Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition Review 
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Darryn Bonthuys
August 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm

When Diablo 3 first launched in 2012, the game was a mess. Here was a decade’s worth of expectations crammed into a game that was riddled with bugs, the infamous Error 37 that hampered the mandatory online-access requirements and a real-money auction house that divided fans.

All of these issues have been ironed out since then, with the game popping up on console in a superb port from Blizzard. The third time’s the charm however, because the Ultimate Evil Edition isn’t just a great hop from PC and old-gen systems onto newer console hardware. It’s quite simply the best version of Diablo 3 so far.

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Two years after Diablo 3 was originally released, has resulted in time well spent by Blizzard in polishing up one of their key franchises to create a game that isn’t just more exciting, but complete. A rare feat in the industry today. What your cash buys you isn’t just the original Diablo 3 and the Reaper Of Souls expansion, but bonus features as well.

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Hell, even if you’re playing Diablo 3 for what may be the umpteenth time, it’s still magnificently fun, and the option to invite some friends over from around the world with absolute ease and minimal fuss makes for a better game. If you’ve yet to actually try the game, here’s the skinny on what’s has happened to Sanctuary since the events of Diablo 2 and its Lord Of Destruction expansion.

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Reality is a mess, with both Heaven and Hell warring against one another and humanity caught in the crossfire. Enter the player, choosing to start the adventure as one of several classes: Barbarian, Wizard, Witch Doctor, Monk, Demon Hunter and the new Crusader. Each character brings their own strengths and skills to the battlefield, with their various powers being dependent on new pools of energy such as Discipline, Rage, Wrath and Fury.

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Along the way, players can improve on those skill, unlocking new ones and adding more to them with runes that become available as their power grows. On the surface, it’s a simple system, but when you realise that you can create a Crusader who rushes into battle on a horse that leaves holy fire in his wake and he calls down bolts of lightning from the high heavens as opposed to a warrior who kills his foes from a distance and hurls his shield at them in a manner reminiscent of Captain America, the choices to create become far more detailed.

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But it’s the transfer of controls from mouse and keyboard to gamepad controller that make the biggest difference here. What Blizzard has done, is absolutely astounding. The controls don’t just work well, they actually make the game better. This has resulted in a far more visceral and exciting experience, with players plunged headfirst into demon-slaying action, with each press of the button feeling wonderfully mapped and intuitive. With the gameplay also now focused less on keeping an eye on both your energy reserves and health, players are naturally led into situations where they want to use all of the skills available to them, instead of mindlessly hacking and slashing.

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The inventory system is also simplified, giving players the nuts and bolts to find out which gear will work for them, with navigation through your kit being handled through a radial menu. It still feels a tad clunky, but it works and it shows off that in some aspects, there’s a reason why action-RPGs of this type are dominant on PC. Still, the PS4 version of the game makes use of the touchpad as an optional input method, which works rather nicely.

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But for the returning Diablo 3 player, what’s the real difference here? Well for starters, the game is running beautifully on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 hardware. It doesn’t boast new-gen visuals that’ll knock your socks off entirely, but that smoother frame-rate is a treat, as players navigate through New Tristram, Caldeum and various other locals that are rendered in that inimitable Blizzard visual style, beefing up their Nephalem hero and slaying evil. A new vendor in the form of an enchanter is also present, with players able to train this specific shop to enchant new bonuses on their gear and change the appearance of what they take into battle, in order to create a far more distinctive character.

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There’s a story to be had as well, but when compared to previous tales from Blizzard, it’s rather rubbish and poorly strung together, one of the few faults that I have with Diablo 3. Completing it doesn’t take long either, with a single initial playthrough easily taking under 8 hours for players to hack their way through. While that might be a deal-breaker in certain games, running through Diablo 3 and completing it then unlocks newer difficulty modes and the far more enticing Adventure Mode.

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What this mode does, is give players the run of Sanctuary and task them with tackling various bounties. From slaying a few hundred monsters to re-murdering a boss, these bounties then reward players with more loot, bloodstone shards that can be used to gamble for new items and an opportunity to open Nephalem Rifts.

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These levels then have players exterminating their way up a monster food chain, until the big bad boss of that region shows up, itching for a fight and packed with high levels of XP and loot. In fact, once players hit level 60, the game gets even deeper with the Paragon system, which provides further opportunities to create a powerful hero.

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In terms of social fun, there’s the afore-mentioned hop in and play option right from the start, with an apprentice system that gets players up to speed with their chums. There are also other social ideas present, such as Legendary gifts that can be sent to friends, and various Bane monsters crashing your party. You’ll know that these friend-killing beasts are arriving, when you hear a cloister bell ring, your controller rumble and OH HOLY TYRAEL THIS MONSTER IS OVERPOWERED! It’s a neat twist to social fun when you tackle a monster that is responsible for slaying one of your buddies, a small but meaningful addition to the core gameplay.

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Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition was played on Normal difficulty on PlayStation 4. Then it was played through again on Hard. And then again on Nightmare and Darryn has yet to emerge from his room and we’re starting to get worried about him and that funky odour he emits.

Conclusion

Diablo 3 may have been first on PC, but it is most definitely better on console.
9.0

Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition was reviewed by Darryn Bonthuys on a PlayStation 4

Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.

  • http://www.themovies.co.za Rinceable

    Oh man I need to get the console version of this and take a week off work.

    • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

      A week isn’t enough. When the PC version came out I became more sleep deprived than I’d been in a decade.

    • WarframedSquirrel

      I agree with @excheez:disqus a week isn’t enough… not by a long shot.

    • Rock789

      It’ll be oh-so-worth it. :)

    • Hammersteyn

      Too visit relatives? I mean Diablo?

    • Mitchell Davis

      This game is addictive!

  • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    I played it on console after all the raving and people just having public orgasms and the PC is just still better to me.

    Edit: Maybe the console guys just aren’t used to good games? Ooooohhhhhhh! Yeeeeeaaaaah!

    • SlagywaG

      Same here, played the praystation4 version and it was good… But just not as responsive and accurate

      • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

        I think if I owned only a console I would obviously get it, but it is just better with mouse and keyboard.

        When I think back I am kind of bummed still that they dumbed it down for console. No more skill tree and all that awesomeness from D2 :(

        • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

          No that all came in (out?) to meet the original deadline. Being in the beta for the original Diablo 3, what we were playing 5 months before release was a *very* different, watered-down title to what made it to retail.

    • ToshZA

      Internet down? How’s that working for you? hehehe.

      But to be fair, I never played it on PC – and I probably never will, because buying the same game twice isn’t a habit I’ve gotten into.

      • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

        Honestly my whole life of games lives on Steam. Internet being is just not an option for me :P

        Well except for the pirated games I have and the Gog.com games… Wait I’ll be fine. Also 4TB of movies and series. Wow I really will be fine.

        The internet thing was a bit of a bummer with Diablo, but I understood why they did it. Just the dumbing down for console that killed me the most :(

    • iAmWeasel

      I played Diablo 1 and 2 on PC, and honestly controlling those games with mouse was really kak compared to what I’m finding now with Diablo 3 on my PS4.

      • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

        I love the controls on PC though. Because I don’t have to do that turning thing with the analogue.

        All this from a PS3 and WiiU owner though. I am VERY much a PC gamer in the end.

      • Rags

        Yeah, I think they should make it so streamlined that you no longer have to click to engage enemies. And spell and weapons should be auto selected which is strongest. Also health and potion should auto regenerate. In fact the best would be to just let the game play itself while you watch. :P

        • iAmWeasel

          Sounds a lot better than controlling with mouse :P

  • Jonah Cash

    Very cool video review!! I like it!!!

    • ToshZA

      Agreed, I really like the video review thing.

  • iAmWeasel

    Umm… PC Master Race, show thyself!

    • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

      Hello.

    • Rags

      We no longer care for Banjo Kazooie, I mean Diablo.

      • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

        I do. Not Diablo 3 from May 2012, though. Diablo 3 as of March 2014 is where it’s at. ;)

  • ToshZA

    This’ll be the first game I buy for my PS4. I have D3 for my Xbox 360 already, so yeah. SO damn fun on console.

    Also, I need to add this because Darryn could never get this part of the game reviewed – co-op on the couch is the best diablo experience I’ve had to date.

  • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

    Points not mentioned here:
    1. Diablo 3 was designed by someone that didn’t work on the previous Diablo games, only WoW, hence its chunky awkward artstyle. He was moved on to another project after all the complaints.

    2. Reaper of Souls was designed by two people that worked on Diablo 2, and knew its core mechanics inside out. One of them was lead QA.

    • ToshZA

      And who was responsible for porting it over to console, refining the controls and gameplay to the point where PC just couldn’t compare?

      Even the original game, pre-expansion, is way better on console.

      • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

        That’ll be the same two that worked on Reaper of Souls. They developed the “loot 2.0″ ideology that was present in the console Diablo 3, and only came to PC shortly before the RoS expansion.

        • ToshZA

          That’s certainly a good part of what made console better the first time around. Thank you :D

          But the controls are also just so good, that team deserves its credit too.

          • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

            Definitely, very few thought that it could ever be played on a gamepad. :)

          • ToshZA

            Myself included, to be honest. Boy was I surprised. :P

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  • Sk3tz0

    Great game I had it on PC and Ps3. but i guess i’ll wait for a trade in.. not spending more coin on the same game for 3rd time. but a great game still.

  • Hesperus Phosphorus

    Why don’t you guys add the platform on which a game was reviewed in the byline under the header? Surely it’s more sensible than adding a footer with the info? I like to know what platform something’s been reviewed on before I read an article. Maybe I’m an exception, though…

    • ToshZA

      Console version of this is exactly the same, no matter which console you play it on. Just saying.

      • Reaver

        No, just no

  • http://www.consolewars.com/ Ben Dover Kuntz

    when are you gonna do the ps3 review of this?…..

    • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

      Do the content and controls differ?

      • ToshZA

        Nope. :D

        • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

          Ah. So, then I must say that my trolling senses are tingling. :P

    • http://www.lazygamer.net/ The D

      We only got a PS4 review copy of this game unfortunately.

      • Hammersteyn

        “unfortunately” You got the only right copy imo

  • Rock789

    It is amazing! Love this version of Diablo III and definitely feel it’s the best! Am LOVING my first playthrough and can’t wait to tackle a higher difficulty with my leveled up Crusader (or try a new character). Seriously addictive fun… Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some slaying to do…

    **screams are heard emanating from the office**

  • big willy

    Just bought this game cant wait to get off work and get back into diablo. I Haven’t played since D2 LOD so stoked

    • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

      I’m quite jealous of you. You’ve missed out on the awful first two years of Diablo 3, and are jumping in to where it’s at its best! :)

  • Guest

    So addicted to this game since I got it…a great break from FPS types…looking awesome on X1, everything is crisp and great colors on my plasma.

  • Xcalibersa

    soooo this gets a 9 while TLOU gets an 8,4?

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  • Geoff Murphy

    Does the ps4 version require an internet connection ever?

    • Hammersteyn

      D3 didn’t, you could play with four controllers on the one TV

      • Geoff Murphy

        Thanks, man

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