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Diablo 3 – PlayStation 4

Diablo 3 – PlayStation 4

Diablo 3 Box Art PS4Platform: PlayStation 4

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment

Release Date: August 19, 2014

Genre: Hack-and-Slash

Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10

Reviewed by Scott PM

I remember buying Diablo 3 when it first came out on PC. I had only a little experience with previous Diablo games, but I figured I’d give it a shot since I was into Blizzard’s other titles, mainly StarCraft 2 at that point. Yes, I played World of Warcraft, too, but I’m trying to get past that. Boy, was I glad I got it. Really glad. I played the absolute shit out of it and I didn’t even have anyone to play with. This review is only for the PS4 version of the game.

Diablo 3 Classes

The five character classes available to you before the Reaper of Souls expansion. Each class available in male and female form!

In the original release of the game there were five classes to choose from: Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard. They all have very different skill sets and abilities for players to choose and experiment, some focusing on powerful melee attacks, ranged area of effect, single target destruction, etc. When I first played on the PC, I was immediately drawn to the Demon Hunter class, which uses dual crossbows or regular bows/quivers. Unlike the other classes which only have one resource pool to perform special moves, the Demon Hunter class has two: Hatred and Discipline. Hatred regenerates quickly and is used for quicker, damage dealing abilities, while Discipline regenerates more slowly and is used for utility abilities such as traps and stuns. The versatility of the Demon Hunter and its ability to move about easily in combat made it appealing to me, as did the focus on ranged attacks and keeping opponents at bay.

Diablo 3 ingame

You control your character from a screen like this. The controls are different on consoles versus the PC where instead of pointing and clicking you control your character with the analog sticks.

Diablo 3 is a dungeon crawler RPG/hack-and-slash. You control your character with the two analog sticks and utilize the various buttons and triggers on your controller for abilities. It took some getting used to since I switched from the PC, but the controls really translates well from mouse/keyboard to controller. You level up by killing enemies and, in doing so, gain access to new abilities, and runes for these abilities to alter them. As you level you also gain access to new loot that increases your stats and modifies your skills. It’s just like any other dungeon crawler in those regards. Some complain that it’s simplistic with its controls, which I agree with to an extent, but it does it well enough.

Diablo 3 Falling Star

The fallen star that so rudely crashes into the Tristram Cathedral.

I wasn’t too familiar with the story from Diablo and Diablo 2; I essentially went into the game with no knowledge. The game starts with your character hearing rumors of a “fallen star” crashing into the cathedral at New Tristram, near the ruins of Old Tristram, which was destroyed by Diablo in the previous games. When you arrive, you find it being overrun by the reanimated dead. Yes, zombies! Any game that starts with zombies gets an extra boost in my book. The whole first act (out of four in the original release) centers around New Tristram and the mystery of the fallen star. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the story, but it’s totally rad. Actually it’s more like a solid OK.

When you complete the story mode, you can immediately play again on a different difficulty with the same equipment. I know playing the same game over again doesn’t appeal to everyone, but it’s highly unlikely that through the course of the first play through you gain all of your abilities. Playing through more times allows you to gain all ability and skill options available to your class.

Diablo 3 Multiplayer

Four players are better than one!

As I mentioned earlier, when I played the PC version I didn’t have anyone to play with, but on the PS4 I did: my two friends, Greg and Evan. Instead of Demon Hunter, I rolled Wizard, which I never tested out in the PC version. Greg went Crusader, a class added in Reaper of Souls, and Evan went Demon Hunter. I’d say it was a nice grouping: the tank, the ranger, and the mage. Very storybook. I have to say, playing with friends makes Diablo 3 much more fun. At least ten times the fun. If you have friends to play this game with, that should definitely weigh in when you make your buying decision.

Diablo 3 Malthael

Malthael: the admittedly badass looking antagonist of the Reaper of Souls expansion.

OK, now on to the Reaper of Souls expansion. The expansion adds an extra act to the story, which (obviously) takes place immediately after the events of the previous acts. It’d be weird if it didn’t, I guess. Here is my best attempt to explain simple parts of the story without giving anything away: after “destroying evil” at the end of act four (not a spoiler, did you really expect to lose), the former Archangel of Wisdom, Malthael, has decided to wage war against the people of Sanctuary. He and his angelic reapers launch attacks all over Sanctuary, and the players must seek allies and enemies when trying to thwart this new threat. I actually enjoyed this storyline more than the rest of the game’s story. Demons are always fun to fight, but the idea of fighting wayward angels has its own appeal.

The Reaper of Souls expansion introduces, as mentioned earlier, a new class as well as a new antagonist, but it also raises the level cap to seventy and eliminates the cap of Paragon levels. Paragon levels are basically just levels after the regular cap. The loot system was also modified to lower the amount of total drops you receive but increase the percentage of drops usable for your class.

Diablo 3 is a fun game on its own merits, but playing it solo doesn’t do it justice. I can say that after playing many hours both solo and cooperatively. If you are looking for a good single player game, I’d probably recommend something else, though if cooperative games are on the menu for you, Diablo 3 is a good choice. Its availability on the consoles makes the game open to many more players. With six different classes to choose from with the expansion, you and your friends can take different game approaches while still having fun. If dungeon crawling hack-and-slash RPGs you can enjoy with friends are your thing, I’d definitely look into Diablo 3.

Written by Nerd Bacon

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