Being a newbie to the Diablo series I wasn’t too sure what to expect, sure I was aware of Blizzard’s epic top down High Fantasy RPG and its PC cult following but never had a chance to get hands on with it. So when the opportunity to do so came up with Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on the PS4 port, there was no way I was letting it pass.
I must say the intro video was beautiful and the realism was really apparent, but unfortunately that’s where it ends on a graphical level. In game the output is 1080p but the characters looked ‘Blocky’ at times, there was an option to see your character up close, however it would look reminiscent of the PS2 era. Not Cool. Obviously being a top down game it wasn’t up close and personal too often but it was due to this I felt the it could have been improved a lot more, especially with the maps!
In Diablo III: Reaper of Souls before setting off for the adventure you need a hero right? You have several character classes to choose from, these include a Crusader, Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor and Wizard with both genders being available – Good Mix! They each have their own unique abilities and style of play, But if you’re hoping to customize your chosen hero then you’re out of luck! You do get to name your character that appears on screen when interacting but that’s pretty much it. You will need to choose a difficulty level before you begin, the options are Normal, Hard, Expert, Master and Torment, as a noob I opted for normal!
So with my Wizard fresh off the assembly line I was ready to go, your job as the hero is to stop the prophecy that started to unfold when a ‘Fallen Star’ hit the cathedral in New Tristam, this caused the undead to rise along with a whole lot of other supernatural goings on. As I started I soon realised you start with the very basics, one attack and some potions, but you level up quite quick through an XP bar that is built up by dishing out the damage; and new attacks and skills become available as you progress. You start off with a basic inventory too but new equipment, weapons and armour are found through a comprehensive loot system that is presented by killing enemies, finding treasure chests, buying from the merchant or doing it the old fashion way – crafting it! This was available after completing some of the quests.
The controls in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls are simple enough, each attack gets assigned a button slot so R2 for lighting attack, X for sword attack – you get the picture! As you level up you can upgrade the attacks that take the place of the weaker ones, you will need to as the enemies get a lot stronger as you progress. Movement of course is through the analogue sticks, you will need to have a play about with the controller when you start the game as it doesn’t really run through it to begin with; bit of a gripe on my part.
So how did I find the gameplay? Well it was smooth enough, it was quite linear though, and ploughing through hordes of enemies in duplicated areas and levels is hardly next gen! But don’t think of it as, it was never initially designed for the next gen consoles and is just a port. The visual effects of spells and magic were pleasing to the eye, nice and crisp, plus the sound effects were very satisfying especially the crack of my lightening spell! However gameplay got repetitive…quickly, and then found myself yearning for companions, if you’re looking for a good single player experience then this game is probably not for you. So with that in mind I got a dungeon bashing buddy in the form of my brother to join me, I got to admit this did really enhance the experience but again we got the stage of repetitive gameplay fatigue – I’d imagine it would be even better with 4 players though!
If you’re looking for a game that will take weeks/months to complete then Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is for you, after playing for 6 hours straight I didn’t even crack Act 1 – there are 5 Acts to go through! this could be down to my completionist mentality though as I had to cover every corner of every level, you know no loot can be left behind! It did have some replay value in terms of choosing different characters to play but you would always have to follow the same liner storyline – don’t expect an open world to roam around in!
So in conclusion Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is a good game but it does suffer from repetitiveness, linear gameplay and lack of character customisation, however having several character classes to choose from, in depth levelling system and the co-operative aspect were definitely plus points, just make sure you have some dungeon bashing buddies on standby!
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