This article has been archived and may have some errors due to a previous design of MGL. None of the review has been altered however. Having paraphrased Fallout, let’s get on with the review.

Story

The original story in Diablo 3 isn’t revolutionary. In actuality, it’s a tried and true (albeit bland) plot that follows the old “Hey, evil stuff! Kill it, won’t you?”. It attempts a few twists and turns along the way, but unfortunately the characters aren’t fleshed out enough for us to be invested. I won’t ruin it, but even if I did, you probably wouldn’t care. We may not be here for the story, but it sure would be nice with Blizzard’s proven staff to pen us something great to compliment the stellar core of gameplay.

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All style, no substance. Such a shame!

In all fairness, the cracking cut-scenes are as “Blizzard” as ever in the best possible way, and the expansion really does do a better job than the entire first 4 Acts combined. Don’t get your hopes up for this changing any time soon, but one can dream!

Gameplay

We’re now beyond all the bad I can say about Diablo III. It has one flaw, and we’ve covered it.
The gameplay is simply brilliant. Pick a class out of 6, be thrown in to the world at Level 1 and mow down mobs left and right until you’re a Level 70 powerhouse. The aim of the game is to kill and loot, then kill and loot again for better things. Increasing the difficulty levels rewards you with greater experience gain and magic find (for better loot drops) but beware; the enemies increase in strength too, and some of those mobs aren’t to be taken lightly.

Roll with my Cru....sader!
Roll with my Cru….sader!

Getting through the story can be a chore of boredom, but once done, you can go in to “Adventure Mode” with any character you create afterwards.
Adventure Mode consists of all of the areas previously completed, but with a twist of “Quests” now included. You have the freedom to navigate each area and complete the quests in any order you wish, gaining you experience and “Blood Shards”, which you can trade for random magical items. I’ve never gotten anything good, but I consider it an added bonus to the experience I’m really after.
The biggest additions in Adventure Mode are the “Nephalem Rifts”. Upon completion of all quests in the area, a character will give you a “Horadric Cache”, which contains many random items as well as Rift Fragments. With 5 of these, you can open a portal for pure slaughter and experience gain, as well as a ridiculous amount of rare mobs (spawns of monsters) for you to loot. When you kill enough of those enemies, shown via a progress bar when you enter the rift, a Rift Guardian appears and thus, you must kill it, loot and report back to town for a major bump in experience.

DIII4Co-Op is yet another perfected part of the Diablo formula. You can manage your privacy settings to be whatever you wish, but by default, anybody on your friends list can drop in and drop out at will. They cannot kill you, only assist you or go off on their own to kill. Up to four players can be in a single game at once, and the more there are, the higher the difficulty becomes but also increases the possibility for better loot drops and experience. The addition of the Nemesis and Gift systems are also a nice way of being cooperative without actually playing together. A particularly strong enemy can invade somebody’s world, and if it kills them, will transfer out, with gained strength from defeating the previous opponent, and warp in to another person’s game on their friends list. This can happen anywhere, at any time and if you kill it, you get loot as well as a gift to send back to the person it killed and came from. The gifts can drop elsewhere randomly too, and they’re a simple click away to send. They always contain a legendary item appropriate for their character level, so it’s always great to have a full list of buddies slaying monsters on a regular basis to maximise the fun.

If, for whatever reason, you don’t wish to subject yourself to the fun and benefits of the co-op, you will still get gifts and Nemesis monsters, and you’ll have a choice of 3 companions to accompany you – each with their own skills and can be equipped to a lesser extent than your character to improve their abilities. It’s fun for everyone ages 16 and up.
Finally, for those of you who love a challenge, “Hardcore Mode”, a familiar term to the Diablo veterans, returns. If you die here, your character is deleted permanently. All assets are kept separate from normal mode and there’s a trophy for hitting 70. Good luck!

Presentation

Diablo 3 runs impressively on the Playstation 4. Complaints had been submitted about the last gen iterations being sub-par PC ports to a certain degree, and many would agree, but the current gen versions seem to have alleviated most of those concerns. I’ve yet to experience a frame-rate drop to date and, as stated above, the cut-scenes are amazing as is to be expected from a developer of Blizzard’s calibre.

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The attention to detail on the different types of gear is impressive. The legendaries truly feel legendary to me, like I’ve found something really special, and each class looks drastically different with varied gear. I personally love having the ability to customise my character via the items I pick up, but for those after uniformity, you can use your gold to make yourself match!

 

Lifespan

With 6 characters, each male and female, the game could easily have kept you looting and gearing at 70 for all of them and absorbed a great deal of your life, but to make it both easier and keep progression going for other characters, the “Paragon” system exists. When you level past 70, you get paragon points to place in to various abilities that carry over to new characters made. Your Paragon level is shared of course, so no doubling up, but there is no limit to it so you can make a truly brutal character to assist in the development of your later playthroughs. In short; level your 70 to make your lower levels stronger still!

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Overall

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition is a strong contender to the Naruto series for a game’s longest name.
Seriously though, this game is beyond worthy of a purchase. If you enjoy completely immersive gameplay that you don’t have to think too much about (on the lower difficulties….) then this is the game for you. It might be repetitive, but so is my order at KFC, and I’ll be damned if I don’t enjoy either every time I go for it.
Those of you looking for a more involving story may want to look elsewhere, but don’t shy away from this – it’s a delightful change of pace that does everything it wants to do better than almost any other game out there and it’ll keep you busy for months to come.

 

 

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