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Diablo III Review - Looting From Your Couch

Joshua Vanderwall | 6 Sep 2013 14:30
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Diablo 3 Console Screen 02

Skills are mapped to your various controller buttons, which makes them slightly easier to access than the number keys for the PC version. You can even turn on Elective Mode to allow you to map the abilities to whichever button you prefer. This is one of the few mechanical improvements with the console version, and the importance of being able to easily access your abilities without the danger of pressing the wrong button can't be overstated.

Aside from dodging, the combat controls are practically perfect for console play, but the menu system is a bit less impressive. The complexity of the menu system doesn't really lend itself to easy navigation via a controller. When equipping or selling items, you'll have to go to your inventory and select a slot, which will filter items based on the slot you chose. There are indicators to let you know when you've picked up a new item for a given slot, so if you couldn't tell by the name when you picked it up, at least you'll know where to look in your inventory. Selling to a vendor can be a tad frustrating since occasionally on selling an item, your selection will move seemingly at random to another item, so if you're hurrying to sell in bulk, it's easy to accidentally sell off a rare piece of equipment. Fortunately, there is a buyback system, so when this does happen, it's easy enough to remedy. Still, the menu system makes navigating your collected loot a little tedious, but it's not so bad as to detract much from the experience.

Diablo III is best experienced on a PC, but not everybody has a computer capable of running the game, or a stable internet connection with which to play. The port to consoles definitely opens up the world of Sanctuary to a wider audience, with only minor impediments to enjoying the game. Without the Auction House, you'll have to trade with your friends, like the glory days of Diablo II, which should be a welcome change to many gamers. While the combat gameplay experience on consoles doesn't exactly parallel the keyboard and mouse PC interface, it's still tons of fun to explore Sanctuary, slay demons, and collect loot.

Bottom Line: Diablo III is just Diablo III. The game feels more like a top-down shooter with the controller, but it's still heavily action oriented gameplay, with leveling and loot systems that make you hate to put it down.

Recommendation: If you've played the PC version, Diablo III on consoles isn't going to offer you anything new, except the ability to sit on your couch while you play. If you've never played Diablo III on PC and like ARPGs of any sort, this will be a great addition to your collection.

This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

Game: Diablo III
Genre: RPG
Developer: Blizzard
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Platform(s): PC, Mac OS, PS4, PS3, Xbox 360
Available from: Amazon(US), GameStop(US), Amazon(UK), Play.com(UK)

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