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Review

Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition Review

Can Ultimate Evil Be Ultimately Good?

It’s possible that for many of you, Diablo 3 has already been and gone. It hit PC gamers over two years ago in 2012 and was the best selling PC game of that year shifting in excess of 12 million copies. PS3 and 360 owners joined the fray a year later with a console edition that made the transition exceptionally well. The undead have been vanquished, all the loot has been equipped and subsequently discarded; Diablo has been defeated. Yet here we are with the PS4 edition of the game, which also includes the Reaper Of Souls expansion pack, all wrapped up in a 1080p box. Should you return to the world of Sanctuary? Or should it be junked like all those unneeded items?

Diablo 3 certainly looks the part on PS4, with crisp and clear visuals combining with a 60fps refresh rate to ensure that all that monster culling is very smooth, bar the very occasional hiccup. It’s a distinct step up from the PS3 release, and probably very close to the original game’s performance on a decent-spec PC. Its presentation however is still very PC-esque, with uninteresting text overlays, and a particularly unfussy interface. This doesn’t detract from the game in any way, especially when dealing with all that loot, but console gamers may find it less pleasing to the eye than they’re used to.

Diablo Image 1

As with the original release, whilst your overarching task is to defeat Diablo, the key element of the game is killing an extortionate number of enemies to gain experience whilst collecting the resulting loot to equip to your character This in turn allows you to dispatch bigger enemies, for more experience, and more advanced loot. That’s the game’s cycle, and it’s a well thought out one at that, providing a steady stream of reciprocation from a game that wants to take you just a little bit further, to lay to rest just a few more horrors. The PS4 edition also includes the expansion pack’s Adventure Mode, which in essence is a game without end. Upon completing the main campaign the mode allows you to explore all of the areas of the game whilst continuing to level and loot to your hearts content.

The Reaper Of Souls expansion pack adds a fifth act to the campaign as well as a sixth character to the original’s roster in the form of the Crusader, who now appears alongside the Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Monk, Demon Hunter and Wizard at the beginning of your adventure. It has to be said that whilst the Crusader definitely looks the part, and plays as well as any of the other characters with a good range of interesting abilities available, his voice-acting is of a particularly poor standard, and that’s saying something for a game who’s storytelling ability is hammier than a cold buffet. It’s simply not that important though when you’re running through another villain, and perhaps Blizzard are well aware of that.

One key element of the game which is solely available to PS4 owners is the ability to remote play the game via their PS Vita. I thought that this would be a huge boon, and realistically given the nature of the game a good opportunity to hack my way through a horde or two via the work wifi. The truth is that the game simply hasn’t been optimised enough for the smaller screen, and you’re left squinting at miniscule letters and icons trying to decipher what has been said, whilst attacking creatures that make the Borrowers look like giants. The controls on the Vita just don’t hold up that well either, with the rear touchpad continuing to be a poor imitation of digital buttons. It’s a shame really as one of the key differentiators for people who’ve already played Diablo 3 would be the chance to play it on the go. I just can’t recommend that you do.

Diablo Image 2

There are other additions to the PS4 version however that may prove to be more useful to players. You now have the ability to gift items to those on your friends list through the in-game mailbox, and when you find a legendary item you’re provided with a second item that you can send to those you deem worthy.

Blizzard have also looked at the trend for connected gaming with the introduction of ‘Avenger Kill’ monsters, who upon defeating you will jump into a portal and find their way into a friend’s game of Diablo 3 and attack them. If they die at this monster’s hand then it will level up again and seek out a new victim from their friends list. It’s an interesting way of personalising combat and villains which can at times become a touch too workmanlike.

Finally the game also includes an Apprentice mode, which allows you to play co-op with lower level players while they have their abilities boosted for the duration of the session. This could prove to be invaluable given that you have the ability to import your character data from PS3 to the PS4, meaning you could be a far higher level than many of your friends. In this manner you can help them advance in the game, without having your experience neutered.

What’s Good:

  • Crisp and clear visuals
  • A rewarding gameplay cycle
  • Hours of potential gameplay

What’s Bad:

  • Terrible remote play implementation
  • Risk of monotony from the combat
  • Occasionally dull presentation

Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls – Ultimate Edition is a fantastic release of an already great game. There may just about be enough here for veterans of the original release and its expansion to return to the world of Sanctuary, but for those who’ve yet to experience it the PS4 edition is a truly excellent dungeon-crawling RPG, and the definitive console release, capable of providing hours and hours of gameplay.

9/10

28 Comments
  1. JustTaylorNow
    Member
    Since: Oct 2011

    Good read, i was hesitant to buy this last gen after watching videos on you tube but gave in for this gen.
    I bought this game, ain’t opened it yet as I am trying finish last of us first before touching any other game.

    What do you mean by poor remote play implementation? Is it the button placement? I think infamous excuted best button placement for remote play.

    Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 09:07.
    • Tony Cawley
      Pint! Pint!
      Since: Feb 2009

      If you read the review he says exactly what he means by it.

      “One key element of the game which is solely available to PS4 owners is the ability to remote play the game via their PS Vita. I thought that this would be a huge boon, and realistically given the nature of the game a good opportunity to hack my way through a horde or two via the work wifi. The truth is that the game simply hasn’t been optimised enough for the smaller screen, and you’re left squinting at miniscule letters and icons trying to decipher what has been said, whilst attacking creatures that make the Borrowers look like giants. The controls on the Vita just don’t hold up that well either, with the rear touchpad continuing to be a poor imitation of digital buttons. It’s a shame really as one of the key differentiators for people who’ve already played Diablo 3 would be the chance to play it on the go. I just can’t recommend that you do.”

      It must be so frustrating writing a review and having people just read the summary.

      Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 09:36.
      • JustTaylorNow
        Member
        Since: Oct 2011

        Thank you Tony! Can always count on you :) was too busy to read it properly so schemed through bits of it but thank you for the quote, I am sure the writer will understand not everyone will have time to read but bits of it

        Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 09:40.
  2. Tony Cawley
    Pint! Pint!
    Since: Feb 2009

    It sounds good, right up my street but I’m well into TLOU right now which should last me up until destiny which should then last me for yonks. Don’t know whether to get this or wait for the next dry spell and pick it up a bit cheaper then. Good review but one question comes out of it, is this game designed solely to be played with others or can it be just as good going solo?

    Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 09:33.
    • Jones81
      Member
      Since: Mar 2010

      Definately can be played solo, its just as good

      Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 13:38.
      • Lieutenant Fatman
        Member
        Since: Jul 2013

        It’s fantastic both in co-op and solo. I’ve already put 10 hours in, very impressed with it.

        Comment posted on 21/08/2014 at 09:05.
  3. Amphlett
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    Great read Dominic, but I must pull you up on your summary of the game. I thoroughly disagree with the number of hours this game might provide. I think you should have stated it more like “hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and…”.
    I reckon I might have to play through the game at least 3 times before I get to know all of the options, gear, stats, spells, etc.

    I played around 5 hours last night on co-op and the sessions were seamless. Creating party chat over headsets and playing Diablo3 on PS4 is a dream. Thank you Blizzard!

    Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 09:45.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      Hang on.. party chats? Does it have interwebs co-op as well as local? I thought it was only local?

      Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 11:18.
      • double-o-dave
        Member
        Since: Nov 2008

        Must have. I played online co-op on the PS3 demo a while back.

        Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 11:26.
      • Amphlett
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Yeah, the new fangled on-line interwebs co-op is working. I played through the whole of Act 1 last night in on-line co-op. The magic of the interwebs!

        In the main menu a list of your PSN (or presumably xbox) buddies is on the right of the screen, together with their current character level. Just select them and invite to a bit of co-op fun.

        Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 12:57.
  4. double-o-dave
    Member
    Since: Nov 2008

    Cheers for the write up as I’m in 2 minds over this. I think it depends on how many of mates buy the game for co-op.
    Half tempted to pick a copy up on the way home from work this evening.
    Like Tony asks… Is it something you can play though solo if no one else it available? Has it got local co-op too?

    Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 10:17.
    • JigsawPieces
      Member
      Since: Sep 2010

      It definitely has local co-op :) We played a few hours of it last night that way and it was great.

      It should properly support multiple local profiles, too, though I don’t know if that extends to trophies etc yet (we haven’t earned any yet!).

      Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 10:39.
      • double-o-dave
        Member
        Since: Nov 2008

        Cool, my interest is slowly increasing. I’m gonna go do a bit more research.

        Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 10:46.
      • Amphlett
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Local co-op and on-line co-op. I believe, though I haven’t tried it yet, that you can also mix both local and on-line co-op (don’t quote me on this last bit). On-line co-op is seamless, lag free and tonnes of fun.

        Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 13:00.
      • Moonpie
        Member
        Since: Oct 2012

        Yep, local and online coop. I also like the fact that enemies appear to be sendable to friends on your psn list to attack them if they take you down first

        Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 13:59.
    • Jones81
      Member
      Since: Mar 2010

      I can confirm its a LOT of fun when played solo.

      I havent actually been online yet and might wait till I leveled up the 3 classes I will be switching between. This game is amazing

      Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 13:36.
  5. Kennykazey
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    Bought it last night for Xbone, wanted it digitally and there was no way I’d pay the full asking price on Playstation when I could have it for 60 USD.

    I did start it up late last night, but was met by the bane of my existence; a character creator. The decision proved too great for me, so I had to capitulate and sleep on it. Will give it another go today after work…

    Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 10:18.
    • Eldaveo
      Member
      Since: Oct 2013

      LOL sounds like me when it comes to creating characters – I’ve been looking on forums today to see what class to go for first.

      Wanted to buy a copy of this digitally but was put off by the £60 price tag so popped to Tesco last night to buy a physical copy… OoS! :(

      Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 15:08.
  6. homerjnick
    Member
    Since: Jun 2010

    9 out of 10 is right, it is an amazing game and runs so smoothly…the gripe about the Vita is true but I suspect about 1% of PS4 gamers will be using their Vita to play D3 UEE therefore in my eyes it doesn’t matter.

    This game will sell millions on the next gen consoles…

    Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 10:20.
  7. tactical20
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    How is it from a single player perspective?

    Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 10:44.
    • MrYd
      Member
      Since: Mar 2011

      Unless they’ve changed anything from last year’s version, it’s a lot of fun solo. Quite possible to get through the whole thing on your own. I didn’t really bother with anything other than solo play last year, got a nice platinum trophy (which looks like it could be a lot harder, or at least take longer, in this new version) and even managed to do all the shenanigans required to visit Whimsyshire. (Which is a magical place. Obviously the best place in the entire game)

      Not sure if the hardcore, perma-death mode would be better with extra players or not. That’s at least possible on the easiest setting (there was a trophy for doing it). Other players when you’re trying desperately not to die permanently could be a good or bad thing. Not sure.

      Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 11:04.
  8. MrYd
    Member
    Since: Mar 2011

    The biggest problem I’ve got with this is that I played it on the PS3 less than a year ago. I would quite like to play the extra content, but that’s not an option without buying the whole game again. I see they’ve put the fact that it includes the original (less than a year old) game as a “bonus” on the box. A bonus I’ve already got and so don’t need and yet don’t have any choice about. You can’t just buy the extra content.

    So after paying full price last year, I’d have to pay £25 for what would normally cost £10 to £15. Or another £20 extra for the PS4 version. Or a ridiculous £30 price increase for the PS4 version if I wanted to download it (all 158 terabytes, or whatever it was)

    With so many other things coming, I think this will get missed out. £25 would probably tempt me if it was some sort of upgrade from the original PS3 version to the fancy new PS4 version. I guess that might be the price I pay for it eventually, sometime next year.

    Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 10:54.
  9. TSBonyman
    Member
    Since: Dec 2009

    I played it solo on PS3 and thought it was quite good but a bit of a grind at times. Loads of loot, a great sense of constantly levelling up and unlocking new abilities and attacks but the gameplay can become a bit repetitive after a while, although that’s par for the course with this type of game.
    I might pick up the PS4 version when it drops in price.

    Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 11:32.
  10. Smallville2106
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Played about an hour last night. Does look great on ps4.
    Never played it before and I’m loving it.

    Comment posted on 20/08/2014 at 11:51.

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