Diablo 3 Eternal Collection – Nintendo Switch
Coming off the success of such a beloved game as Diablo II after quite a few years was a bold move by Blizzard, as any shift away from the old mechanics could easily have been taken poorly by those that played – and loved – the first two games. Of course, some people managed to find something to moan about, but admittedly a lot of that surrounded issues with Diablo III when played online. Thankfully, it’s 2018 now and most companies have got this whole internet thing down pat for the most part – but even with stable net code, can a 5-year-old game stand up to modern scrutiny? Well, yes, but let’s pretend the answer’s not so obvious, at least for a bit.
The Diablo formula is relatively simple; you have a character who runs around from an angled top-down perspective that some may call isometric, and you command that character to do all sorts of wholesome things like raise the dead and kick a giant ethereal bell in order to murder as much nastiness as is feasible.
Unsurprisingly, this runs true in Diablo III: Eternal Collection as well, even retaining the locked camera angle to the point that it functions in the same isometric manner as previous entries. As you go about murdering, you’ll earn experience that causes your character to level-up and learn new abilities to help you more efficiently – you guessed it – go about murdering.
It’s not exactly breaking new ground or trying to mix up the genre, then; this a straightforward RPG with linear level progression and simple mechanics, but a game doesn’t have to be complex to be good. There’s a plot, sure, and it’s a pretty good one at that. Don’t expect it to rock your entire worldview, but it’s well-written and most of the dialogue is decent, with only the occasional chunk of ham thrown in.
So, if it’s so by the numbers, who do so many people harp on about the series? Well, it’s all about the execution, and one crucial factor we’ve not mentioned yet to give the review some pacing. The hook that ties your whole adventure together is loot. Whoa there! Hold your horses, we’re not talking about loot boxes or microtransactions or anything like that, so put down your pitchforks and flaming torches and allow us to explain.
Just like the rest of the game, all the loot is delivered old-school, by just playing the game and not opening your wallet a second time. As you scurry around the landscape you’ll find bits of armour, gold, jewels, and weapons. They’ll be in hiding in chests, falling from downed foes, and leaping out of nearby corpses if you walk too closely to them. Spooky.
You’ll not be free to use it all though, as certain weapons cannot be used by certain classes. Oh yeah, should probably talk about that, shouldn’t we? When you start the game, you’ll be asked to choose one of seven classes, which determines a heck of a lot about how you’ll play the game, as well as your gender. Sadly, there’s no way to customise the physical features of any character you create, but given how far away they are from the camera 99 percent of the time, it’s a disappointment that fades rapidly.
Each class has Life, and their own flavour of what is essentially Mana to deal with. Life is your health bar, and the other meter – be it Discipline, Spirit, or just plain Mana – is drained when using special moves and recharged when using so-called standard attacks. You’ll have to balance using and recharging your particular brand of magic-type stuff when fighting nasties so you’re not caught in a sticky situation where you end up dying like a ninny.
The abilities you learn are dished out in a very linear fashion, and unless you choose ‘Elective Mode’ in the options menu, only one from each category can be assigned at any one time. They have a decent variety to them, but this variety is restricted more in some classes than others, and you’ve no way of knowing what you’ll be able to learn until you’ve started the game and actually unlocked each ability after hours of play.
In short, Diablo III: Eternal Collection is a lovely port of a classic RPG loot-a-thon that keeps its feet firmly in the past. The execution is wonderful, but its gameplay is not something that will appeal to everyone due to the high level of repetition. Its visuals are clear and functional if not especially interesting, but performance is top notch to make up for it. If you’re looking for a loot-driven grind-a-thon with more explosions of viscera than you can comfortably discuss with your mother, this is the game for you.
Buy this game from sayoneyes.com.