What really is there to say about Diablo III at this stage? The game first launched six years ago for PC, it’s been half a decade since its last generation console release, the current gen version came along a year later, and the only reason why we’re really talking about it again is that it’s now coming to Nintendo Switch and there’s rumours of a sequel in the works.
Sadly we don’t have anything to say no the latter, but we went hands on with the Switch version last week, and it’s… well, it’s Diablo III. The Eternal Collection is an all encompassing bundle with the base game alongside the Reaper of Souls and last year’s Rise of the Necromancer expansions. There’s a huge amount of dungeon crawling combat here to dig into.
Now, I’ll be honest and say that I’ve barely played more than a few minutes of Diablo 3 in any of its previous forms, so it’s great that Blizzard have made it so easy to pick up and play. You’ve got basic abilities mapped to the face button, Arcane Power attacks that you have to let recharge over time, and so on. These are all unlocked quite quickly and can be swapped in and out at will in the menus, so I enjoyed dipping into different builds of my Wizard early on, shifting from purely ranged attacks to a build where I could unleash short range shock pulses and toughen my skin to diamond.
So much of the game revolves around looting and incrementally improving your character’s stats, but that’s actually automated for you to start with before the training wheels are gently taken away. It really is easy just to descend into the steady grind of the combat, trying out new options as they become available to you.
On Nintendo Switch, it works rather well. It looks good on the console’s built in screen, and even holds up when blown up onto a wall by a projector. Obviously it’s not going to be a patch on current gen consoles, but still runs at a good 60fps. It also supports a mixture of local and online co-op, with up to four people on a single console or ad hoc play for those that happen to be in the same room as other Switch owners. The latter option mercifully skirts past the Nintendo Switch Online subscription requirements for online play, and you can merrily mic and match between modes, making good use of a Switch staple feature.
So basically it’s Diablo 3 on Nintendo Switch and you get to dress up as Ganondorf. What’s not to like about that?