Published on September 5th, 2014 | by IceCube
REVIEW: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition
Summary: Diablo III has been out for a while: first on PC, then on last-gen consoles and let’s not forget the Reaper of Souls DLC. But I deliberately held off my Diablo III review until this very moment, to play the complete game from the start on a new-gen console so that it’s peformance is at its very best. The results, I found, don’t match the hype it received.
Concept: Diablo III is the sequel to a genre-defining action RPG series that involves fantasy heroes destroying waves of classic monsters and hording large amounts of loot. This edition is the first available for current-gen consoles, PS4 and Xbox One, and contains the Reaper of Souls DLC as one complete pack, as well as a few small new features, like Apprentice Mode and Gift mailing. There’s six classes to choose from and a male and female version of each, which provides a good variety.
Graphics: The traditional, top-down combat angle remains in tact which is a good thing. It looks clean and feels smooth. As chaotic as the screenshots appear, the pace of the game moves quite slowly, which I like, as it prevents the game from becoming to chaotic and messy. The backgrounds sometimes contain unexpected visual surprises and movements, purely for aesthetic appeal and it’s a nice touch. Some of the characters, however, lack the detail we’ve seen in many PC MMO’s. They lack texture and appear quite “simple”.
Gameplay: The transition from keyboard to controller is as good as you could ask for, and perfectly playable. The downsides are less buttons for quick skills and potions, as well as directional combat instead of point-and-click. Fortunately the balance is well-executed and fighting with a controller doesn’t seem to affect the difficulty much at all
Sound: I was slightly disappointed by the music. The town music in particular was iconic in the previous games, and set an ambient tone that we all identify with the series. This game doesn’t capture that mood as well as it had in the past. Torchlight, a similar fantasy series, seems to do Diablo music better than Diablo does now. The voice acting too was disappointing, the characters and NPC’s lacking intensity and believability.
Multiplayer: This game includes splitscreen and online co-op play for up to four players, which is just what this game needs. It’s not the first game of this style to do it though, as other series like: Champions Of Norrath, Baldur’s Gate and Sacred were well into it during the past years that Diablo was “asleep”. The good news is that you can drop in and drop out, with loot and experience split appropriately between players. It’s a great system that is both fair and fun.
Awesomeness: As a Diablo I and II fan from way back I was looking forward to this sequel, but games had evolved so much since the last time I played it, that this sequel needed something special to make it stand out – but that “special something” is not here. It felt like a polished version of a fairly generic and common button-mashing, loot-hoarding game. That’s not the sound of an award-winning epic with 5-star ratings. Has nostalgia played too heavily in many takes of this game?
Final Word: I enjoyed this smooth, polished, loot-hoarding game and it gets a solid tick of approval. But the things that let this game down for me is the music and atmosphere, which failed to grasp me as convincingly as it did before, and the character detail which doesn’t match the attention many other games are achieving around the same time. It’s a good game and I liked it, but quite underwhelming after all the hype it received. A masterpiece it is not.
Summary: 1 = Poor, 2 = Average, 3 = Good, 4 = Great, 5 = Amazing