PAX East 2013: Diablo III (PS3)

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Morbidly curious about seeing Diablo on a console again? So was I. Turns out that it’s a mixed bag of tricks. Visually the game as a work in progress isn’t on par with its PC counterpart. It’s jaggier, had some screen tearing, and less enemies and overall animations on screen.

Graphics aside, the controls and overall gameplay are surprisingly spot on. Blizzard has done a nice job of mapping powers and inventory management to the PS3 dualshock layout, and they’ve streamlined the loot system to make it more akin to Borderlands where you can quickly compare gear on the fly to decide whether to pick it up.

This is especially important since there is no auction house in the console version to sell loot at. It’s merchants or nothing since Blizzard felt there would be a large population of console players who might not have an “always on” internet connection but still want to play. (Bottle up your rage and save it for a rainy day. The time for that argument has long passed.)

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Diablo 3 on console will also feature some new conveniences like fast travel points between chapters so players can initiate co-op locally, over PSN, or both. I have to say the idea of combination couch co-op and internet demon-slaying could make for some good times. I was told the screen will scale for local co-op to accommodate multiple players.

Hopefully by the time D3 is ready for store shelves the visuals will have gotten the standard coat of Blizzard polish, and the final product will stand alongside quality console ARPG’s like Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance and Champions of Norrath instead of less well received ones such as Diablo back on the Playstation.

About Ben Daniels

Ben Daniels is Community Manager for Splitkick and co-host of the Rocket Jump podcast. He frequently disseminates misinformation.
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