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Lifewire / Kelsey Simon
Fun mob killing
Good design changes for Nintendo Switch
Lots of loot
Local co-op gameplay
Slightly boring plotline
Diablo III continues the beloved gameplay of the series with a new story, abilities, and characters. While fun, the game can get repetitive at times, and is better played with a friend to keep things interesting.
Diablo III : Eternal Collection is a button-mashing role-playing game focused on mob enemies, looting, and fun spammable abilities. Very similar to the previous Diablo games, Diablo III follows the same gameplay but with a new story, and a few new abilities and characters. I spent 15 hours playing the game on the Nintendo Switch and I completed it on the PC. Read on to see how it holds up compared to the older games.
Diablo III takes place twenty years after the second game―not that you need to have played the other Diablo games to jump into the third. A star falls from the sky and hits the Cathedral and Deckard Cain disappears. You’ll come to the town where the star fell and investigate. You’ll meet various characters in this town, some of which will sell you supplies, help you enchant items, and provide missions. After meeting Leah, you’ll go with her to rescue Cain, only to learn that a Skeleton King has risen and you need to defeat it.
Diablo is built around the idea of small missions building into larger and larger ones. The game is split into four acts, taking you through cities and introducing you to various characters until you finally come face to face with Diablo himself. You’ll meet demon lords, archangels, enchantresses and thieves, teleporting between locations to do missions for various NPCs.
While the plot is present, it isn’t very exciting. Especially not in comparison to the other Diablo games. The storylines tend to blur together, and nothing stands out as distinctly unique in comparison to the other Diablo games. In some ways, Blizzard did this purposefully, attempting to appeal to fans, but while there’s enough of a story to propel you forward, it hardly holds your attention.
Diablo III’s gameplay is extremely similar to Diablo II. The game is a third-person role-playing adventure with a focus on an almost button-mashing system of combat. At the start of the game you’ll be asked to pick your class. Class choice is a major part of Diablo, and is the major function of what makes the game replayable.
You’ll get to pick between barbarian, crusader, demon hunter, monk, necromancer, witch doctor, and wizard. Which class you pick will define the abilities you’ll be able to use and your character’s attack style. For instance, wizards will mainly use elemental spells to kill enemies, while necromancers will focus on summoning.
Once into the game, you’ll set out across open land and start killing zombies. You’ll follow the map along to the town, and there you’ll meet the game’s main NPCs and get your first mission. Diablo will follow a set of simple game playing rules: get a mission, clear an area of the map, climb down into a dungeon, and clear it out. Rinse and repeat. These dungeons will almost always end in a boss. It’s this rinse and repeat that makes Diablo both fun, and sometimes boring―it just depends on your mood.
The game is split into four acts, taking you through cities and introducing you to various characters until you finally come face to face with Diablo himself.
There are a few things that make the rinse and repeat mob killing in Diablo fun. First, the loot. Enemies will drop a range of loot from basic items to rare. Obviously, bosses will drop better loot, and it’s this higher level loot that tends to spur one on to the next level, and the next. It’s especially enticing when one gets loot specific to your chosen class, or an item that enhances your main attack.
Which brings up the second thing that makes the game fun―always striving to kill these mobs as efficiently as possible. Each class comes with a variety of abilities that you’ll slowly unlock over the course of the game and it’s part of the fun to try these abilities in a variety of combinations, testing to see what works best.
I originally played through Diablo III on the PC, and it was interesting to see the differences between the PC version and the Switch. For starters, healing potions do not exist in the Switch version like they do in the PC version. On the Switch, you have infinite healing potions but there is a time limit on how often you can use one. Other simplifications that come with the Switch version deal with the inventory and skills interface. On the Switch, the menu will bring up your character and provide a wheel option, showing all the item slots available. You’ll be able to scroll around the wheel, selecting helmet or belt, and seeing what other available items you have.
Considering that Diablo can get complex with regards to inventory slots and skills, the simplification of these features for the Switch is absolutely necessary, and the changes are designed well. The only negative to playing on the Switch is that if you play on the handheld only, the screen is too small to appreciate some of the details Blizzard put in on the game’s scenery and enemies.
The graphics of Diablo III are what you expect of a new Diablo game. The textures are detailed and realistic, and the models are well designed. The feel of the game keeps with the older version, and most of the character models look like updated versions of the originals. The game kept to the strange glowing of higher-level enemies that tends to draw the eye, signifying a higher likelihood of rare loot.
Of course, the thematic feel of the game is dark and demonic, as suits the plot. No matter which map it is you’re visiting, the visuals will always be a bit dreary. Dungeons are dark and enemies are slightly disgusting. It fits well with the games overall theme, and with the vibe of Diablo series overall.
Diablo III is expensive for the Nintendo Switch, costing the standard new game price of $60. This isn’t bad for a normal Switch game, but the thing is, Diablo III has been out for a long time.
Which class you pick will define the abilities you’ll be able to use and your character’s attack style.
Originally released in 2012, Diablo is getting a bit dated, and most fans are looking and waiting for the next sequel. However, it’s worth mentioning that the Switch version is the Eternal Collection, which includes all Diablo III content. This does help make the value more worthwhile, but ultimately, I’d suggest waiting until the game goes on sale or consider some of the cheaper alternatives that will offer similar gameplay.
Diablo was a favorite when the second game in the series came out―popular enough that a lot of other gaming companies jumped at the chance to recreate the Diablo experience their own way.
There are a few top titles that will feel like Diablo, but with slight differences. First is the Torchlight Series. Torchlight 2 (see on Nintendo) is also available on the Switch, and costs far less than Diablo III, but it does come with less gameplay. However, if the dark and creepy feel of Diablo isn’t your thing, then Torchlight is a great option. It has a cuter, more childish feel, and the gameplay is just as fun.
The second game worth looking into is Path of Exile (see on Steam). While not available on the Switch, Path of Exile is a free to play PC game that is almost exactly like Diablo III―only in my opinion, better. Loads of expansions have been added to Path of Exile, and the game is extremely popular as it takes the fun mob killing and looting of Diablo and goes one step further.
A fun mindless button masher on the Nintendo Switch.
Diablo III is fun and comes with addictive qualities that will pull you back in again and again. The Switch version comes with local co-op, which can be another incentive if you’re considering the game. Sit on the couch with a loved one and button mash your way through hell, but be ready for some repetitive gameplay.