you deflect ranged attacks or a teleport skill to send you right to your enemy for a fast kill, something i enjoy in a game is when it adapts to your needs by giving you options of how to play it instead of forcing you to play a class in a certain way, Diablo III did this right!

You can also get companions as you progress in the game. Just like you, they can level up and learn new abilities, they can have aggressive or healer roles which helps a lot, specially when you face a swarm of monsters.
For those that like to grind, we have lots of legendary weapons and gears, they have sockets, you can add gems to them which will increase their bonuses, we have a blacksmith that can forge new items for you as well, you can find designs and plans for new and unique weapons and armors, not an easy feat but really rewarding when you get these powerful items.
There’s a nice amount of difficulty options in the game ranging form normal to inferno which has to be unlocked, for completionists and people that love the genre this will keep them busy playing for a while, unlocking new difficulties and making new characters, this offers a nice replay value but certainly this won’t be the case for everyone.

Diablo III
Something that’s worth commenting is how well the interface works with the analog, was nice to see the developers cared to improve the way inventory works with it. Also part of the control improvements is how you can roll by using the right analog to evade enemy attacks.
This without a doubt was a very good improvement over the PC version, expanding and adding gameplay features. Have heard people complain that this makes it much more easy but i disagree, you can still be stun lock as you evade enemy attacks, so i don’t find this new addition as a demerit to the game challenge, on the contrary, a much welcomed improvement.
Speaking of improvements, there’s NO auction house, oh yeah! One of the things many hated (including me) from the PC version was the auction house, but that’s not present in the console version, nor is the DRM to play online all the time, honestly, kudos to Blizzard for that!

Downsides
When the screen fills with enemies you can notice a serious frame rate, this is not game breaking but can be annoying at times. Probably the most noticeable issue with the console ports versus the PC release.
I am a bit disappointed that Playstation 3 got more exclusive items over the Xbox 360 release, not that you won’t be using these for inferno missions once you get a nice set of legendaries but still.
I guessed this would happen, doesn’t really surprise me but loot is as scarce as it was in the PC version, something that disappointed a nice amount of fans.

Diablo III
Overall
Now, did Diablo III arrive too late to the console market? I can say the answer is no. Just as many of us got excited for the PC release, either for not having a powerful PC, hating the Auction House transactions or for issues that didn’t allow them to play it before. A lot of fans that never got the chance to play this amazing game before are now enjoying it like kids in a candy store. People are loving the console release and for a good reason.
The game offers a nice storyline, great gameplay and huge replay value. If you don’t mind to spend hours grinding and farming for gears, did i mention no auction house? Well there you go, if you are a dungeon crawler fan, definitely this is a game you owe yourself to own.

Pros:
+Rich storyline
+Lots of classes to pick from
+Variety of builds

Cons:
Very scarce loot
Lots of grinding!

Giving this game a 9 out of 10!