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Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition (PS4) Review

 
diablo 3 logo
diablo 3 logo
diablo 3 logo

 
At a Glance...
 

Formats: PS4, Xbox One
 
Genre:
 
Year:
 
Publisher:
 
Developer:
 
Final Score
9.0
9/ 10


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

We Liked?


  • Superbly mindless fun
  • Looks great in action
  • Huge amount of content with some superb abilities and weaponry to explore
  • Smart direct controls that add greatly to the overall enjoyment

Not So Much?


  • Anything but Hard difficulty or more is far too easy and removes any real challenge
  • Transition from original to bonus content a little off and ending falls flat
  • Occasional frame rate hitches


Final Fiendish Findings?

A few niggles with difficulty, frame rate and transitioning from main to bonus content does little to dampen the spirits. Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition is easily one of the most enjoyable titles on any platform this year.

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Posted September 4, 2014 by

 
Final Fiendish Findings?
 
 

Diablo 3 was a great game when I reviewed it two years back on the PC.  Sure it had a few issues with balance, the weird auction house and the slightly stingy loot system, yet it still managed to achieve pretty much what I wanted from a Diablo game – mindless loot based fun.

Now, two years later, we have the release of Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition.  This rolls up the original four chapter Diablo 3, adds in the mighty fine Reaper of Souls expansion pack as well as applying the many, many patches and tweaks Blizzard have lavished on the game since release.

One of the biggest departures from the PC version is the direct control of the console ports.  Mapping all those keyboard shortcuts and mouse actions on to a controller was no easy task for Blizzard but they’ve managed admirably well.  Moving from the left-click to move format of the PC original moves Diablo 3 more towards one of the titles the franchise originally inspired, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance.  As someone whose pined for a modern follow-up to Black Isle’s fun action-RPG romp this is a massive boon!

As mentioned the controls have been mapped out with well though balance and accessibility in mind.  Movement is handled through the left stick as you’d imagine, with the right stick reserved for evasion moves – basically rolling.  Triggers and most of the face buttons are mapped to the varying class based abilities and spells with X being held in for your standard attack.  Thankfully repeated pressing of the action button for attack has been forgone allowing you to simply hold down the button to perform attacks as needed – thus removing the need to buy a new Dual Shock 4 in 3 months time.

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Menus too have a nice fluidity to them, with easy and seamless transitions between your inventory, skill, quest and map screens.  The addition of a visual marker to show you whether that battle axe has better attack, defence or vitality stats is a very welcome addition.  This saves wading through stat screens and fretting over the smallest of points in your load-out.  Those figures are still there, never fear, and you will need to look at them to some degree if you want to take spec’ing your character seriously.  If you don’t then you’ll still get along just fine.

Story wise Diablo 3 won’t set your world on fire – it’s more than serviceable and the interspersed cut scenes are of a top-notch quality.  You honestly don’t come to a Diablo game for the intriguing story or character development though – you come to Diablo for the pyrotechnics, massive slaughter and loot.   And Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition delivers these things in spades.

With the story burbling away in the background you’re given leave to explore the five chapters of the game (thanks to an additional chapter from the Reaper of Souls expansion pack).  This servers up hours upon hours of single or multiplayer based carnage for you to enjoy.  There are a wonderful array of weapons and abilities to get stuck in too.  From summoning hordes of barbarians to unleash on your foes, to pulling down fire and lightening from the skies to obliterate hapless enemies.    Couple these enjoyable abilities with masses of on-screen and audible pyrotechnics and masses of destructible scene dressing (carts, barrels, winches, boxes, doors etc.) and the game is just great fun to lose yourself in.

Diablo 3 pic 2

After you’ve put a massive amount of time in to the story mode, you could then set forth in the Adventure mode.    This mode lets you take on various bounties spread around the various landscapes from the main game.  This is a nice short burst activity that is great fun to take on – a slight shame then that it’s locked away until you’ve beaten the game once.

Speaking of finishing the game it’s worth noting that the transition from Act 4 (the original Diablo 3 ending) and the start of Chapter 5 is a little jarring.  Not as jarring as the end to the expansion though which almost feels like it limps to a conclusion.  I’d heartily recommend that all but the most novice of players start the game on the Hard difficulty level.  I’m not usually one to recommend anything other than the “normal” difficulty for a first play through but here it’s justified.  Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition is a very easy game and even on Hard you’ll barely struggle at any point as long as you work the upgrade system with some competence.

Running on the PS4 in 1080p the game looks great – fantastic even at times and on par with how the PC edition looks on high running at 1080p.  Everything keeps pace really well with only the slightest issues of slow-down from time to time when there’s a lot going on (like a mass of loot being spewed from a boss character) or an area is loading in.    The audio presentation is on par with the graphics with a soaring score that befits the game content.  Voice work is solid, if a little stiff – mostly due to some poor scripting that doesn’t feel natural.

The Diablo series has always been a great title to play whilst maybe not concentrating on it 100%.  For instance I studied for a load of exams whilst playing my way through Diablo 2.  Diablo 3 fits this bill as well.  It’s a great title to just sit back and turn your brain off too – it also works incredibly well on the PS Vita via remote play.  In actual fact I’ve probably put double the hours in via remote play than I have directly say at my console – so much so I’d really love a dedicated PS Vita edition now!

Diablo 3 PS4 1

Whether you choose to join with friends or even randoms from the internet the online experience is smooth and works incredibly well.   Even if you don’t want to directly play with others there are hooks in the game to let you know your friends are also playing.  Things like gifts you pick up that can be sent to named players on your friends list – There’s even a neat Nemesis mode where the game lets you know a foe has taken down a friend at some point.  If you beat that enemy you get some neat stuff for you and them.

 

Final Thoughts

Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition is the most enjoyable version of the Diablo 3 I’ve played.  The rebalancing of the loot system, the extra content, tightening of the overall play and the upcoming seasons content all push this through to be the best version for me personally.  The inclusion of the new Crusader class was also a master stroke that fitted my style of play perfectly.

Sure the PC version can look better and smoother if cranked up and purists will want the indirect control scheme too.  For me though I’ve spent more time with my PS4 version in these past few weeks than I have with my PC copy in the last two years.

A few niggles with difficulty, frame rate and transitioning from main to bonus content does little to dampen the spirits.  Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition is easily one of the most enjoyable titles on any platform this year.

 


Zeth

 
Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.