Diablo is a well-known name in the video game industry. And after very long wait, the third installment hit the PC last year. Despite a ton of backlash from the DRM fiasco, the game received great reviews, and it eventually hit the PlayStation 3 in early September. Now, however, it’s time to look forward to the PS4 iteration, which will be called Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition and will include the upcoming expansion, Reaper of Souls.
Boasting six distinct classes – Barbarian, Wizard, Demon Hunter, Monk, Crusader and Witch Doctor – the game spans five Acts. The world of Sanctuary is under attack and it’s your job to save it; select your class and let the old-school dungeon-crawling goodness begin! The PS4 version will utilize the touchpad functionality and various social features granted by the new Share button, and it’ll also run at 1080p and 60 frames per second. Further, we'll get the benefit of a few tweaks and bonuses that weren’t included in the original Diablo III. As for the use of the touchpad, you can swipe left and right when managing your inventory.
The Reaper of Souls expansion presents players with the following storyline: Malthael, the former Angel of Wisdom, has become the Angel of Death, and he wants humanity to fall. The expansion also adds the aforementioned Crusader class, along with the new Adventure Mode and Nephalem Rifts (Loot Runs). But of course, the stories in Diablo have always been second to the gameplay, which has historically involved a whole lot of action/RPG goodness. With a traditional three-quarter view, players maneuver through a series of enemy-infested areas, taking down countless foes and getting stronger. There’s a crapload of items and equipment to find, and the diverse abilities should keep the game fresh for a very long time.
The question is whether or not console gamers will take to this style of gameplay, which has been designed for the mouse/keyboard control since the franchise’s inception. Based on what we’ve heard from those who have gone hands-on with the console iterations, Diablo III actually works really well. It should be even better on the PS4 and with all the extra content included, it’ll be the definitive edition available. Also, don’t forget that the PS4 iteration will support Remote Play, so you’ll be able to keep playing on the PlayStation Vita. Maybe this is exactly the kind of game that would be great to play on a portable unit.
Oh, and don’t worry if you’ve already picked up the PS3 version of the game. It was recently announced that you’ll be able to fully transfer your characters and save data to the PS4 version. Just be warned— The door does not swing both ways. Once your character has been transferred over, there’s no coming back. I’m not really sure why you’d want to return to the older version; I’m just reporting the facts. Diablo III should be great fun on the PS4, and the special additions and refinements will make it all the more appealing. There’s still room for the old-fashioned gameplay formats that continue to work beautifully, don’t you think?
11/13/2013 Ben Dutka