Selling a record-breaking 12-million sales worldwide as of early 2013, Diablo III for the PC is one of the best selling games this generation. Unfortunately, with the game being PC only, console fans looked on in jealousy as they were seemingly left out of all the fun. However, this changed when Sony unveiled the PlayStation 4 at their official unveiling conference, when Chris Metzen of Blizzard announced that Diablo would be returning to the consoles with Diablo III for both the PlayStation 3 and 4.
Despite being the third game in the series, you don't need to play the other two Diablo games to understand the story of Diablo III. Set 20 years after the events of Diablo II, the third game quickly brings players up to speed as they work to stop the resurrection of the evil Diablo by vanquishing as many demons as possible. The story is passable and, let's be honest here, you're going to be in this for the gameplay, so let's dive right into that.
Diablo III is an action role-playing game that keeps the action fast and frantic at all times. You'll fight groups of 20 or more enemies at once with special skills and abilities enabling you to clear whole swathes of enemies at one time. As you vanquish your foes, you'll receive loot in the form of weapons and armor, making your character more powerful in addition to unlocking new skills for your character further increasing his or her power each time you level up. If you've played games such as Borderlands, you understand the general concept here. Diablo III pushes players to kill just one more enemy or complete just one more quest to see what the next reward will be.
In addition to killing and looting, there are weapons and armor to craft, gems to socket into your items to bestow greater improvements to them, modifiers you can add to your skills to change their functions, and NPC followers to help you out in battle. To put it bluntly, Diablo III is a big game.
Below is a gameplay video of Diablo III running on the PlayStation 4, giving you a better idea of what you can expect with the game:
Keeping The Action Fast
Diablo III focuses on keeping the action fast by providing a few quality of life improvements to speed up gameplay and get you back to killing enemies quicker:
- Health orbs now drop from defeated enemies
- Gold is automatically picked up by the player
- You can quickly swap skills with the push of a button
- Mana quickly regenerates after using it
Diablo III is all about the action, cutting away a lot of the needless mundane tasks you normally see in a role-playing game. After all, would you rather spend time manually picking up every piece of gold you see or chopping the head off another demon?
First Gameplay Trailer
Blizzard has released the first gameplay trailer on May 20th, 2014. The trailer is located below for your viewing pleasure:
Choose Your Character
Diablo III offers five character classes to choose from:
- Witch Doctor
- Demon Hunter
Each character class plays differently; for example, the Barbarian is a close-range fighter while the Witch Doctor relies on poisons and minions to do his dirty work. Depending on the skills you are using, two of the same character classes can play differently as well, such as one Wizard using ice-based magic while another uses fire-based magic. The fact that each character class is so different from one another means the game plays differently with each new character you create, leading to near-infinite replayability.
In addition to choosing different classes for each new playthrough, Diablo III provides an almost limitless amount of gameplay in a variety of other methods. Harder difficulty levels are unlocked each time you finish the game on the previous difficulty level, adding more challenge to the game by increasing the health of your opponents and the skills they are using. Want the ultimate challenge? Go for Hardcore Mode, which permanently erases your character when you die.
The game also features randomly-generated levels and randomly-generated events within those levels, providing many different variations on each level. Diablo III is never the same game twice.
Not Always Online
Unlike the PC version of the game, which required users to always be online, the PlayStation 4 version of Diablo III can be played offline. However, the game is better with friends, so to that end it does include multiplayer as well.
Diablo III has been confirmed as including both online and offline co-operative play for up to four players on the PlayStation 4. The below video illustrates what you can expect when you and three friends venture forth to banish Diablo from the world once and for all:
PlayStation 4 Advantages
Diablo III is being built to take full advantage of the PlayStation 4 by adapting the controls to the DualShock 4. We've seen with games like Torchlight for the Xbox 360 and Dungeon Siege III for the PlayStation 3 that action role-playing games can work on a controller, so gamers shouldn't have any reason to worry.
Buzz from E3 2013 was positive, with many journalists and gamers commenting on how natural the game felt when using a DualShock 4.
At PAX East, Blizzard has confirmed that you can use the DualShock 4's touchscreen to navigate the in-game menus.
Like most multiplatform games, it's been confirmed that Diablo III is running at 1080p and 60 frames-per-second, while the Xbox One version is running at 900p and 60 frames-per-second. Sorry XBox fans. Microsoft recently released a software dev kit update for the XBox One to increase the console's GPU power so this difference may not last forever but for the time being PS4 is leading in this category and the PlayStation 4 version is definitely the one to get!
Blizzard has confirmed that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions may not be receiving post-launch support. The game will ship with version 2.0.5, with version 2.0.6 being a day one patch, but no future patches are planned.
On the official Blizzard forums, a post by the community manager stated the following:
"We're still working out all the details regarding if and how Ultimate Evil Edition will be supported post-launch."
It's no secret that Blizzard's fanbase is almost entirely on the PC, so it's not shocking to learn the game won't be receiving as much support on the PS4 and Xbox One as it will on the company's home turf.
PlayStation 4 Exclusive Features
It has been revealed that the PlayStation 4 version of the game will receive exclusive items, though it has not been revealed what those items will be at this time. We'll let you know as soon as we hear more!
New Social Features
At PAX East, Blizzard also unveiled some of the new social features that are heading to the PlayStation 4 version of Diablo 3:
- When you gain a legendary item, any friends you are playing with also have the chance of gaining a legendary item as well.
- The Nemesis System allows players who kill you to then warp to a friend's game, where that friend can receive a reward for killing it.
- The Apprentice Mode allows low-level players to play with their high-level friends by giving the lower level player a temporary stat boost.
- Players can mail items to each other
It looks like Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition on the PS4 is shaping up to be the ultimate version of the game.
Blizzard has released the preorder bonuses you can receive by preordering the game at any official retailer, and any PlayStation fanatic is going to want these items!
The Guide of the Colossi lets you morph into one of six monsters from Shadow of the Colossus.
The Last of Us Nephalem Rift lets you take on a dungeon based on The Last of Us.
For preordering the game digitally via the PlayStation Network, you'll also receive the following: three additional character slots, a Hellhound companion pet, and some stat-boosting gear.
Blizzard has revealed that you will be able to transfer your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 Diablo 3 character to the PS4 version of the game when it releases! Great news for fans who don't want to lose their old characters when they purchase this new version.
Depending on the type of transfer you are making, the process will either occur entirely from the main menu (if moving from PS3 to PS4) or a combination of your Web browser and the main menu (if moving from the 360 to the PS4).
Transferring characters is free, but all preorder bonuses on your old characters will be lost.
Blizzard has recently announced that the first Diablo 3 expansion pack, titled Reaper of Souls, will be included with the PlayStation 4 version of the game. The expansion will bring a new story, a new act, a new character class called the Crusader and a whole host of other new features to the game.
Blizzard has revealed additional information on the expansion pack coming to the PlayStation 4, revolving around the new Artisan caravan character. The Artisan will be able to not only alter an item's statistics, potentially improving them, but change the appearance of an item altogether.
Long time Diablo 3 fans will remember that the Artisan was cut shortly before the initial launch of the game, so it's good to see her making a return with the expansion pack.
— Diablo (@Diablo) November 12, 2013
Will It Support Remote Play?
There has been speculation lately that Diablo 3 on the PlayStation 4 will not support the Remote Play feature due to comments made by Blizzard employees. However, the issue was recently cleared up in an official tweet on the matter which clearly shows Diablo 3 running on the Vita via Remote Play, laying to rest the issue once and for all.
In February 2014, Blizzard officially changed the name of the PlayStation 4 release from "Diablo 3" to "Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition." The name change was made to show off that the PS4 release not only included Diablo 3 but the expansion as well, all in one convenient package. The retail price of the game remains the same at $59.99, despite the addition of many hours of additional content.
Blizzard has announced that Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition will launch on the PS4 on August 19th, 2014.
Buying the game? Not buying the game? Let us know in the comments!
Game Category: Role Playing
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 7/17/2013