http://i.imgur.com/3afpM.png
Diablo III released on console recently and like many people that have it on PC, I didn't buy it. I have been curious to try it as Blizzard made many changes to it that are not in the PC version. I was able to do that because Blizzard added a Diablo III demo to PS3 and XBox 360 which takes you all the way to the Skeleton King. I have been playing the PS3 demo over the last couple of days and wanted to write a bit about the differences between the console and PC version.

the long road to the controller

Originally I figured porting Diablo III to consoles would be strange because of the game controls. Diablo III has a pretty rich interface with hotkeys, character customization and I thought it wouldn't translate well to a controller. I was wrong, Blizzard has done a great job porting the game to consoles and making it accessible. In fact, the game might be more fun because it requires a bit less effort to play. To "fix" the no mouse support on consoles, Blizzard implemented a locking auto-aim feature that makes things much simpler. The game is still challenging, but if you are not 100% accurate with your shots, the game will help you out a bit. This made the whole couch experience much nicer. I really felt at home kicking back and slaying monsters. Some might relish the precision of the mouse, but you can play the PC version for that.

Blizzard added a roll / evade move to each class that is really useful. The game is harder on the console because you can't click around to evade things like the PC version so they added evade. It's a nice mechanic and I found it useful for fights with many enemies and tough bad guys. They haven't ruled out bringing evasion to the PC, but I don't think its something the PC version needs.

difficulty modes

The PC version of Diablo III shipped with a static difficulty based on the game mode you were in. So if it was your first play through, you were at Normal difficulty. If you killed Diablo you went to Nightmare and then Hell and finally Inferno. Diablo III on console has these modes as well but you can also specify a difficulty within each mode. So in the demo they allow you to select the difficulty mode for your character in easy, medium and hard. There are two other options but they are not available in the demo. I selected medium and it was much more challenging that what I experienced in the PC version in Normal mode. Enemies were much tougher to take down and there were more of them. I never felt like Normal mode with Diablo III on PC was hard and bordered on too easy. The console version on Medium provides a much appreciated challenge. I can only imagine hard and beyond is even more so.

the look and feel of the game

I am a PC gamer. A few years ago I jumped back to my PC and I haven't missed a beat. One of the great features of PC gaming is graphics and play control. That said, Diablo III on console doesn't really suffer in terms of play control or graphics, its just different. One very noticeable element of the presentation of Diablo III on console is the anti-aliasing, it doesn't look like it's turned on at all. Basically what this means is the game looks "jaggy" or everything looks like it has a rough edge. Anti-aliasing takes some horsepower to pull off so many console games drop it. Compared to the beautiful lush textures of the PC version, the console version suffers here some as well. That said, the game still looks stunning and beautiful and I didn't feel like this was "muddy Diablo III." It is just Diablo III paired down to what the PS3 can handle well.

I have a 5.1 Dolby system in my living room so the audio for this environment was appreciated. The great score really comes to life on my speakers and I would say the console version provides a marked improvement over my 2.1 PC speakers.

conclusion: it's a hell of a lot of fun

If you can't play the free Diablo III demo on PC because you are console bound you need to download the demo. Hell, if you own it on PC and just want to try it out you should do that too. The game really comes to life on the console and in some ways is a better presentation of the game. And at the end of the day, it still lets you kick Diablo's ass and that's what its all about right?

Travis   Admin wrote on 09/20/2013 at 04:00pm

RE: Difficulty modes

PC has this too, with Monster Power. You actually have more control of this on PC than you do on console, for some reason. I'm not sure why they didn't just port Monster Power straight over.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 09/20/2013 at 04:25pm

Interesting. Maybe because Monster Power makes no less if you are not familiar with the game and how it started on PC? Difficulty modes are easier to understand and then just handing out greater rewards because of them is a good idea.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 09/20/2013 at 04:26pm

Oh and I forgot to also say, you get loot when you complete certain missions. It's a nice change and I got some great stuff that way.

Travis   Admin wrote on 09/20/2013 at 04:34pm

"you get loot when you complete certain missions."

That's awesome. I generally prefer the loot-flow in the console version, which makes sense since they tuned it more (half of what they're doing with Loot 2.0 on PC is already in the console version) but I never actually noticed getting loot rewards for missions somehow. I only played through half the demo, though.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 09/20/2013 at 04:36pm

Yeah, I got some gear a few times, the last time I remember getting it is when I saved Cain. I am not all the way through it myself but plan on sinking a bit of time here and there to finish it. I really enjoy this version of Diablo III and hope they release a "TV Mode" for the PC release which plays just like this.

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