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Diablo 3: what PS3 and PS4 users can expect from Blizzard's RPG

25 February 2013

When Diablo 3 was released last year on PC it sold 3.5 million copies in 24 hours. Just a few days later sales had risen to 6.5 million, making it the fastest selling PC game of all time. Now, with a PlayStation 3 and 4 release of this popular RPG dungeon-crawler from Blizzard recently announced, what exactly have console owners got to look forward to?

Aside from the existence of Diablo 3 on PlayStation platforms nothing else has been confirmed, so I thought I would look at what the PC version of the game offers to give PS users an idea of what they can expect when the game launches.

Firstly, when it comes to story, Diablo 3 doesn't really offer anything new; you take on the role of a brave adventurer out to banish the fiends of hell back to their infernal realm in order to save the world from the arch-fiend Diablo. The game itself plays like the old arcade game "Gauntlet," but with an isometric rather than top-down view of the landscape, which not only looks good but is also exploitable by players and enemies who can attack from height or destroy terrain as they see fit.

To battle the minions of hell players can choose from five different classes, each of which has its own fighting style, for example, monks are hand-to-hand experts whereas wizards like to cast spells from a distance.

             

The five classes of Diablo III

A lot of effort has been taken to make sure each class feels and plays differently to its contemporaries; they each have different voices, animations and powers that allow them to alternate tactics and play styles. The variety of classes and gameplay is the backbone of playing Diablo 3 so I would imagine that Blizzard will keep everything that is in the PC version at the very least; if they add more then PS owners can only be winners.

Whichever class you choose to play you will not be alone in your struggle as during the game companions can be found to fight alongside you and NPCs can be unlocked who will, for the right ingredients, craft you powerful weapons and armor. Diablo 3 also supports multiplayer where you can join up to three friends or you can take the plunge and enter with a group of random players. Fighting the good fight not only grants in-game rewards but also allows you to try to complete a whole host of achievements ranging from easy to downright impossible. These achievements should convert very nicely to PS trophies.

You might be thinking that while Diablo 3 sounds interesting it doesn't really offer anything that you haven't been seen before, so what is it about this game that produced the consumer frenzy among PC owners on its release - a frenzy, it’s interesting to note, that was not lessened by the ten years it took for the game to be produced?

           

The first screenshot of Diablo III on PS3/PS4

Well, Diablo 3 doesn't just offer great gameplay it also has lots of extra features that enhance the game, and in one case sparked controversy. Let’s take a look at Blizzard's controversial gameplay addition and one of the gameplay modes.

Controversy came with the news that Diablo 3 offers two types of in-game auction house, one which uses in-game gold as its currency and a second in which players could sell in-game items for real world money ( with Blizzard taking a 15 percent cut.) Despite concerns that this would encourage gold farming or even be used by criminals for money laundering, Blizzard went ahead and implemented the real world auction house without any of the problems predicted.

For those worried that a real money auction house on the PS version of Diablo 3 could cause the game to become ‘pay to win,’ I found that it was very easy to farm enough gold to buy what I needed on the in-game currency auction house.

Anyway, there is no news that this feature will be part of the console game, but there is no doubt that if Blizzard wants to make as much money from the game as the PC version then this will be the feature that is needed rather than the sporadic income that can be made putting out DLC.

Another interesting feature in Diablo 3 is ‘hardcore mode’. This means that you play the game as normal but when you die it's game over; your character, their gear and all your hard work are all gone and you have to start again from the opening of the game with a brand new character.

Now, I don't have a lot of hair anyway, but when I started playing Diablo 3 in hardcore mode what little I had soon became a distant memory as one careless move or missed heal sent my characters to the hardcore hall of memory time after time. But despite this I found that hardcore mode is actually fun and the underlying tension of you only having one shot really makes you play the game in a different ( and more cautious) way because as you level up you really start to think about the power-up options, the gear on offer and how you might maximise your survival. Oh, and as there are a whole set of achievements to aim for in hardcore gaming mode tool, I have no doubt that it will make it to the PS game.

All in all I really enjoyed Diablo 3 on the PC and its many characters, achievements and game modes encouraged me to play it time and time again. As long as Blizzard doesn’t try to alter any of the features that made the game so playable then it’s surely onto a winner when it comes to PS3 and PS4 release, with or without the real money auction house.

So is Diablo 3 on your must-have list, or will you be giving it a miss?


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