Welcome to the world of Sanctuary. You may have visited it before, but not on the move. Plenty of this happened during my Diablo 3 review with Activision Blizzard releasing a new version on the Nintendo Switch.
Kiss goodbye to your lunchtime at work, travel time on the bus or train. So what is Diablo 3: Eternal Collection? It’s a combat, RPG, adventure game that supports online play with local 4 player mode. You have to fight your way through the scourge of demons and general nasty foes to save the land of Sanctuary.
Diablo 3: Eternal Collection brings all the 5 acts from Reaper of Souls, the Necromancer DLC and current seasonal play to the Nintendo Switch.
There is also Nintendo Switch exclusive DLC in the form of Ganondorf armour transmogrification (From Legend of Zelda, you best look that one up!), Cucco pet and portrait frames resembling the tri-force.
How does Diablo 3: Eternal Collection play?
Diablo 3: Eternal Collection is a game that first appeared in 2012 which in game time is an era away. Over the last six years, it has seen continued support with DLC, new content, seasonal play and rereleases on most consoles.
One of the facts that drew me to the Nintendo Switch version was the ability to play Diablo 3: Eternal Collection somewhere else than in my lounge on my TV.
With other consoles and PC versions, I had been chained to my TV at home and even required to be online at all times. The Nintendo Switch offers portability and offline play which is something that might not sound amazing.
But for a Diablo 3 player, this is the holy grail!
During my Diablo 3 review, I tried out every possible controller and each different way of playing. Out of the controllers I preferred to use the Pro Controller instead as it felt close to the experience that I was used to.
However, Blizzard has also included support for paired joy-cons and single joy-cons too! Single joycons has a really nice unique function, in that rolling is done by the flicking motion (as the second stick is not present).
This is great from a multiplayer perspective as a local 4 player can be played with only 2 sets of joy-cons instead of needing 4! Bravo to Blizzards for adding this!
Diablo 3 is all about button mashing!
Explore, kill, loot, repeat
You have to press you to attack buttons relentlessly to slay the demonic hordes. As you progress you unlock more skills and eventually you find yourself juggling all the buttons to deliver destruction to your foes.
From the perspective of gameplay Diablo 3: Eternal Edition is all about reward. Kill your foes and they drop gold or items.
Each loot drop is dependant on a random number generation equation that correlates to the current level and difficulty setting! You might want to start in normal mode and your first playthrough.
However, if you crank up the difficulty settings a few levels you will be rewarded with 150% more XP (faster levelling) and better loot drops at higher levels. Diablo 3 an experience that you can tailor for each gamer.
So far the only issue that I noticed that relates to the controller with Diablo 3: Eternal Edition is that radial selector wheel on the menu controls is a bit difficult to accurately use. The selector arrow skips around quite a bit, maybe the recent patch may fix this issue.
Presentation and Graphics
Graphically Diablo 3 delivers a solid and consistent framerate which I have to say is quite an achievement on the Nintendo Switch.
As usual, during this review, I tested out both handheld play and TV docked mode play. When you start in New Tristran there is a considerable lack of on-screen action, by the time you are in Act 5 it is totally the opposite.
The Nintendo Switch copes amazingly when Blizzard throws hundreds of demons at you. In handheld mode, the dialogue text and menus text can be a little hard to read.
However, most of the time you are listening to spoken dialogue, so it’s barely noticeable. Which is good as the voice acting cast contains a hundred people!
Having seen many poorly optimised game ports on the Nintendo Switch I’m really pleased with Diablo 3. Having played a lot of hours of Diablo on my Xbox One, I’m happy to report that the Switch version is now my favourite version.
I believe that it’s worth mentioning that if you want to play multiplayer in the handheld mode with a friend the small screen can make things a little difficult to view.
Fortunately, there is a local wifi mode allowing multiple Switches to be connected to allow each player to have their own screen. Whilst you don’t need access to the internet to do this you have to make sure that each console is fairly close to ensure it works.
But to be honest you will really want to play this game on a big TV sitting on your couch with your friends!
From the perspective of someone who has put hundreds of hours of gameplay into Diablo 3 over the last 6 years on multiple platforms, I was very excited by this release on the Nintendo Switch.
Diablo 3: Eternal Collection is one of those games that offers 2 levels of involvement.
For the casual gamer, it offers a co-op / single player campaign where you can drop in and fight your way through 5 acts of the story-based mission.
You can bring a friend along via online, or sitting on your couch with a controller or they can use their own Nintendo Switch to join you. During this journey, you learn to use your chose character (from 7 different distinct classes), level them up with new skills, change their gear and equipment and progress towards level 70.
The Story campaign is truly absorbing and it is very easy to find yourself putting in hours of gameplay as you soldier on through the demonic hordes.
The second level of involvement is for the gamer looking for a more deeper experience in the form of Adventure mode and the running of rifts. These modes allow greater scaling of difficulty and can be quite a challenge.
Adventure mode includes some of the best boss fights from each act along with specific missions that are re-run without the need to complete all the acts.
Whilst adventure mode can be used to grind for gear at level 70, it is worth mentioning that you can start here with a brand new character and make good progress.
Rifts and Greater Rifts are like time trials. You enter a portal and have to try and kill enemies as quickly as possible to allow a boss (rift guardian) to spawn. Rifts are for practice and they drop rift keys that allow access to the harder and timed greater rifts. Why would you want to do these?
For two main reasons, better loot and challenge!
As far as difficulty goes there are a lot of settings. You can play at the normal mode or escalate the difficulty right up to the top level of torment 13!
There are a lot of benefits to increasing the difficulty and its worth using this site to explains things better. As the difficulty increases you get more experience, level faster and get nicer loot.
But as general rules of thumb on brand new character things become too time-consuming and taxing to go higher than expert. If the normal gameplay isn’t enough for you, Hardcode mode exists for a truly lifelike experience.
You get one life and once you die you cannot resurrect your character and play any further.
The final mode that most gamers who are returning to Diablo 3 will enjoy is Seasonal Play. The best analogy for describing Season Play is the big leagues where you are going pro at Diablo 3.
A season runs for a defined period of time usually a month or two. During which you have to create a new character and you are denied access to your stash box.
This means that you can’t borrow gear and weapons that you have already collected. The other limitation is that you can only play with other Seasonal players in multiplayer.
The seasonal mode is about completing set challenges to be rewarded with a unique set of armour. Each season brings new content and loots drops. Seasonal play does require access to the internet and a mandatory Nintendo Online pass to create a character.
Fortunately, you can play Seasonal mode without access to the internet so you can play it on the go. But it should be noted that some of the features of the leaderboards are not accessible in offline mode.
If you are familiar with the term Endgame, this mode is where you find it.
Should You Play Diablo 3?
Diablo 3: Eternal Edition on the Nintendo Switch is nigh on the almost perfect port of Diablo 3. It’s obvious to me that Blizzard has some fans of the Switch on the Diablo 3 development team!
So, if you have got this game already its worth the extra dip for the definitive handheld version. If you have not played this before then now is a great time to jump onto the Diablo 3 wagon.
Gamers who will suit this game…
Players who are new or old hands at this game will enjoy the experience. Have you heard of Gauntlet? Gauntlet Legends? Well, Diablo is the evolution of these games.
Whilst other flavours of these games exist, Diablo 3 is one of the most rewarding action-based role-playing game on the market.
6 years after initial release the Nintendo Switch version is one of the strongest and definitive versions out there.
Round up table:
|The Good||The Bad||The Bugs|
|Solid framerates||Much cheaper on other formats||None noticed during the review|
|All DLC and content included|
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