Straight to the point, Diablo III on consoles delivers just as much Diablo III as the PC does. This game certainly is great and the move from mouse and keyboard to a controller doesn’t slow it down at all. The game is by no means perfect and there were some downsides to the console version compared to the PC, it is still a great game and worth the time to play it.
If you already have the PC version then it wouldn’t be worth it to rush out and pick up another copy for the console of your choice. If you don’t have a PC capable of running it on decent settings however, getting Diablo III on your PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 is worth every penny.
Gameplay was the large question mark for the console version of Diablo III. Everyone knew how the game played with a mouse and keyboard and most everyone enjoyed it. With the console version though, Blizzard had to adapt the control scheme and menus to a controller.
Overall Blizzard does a good job of adapting the controls to the controller. The game plays very well, targeting is assisted, and targeting feels comfortable if not as precise as a mouse. The menus seem a little clunky, however they do their job. The menus probably could have been polished a little more but they work and get the job done. Some things can feel a little complex or cluttered in the menus and that should probably have been worked on a little more.
Beyond all that, Diablo plays like Diablo. Killing monsters is satisfying and fun. The game is a loot-fest and a dungeon crawler with style. While it may not do anything overly unique or new, it does everything well and is extremely polished in gameplay and presentation
Throughout playing Diablo III, I never experienced any frame rate, freezing, stuttering, or other technical glitches. The gameplay was smooth as butter and played great on my PlayStation 3. While the game certainly does not push the current-generations technical capabilities, it is nice to see a developer who has been out of the console market for so long, come back with a game that is technically all together and has great gameplay.
The visuals in Diablo III are not drop dead gorgeous. That isn’t saying they are by any means bad though. The visuals in the game are appropriate for what Blizzard set out to do and that was to create a dark, gritty action RPG that allowed you to kill everything and collect fantastic loot. The console version of the game doesn’t have quite as crisp, clear textures as the PC version but they look good for the aging consoles. I look forward to seeing a comparison between PC, current-gen consoles, and next-gen hardware. I can only guess that the textures have been improved significantly for the PlayStation 4 release.
The settings and locales that you visit are all very well done and set the mood perfectly. Blizzard’s attention to detail is astounding and while the game doesn’t blow you away like Battlefield 3 might (in terms of visual fidelity), it still has some areas that look impressive in their own way.
The spells and abilities all have varied and catching animations and effects. I enjoyed running around as the wizard and watching the different spells fly out around me as I tore through legions of enemies.
The music in Diablo III is simply fantastic. Blizzard’s audio department does a great job with sound effects and voice-work but the true star of Diablo’s audio is the music. The music perfectly sets the mood and gets you completely immersed in the experience. Blizzard has a great track record with audio and sound in their games and Diablo III definitely lives up to the legacy. While Diablo’s music may not be as iconic as some of Blizzard’s other themes such as the ones for StarCraft and Warcraft, I think their audio department does a fantastic job at making the music unique to Diablo III and it just sets the mood in a stunning fashion.
As mentioned previously, the voice-work for Diablo is very good. While none of the voicework done for the player characters is anything to write home about, the voicework for the supporting cast such as Tyrael and Deckard Cain is superb. Blizzard can definitely get good performances out of their voice actors and it shows in the game’s in-game dialogue sequences and cut-scenes. No one will win any awards for their work on Diablo III for voicework but they definitely bring you into the story and are compelling and make you feel the emotions that their characters are feeling.
The console version of Diablo III does not sport the same always-on requirement that its PC counterpart does. The console version also allows for local co-operative play and offline play. The multiplayer works really well and is definitely a highlight of the game. I encourage everyone to try and play the game with a friend in the mix whether it be over the internet or some couch co-op.
I think Blizzard has come back with a big slam dunk in their return to the console video game market with Diablo III. For a company that has focused on the PC for so long, they hit the ground running and have made a technically sound game that is enjoyable and addictive. I think that visually the game is great and the audio is impressive. Blizzard really set the bar high for future releases of their titles on a console platform.