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staticneuron

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition Review

by staticneuron

posted August 19, 2014 @ 2:10PM
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filed under ReviewGames

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Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition marks the third time in three years that Blizzard has released the core game. In 2012, we were treated to Diablo III on the PC, a game that featured a fair number of missteps (the auction house being the biggest one) that threatened to topple what was once of the greatest gaming franchises. In 2013, Diablo III saw release for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, adding a number of enhancements that showed us that underneath all the grime of the 2012 PC release was an amazing game. The PC version eventually received those enhancements plus an expansion pack, finally transforming the game into the greatness it was always meant to be. 2014 brings us Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, representing the final culmination of everything Blizzard has learned in the past three years.

If you've played Diablo III on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, you know the controls translate extremely well to a controller: To some, it even plays better with a controller than it does with the standard keyboard/mouse combination. On the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the controls feel just as intuitive as they did in the previous generation, no changes there.

In terms of content, Diablo III: Ultimate Edition contains the entirety of Diablo III plus the PC expansion pack, Reaper of Souls. What this means for you is that you're getting a lot of gameplay for $60. One of the biggest additions is Adventure Mode, a game that strips the story and lets you challenge dungeons and monsters to your heart's content with the promise of getting ever better loot. For gamers who care about aesthetics in addition to functionality, the new Artisan NPC lets you change the look of your armor while keeping its stats.

Some of the exclusive new changes to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version of the game all revolve around the social aspect. For example, finding a legendary in your game increases the chance that gamers on your friend's list will find legendary items in their own game, while the Nemesis System sends any monster that kills you to a friend's game so your friend can claim revenge. For players who want to work together in a more direct sense, there is the ability to mail items directly to one another along with the new Apprentice Mode, which gives lower-level players a boost when playing with any player of a higher level.

One major difference between Diablo III on the last generation of consoles and Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition is in the graphics. Ultimate Evil Edition looks stunning on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, looking just as good as the PC version and not featuring any of the cutbacks of the last generation console versions. For those who own both systems, the PlayStation 4 version is the one to get, not only because it looks and runs slightly better but because it includes exclusive bonuses, such as a dungeon themed after The Last of Us. Another difference is the fact that the PlayStation 4's DualShock 4 touchpad can be used to navigate the in-game menus, along with the game offering the Remote Play functionality for gamers who also own a Vita.

If you've bought the previous version of Diablo III on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, Blizzard is offering free character transfers to the new version of the game, letting you keep your progress and continue your adventure. A small, but definitely important, addition, especially with a game where 100 to 200 hours of playtime is normal.

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition was a long time coming, but the wait has been absolutely worth it. Whether you own Diablo III on a previous system or are a brand new player to the franchise, the game is one of the best of 2014. The great gameplay and near infinite levels of replayability make Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition one game you're going to be playing for a long time.

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