So this evening, Holly and I were able to finally play Diablo 3 on our X-Box 360. It’s been a lot of fun, and in one evening we fought through to the Skeleton King – much like they did in the Penny Arcade preview video of Diablo 3 (http://youtu.be/Tb3QNOg13cM).
That means the gameplay and control was seamless during this time. It got us interacting with the world, our abilities, inventories, and working with each other. We were playing split-screen and it wasn’t a problem.
So I am going to highlight some of our points from playing so far, and how things work – and a few things that could work better. If you are considering Diablo 3 on the console, check it out, and feel free to ask us questions about how it plays!
Diablo 3 on Console
I could write a long narrative, but I think instead that this review lends itself towards bullet points, to let me talk just a bit about the various areas I observed.
- Holly had a good point about cost – she had never picked up Diablo 3 on the computer, so buying this works out to the same price as if she had bought it on the computer instead.
- There’s no auction house, so they have the merchants carry random rare items to buy.
- You can buy unlimited amounts of the items at the vendors, except for the rare items. We’re playing a Monk and a Demon Hunter, so we both need dexterity – but we can buy each of us a copy of some of the items that are good for both of us.
- There is a good inventory control system – they have items divided by type, you can label items as Junk (like in Borderlands 2), and you can quick-equip items as you pick them up or as you craft them. Not always useful, but if someone dropped you an item that you know is better, you can quick equip it, or if you craft something good, you can equip it from the crafting menu without having to quit out of it. Really, the inventory system on the console reminds me a LOT of Torchlight on the X-Box. Because the inventory is also based on number of items rather than item size and shape.
- There are bad inventory controls – we keep quitting out of the inventory when we’re comparing items, or equipping items, or trying to label them as Junk we unequip them. Hopefully this will pass as we get used to it.
- I didn’t play much multiplayer Diablo 3, but the shared health globes and cash pickups are really great, they make the game pretty great co-op – regardless of whether it’s a new aspect to the game or not.
- Shared experience is also great, rather than it being based on kills. Except… there is a bonus experience attribute, and Holly had more items with it than me and is now half a level ahead of me at level 10. That’s a big gap, and surprising how much extra experience she has from these items! After matching levels exactly for a while, having her pull massively ahead felt odd. It would be kind of neat for that experience to share as well.
- The shared screen experience has held us back not much at all. The environments are naturally the sort where you can tend towards sticking together. However, I worry about us using any speed increase items or abilities – if one of us were permanently faster than the other, they will be constantly waiting for the other. So we’ll see if this ends up a problem in the future.
- We’ve had plenty of things to kill. I haven’t been killing everything ranged with my Demon Hunter, because very clearly Holly has had plenty of things to punch, with all of her extra experience!
For my final thoughts, it feels like Torchlight did on the console, in a good way. Meaning it also feels like the original Diablo on the console. And that’s a good thing.