Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition Review - A Reaper Hit

Jim Sterling | 12 Aug 2014 03:01
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Developed by Blizzard Entertainment. Published by Blizzard Entertainment. Released August 19, 2014. Available on PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One.


It's become somewhat cool to hate Diablo III these days, even long after Blizzard Entertainment eradicated the shambolic Auction House and put the focus firmly on earning loot the proper way. You dare to talk about the game on social media these days, and you'll be inundated with people quick to remind you that the game "ruined" Diablo forever, and utterly sucks compared to that which came before.

I must confess, I am not one of those people. Diablo III was, in my opinion, a delightful game in its own right, one that stole days and days of my time as I replayed the campaign on increasingly ludicrous difficulty settings. With Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition, I had little trouble diving right back in, and losing my days all over again.

Ultimate Evil Edition marks the game's debut on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, bringing not only improvements from the original 2012 PC release, but the Reaper of Souls expansion. Best of all, there's not a trace of the Auction House, the loathsome thing that undermined loot-grabbing, as well as crafting, in an attempt to turn Diablo III into eBay: The Videogame.

Since this is my review and I'll use any platform I have, let me just say it's almost infuriating how better a game Diablo III is without a system put in place to try and force the use of a contrived marketplace. In one campaign run of the game on PS4, I'd picked up more character-relevant equipment than I'd done in multiple playthroughs of my pre-improved PC version. Without the auction house, there's an actual joy in defeating bosses and pouring through his loot drops. There's an actual point to the crafting system. One isn't inundated with crap they don't need in a cloying attempt to make them sell it to some other player. There's some bloody soul now - something the Auction House had, somewhat fittingly, reaped.

Playing Diablo III on a PS4 controller feels pretty damn good, with the face and shoulder buttons conveniently mapping one's skills, while the D-Pad handles maps and town teleportation. Using any of the attacks will trigger an auto-aim feature that sometimes has a habit of targeting the wrong guy (such as, say, a demon that's a mile away from the one that's smashing your face in), but moving the left stick will select another enemy and regularly resolve any issues.

The left side of the touchpad brings up one's inventory, while the right side quickly brings up the skill menu. All in all, the game's mapped with a sense of pleasant convenience on the DualShock 4, and while purists may stand adamantly by their mice and keyboards, I personally enjoyed using the controller a little bit more, and dug the sense of direct control I had over my character. I fully understand that such words are as blasphemy in the eyes of vengeful gods, and I have already submitted myself for electroshock correction.

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