Released back in 2012, Diablo III has accumulated its fair share of baggage. More baggage than a level 70 Demon Hunter back from the Pandemonium Fortress. Along with numerous pre-patch glitches there were crippling connectivity problems and the now defunct Auction House. Even the console release a year later had its share of problems. But, looking past all the issues, and once all the patches had been downloaded, just about everyone who played it agreed that Diablo III was a great game.
For those who have missed all the press over the last two years the Diablo III campaign is a mixture generic RPG characters, demons, angels, wars, and dungeon crawling. It is a simple, but insanely enjoyable button masher. You pick up gold, weapons, armour, and basically search for rare pieces of kit that will make you unstoppable. Diablo III is twenty+ hours of pounding monsters into the dust. It is one serious co-operative rush of spell casting and hammer wielding mayhem. A more-monsters-the-better opus of god-like powers, legendary item drops, and magical buffs. The downside is having to manage tonnes of redundant junk, crafting stuff you’ll never use, stores that don’t ever have anything worth buying, and nothing much to do once you played through the story.
Now, with Blizzard Entertainment’s release of Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition, console owners can get the best version of the game. Complete with all the fixes, the Reaper of Souls expansion, new game modes and monsters, and the Crusader character class.
While most of the new content is only unlockable once you have played through the original story, the new Crusader class character is available from the beginning. More a tank than a spell-caster, the Crusader can learn to wield two-handed weapons with one hand, leaving the other hand free to carry a shield, stun enemies, heal friends, throw shields and hammers, chain lightning, and call down energy beams from the heavens. However, if you’re still attached to your Monk or Witch Doctor, you are able to import your character from your last-gen console save.
After you have finished the original story you can continue with the Reaper of Souls expansion - the expansion that was originally released for the PC earlier this year. A complete fifth Act - following directly after the conclusion of the original story - it was praised for its darker tone, while being decidedly underwhelming in the story department. Although as expansion packs go, it clocks in at around the same length as the original Acts and generates a few more fun hours of demon bashing. Also turning up in Act V is the Mystic artisan. With the help of the Mystic you can customise your character’s weapons and armour, changing their appearance and augmenting one of their magic stats.
But, even with the new character class, artisan, monsters, and campaign, the best addition to Diablo III is the Adventure Mode. Once you have completed the story, every location opens up. You can then return to a favourite area to complete bounty missions and unlock Nephalem Rifts. Nephalem Rifts are randomly generated dungeons packed with monsters and bosses from all five Acts. It is epic. A dungeon packed with tough demons is the absolute best part of Diablo III, and that’s what you get in the Nephalem Rifts. Thankfully, with all the graphical glitches fixed, it looks beautiful and runs like a dream. On the PS4 all the problems are truly in the past. This is Diablo III perfection.
Despite all the problems Diablo III has had since its release, it is an immensely enjoyable game. Although for me playing online was a total wash. After finding out I had a battle.net account (which I had forgotten about after twenty minutes of trying to create a new one), switching to an account with PlayStation Plus (which you have to have to play online), remembering I have very few friends with PS4s (none of whom have a pre-release copy of Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition), I was about ready to give up on online co-op and the game’s very limited versus mode. But since this all worked fine on last-gen consoles, I just passed a second controller to a friend and spent the next few hours in local co-op heaven.
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition is as good as it could possibly get. The only problem it has is the obvious one; if you have the original release on PC, or on the last-gen consoles, it’s up to you if you want to spend $80 on an expansion pack. And is any expansion pack ever going to be worth the price of a full game? But, if you didn’t buy the original game, get this. On the PS4 it is epic. It is action RPG perfection.