Diablo III declared itself as a bold, complex, vast and contentious title upon its PC debut last year and neither time nor its transition to consoles hardware has diluted the potency of Blizzard’s bloodthirsty role-playing romp. If anything, the concessions made to the non-hardcore PC crowd could stoke the ire of purists further.
Thankfully, that’s unlikely to be the case. The most noticeable tweaks are to the interface and controls, distilling the complexity of a mouse-and-keyboard setup into a more ergonomic configuration of buttons. Menus have been redesigned as minimalist radials, the camera is drawn closer into the action and a new evade move, slotted neatly alongside the returning mechanics, stands out as the most overt among the design alterations. It’s a successful series of modifications, none of which threaten to impair the features that defined its PC progenitor.
There are five classes to pick from, each with their own inherent tactical advantages, and from there you beat up hellspawn until they explode into a shower of irresistible golden spoils. The constant influx of loot, gold and XP propels you into each violent encounter with an insatiable appetite for further rewards, drawing players into a thoroughly addictive cycle of combat that grows more enticing through repetition.
The most divisive feature from the PC version was its always-online policy. That doesn’t return here, but net co-op is possible, not to mention four-player local multiplayer. The latter is a welcome addition, escalating the intensity of the action simply by refusing to divide the screen between players. It’s also why Diablo III translates so well, with each console-specific addition seemingly superficial but ultimately enhancing the core principles of gameplay. The devil really is in the details.
Reviewed by Bryan Murray