Sunday, 31 August 2014

Anytime Reviews: Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition!

Loot. Lots of loot. And monsters.

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Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition marks the Action RPG's transfer onto the next generation of consoles (i.e the Xbox One and PS4), with improved visuals and the Reaper of Souls DLC included. Both published and developed by Blizzard Entertainment, it follows a protagonist who is Nephalem, offspring of both angel and demon which have a name and class of your choosing who has to defeat the evil Lord of Terror, Diablo and multiple other Lords of various bad things to save the world and collect glorious, powerful loot. The story isn't that interesting, but it sets up multiple zones and makes you face multiple enemies using the fun combat system, not forgetting the realistic voice acting.

You choose one of six classes: The Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor and Wizard, each having different play styles, gear and voice actors. The isometric gameplay itself is enjoyable, with an array of interesting skills to choose from, each bound to different buttons. I played as the Demon Hunter, who was mobile and fought with crossbows and traps. You are also able to dodge and perform mini tasks in order to acquire buffs to help you, such as killing multiple enemies in succession, which provides you with double damage which lets you kill more enemies, extending the buff. Being an RPG, you are also able to find gear and loot by killing things and completing quests, as well as crafting equipment too. You are able to equip armor, weaponry and accessories which, depending on rarity and quality also give you buffs to character stats. You can also carry over your stats from a previous save, even if it was on a separate console brand.

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The areas that aren't dungeons are very open and filled with things to kill, but some seem slightly plain like the desert area in Act II. The dungeons are randomly generated, as is the loot, so it is a unique experience for each player when venturing into dungeons. Traps litter these dungeons, but they are in fact for your enemies and not the player and give increased gold gain. In my opinion it was a little too easy so I set it to Hard halfway through the first Act, although the difficulty can be set to much, much higher for more reward and challenge. The 4 player co-op is fun, making you feel like part of a team if the roles are varied enough, and there is lots of replay value for better equipment, stats and general fun in adventure or nightmare mode after the main campaign is finished. I would say 30-40 hours of enjoyment is included in the box, including an entire Act added in due to the Reaper of Souls expansion pack included with the game, but it does get slightly repetitive after a while, still fun though, and things will start to probably get old after multiple hours, but you can't really blame it.

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Visually the game is stunning in some parts but sometimes drops the ball a little. Most textures are very good and detailed, but there are some flat undetailed ones. There are some jaw-dropping moments where the perspective changes and that's where it starts to look really interesting. Blizzard also makes beautiful cinematics which looked absolutely amazing, tons of detail and brilliantly produced. The frame rate also stays solid apart from when there are massive events occurring and I noticed framerate drop when other players were in my game. It could have used a more varied colour pallete though, as each act only seemed to focus on a single range of colours.

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All in all, Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition  has tonnes of value, with updated graphics and bundled with additional content while having a stellar combat system and enticing loot. The story needs to have more to it though, but other than that, if you are a big RPG fan and own a next gen console, this is not a game to miss.


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