Reviews

Diablo III: Eternal Collection (Switch) review – Eternally Grateful

15th May 2012 was a very special day for gamers such as yours truly; the highly anticipated follow up to ‘Blizzards’ ‘Diablo II’ was finally in the hands of the public in ‘Diablo III’ (let's forget about the launch server issues). As is common knowledge within the isometric RPG / action RPG crowd, Diablo III has also been released over two console generations. The latter gen release boasting a ‘Complete Package’ spin by donning the latest story DLC at the time; ‘Reaper of Souls’.

Seeing the amazing support and faith Blizzard showed in the console market was mind blowing for its time, seeing only half-baked isometric RPGs release on consoles in recent years such as the ‘Dungeon Siege’ series and the ‘Baulders Gate’ inspired ‘Dark Alliance’ series. It was truly a spectacle, watching big PC titles make a solid jump over to consoles whilst keeping the sound thinking behind the HUD and control schemes intact (albeit, no keyboard and mouse. Unless one is very clever).

And yes, this reviewer is very aware of the sketchy Diablo release for Sony PlayStation in 1997, and also the Sega Saturn version that was considered by Electronic Arts. But let’s be honest readers, sometimes it’s good to forget, right?

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The Don of A-RPG

The Nintendo Switch release of Diablo III has been donned ‘Eternal Collection’, emulating the latest release of the title on other formats, due to the literal size of its balls. All extra content and game balances are included, plus a few special items such as ‘The Legend of Zelda’ inspired armour and pets, an OP AF ‘Blizzard’ ring and a few other quirks such as amiibo support.

Whilst the context of these extra Nintendo and Blizzard-based treats won’t be ruined for my readers; amiibo support doesn’t necessarily mean any figurines are waiting to be announced (although that would be epic) [edit: what’s this?]. It works in the same way Skyrim Switch did; scan an amiibo for random items, which is a welcome novelty when players are up s**t creek in New Tristram.

It’s always a challenge reviewing a new release of a well-established title, simply due to the amount of players already holding a deep understanding of said titles. However, the Nintendo Switch is home to a few gamers who have been living under a demonically controlled boulder for over two decades and know nothing about the franchise.

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One For The ‘n00bs’

For the newcomers, Diablo was originally a PC-based franchise that was first released on 31st December 1996. Its initial sales went on to spawn two sequels, multiple expansions, Comics, Novels and an upcoming mobile based MMO *Takes a deep breath* entitled Diablo: Immortal. Let’s hope Activision Blizzard announce ‘Diablo VI’ before the internet breaks from shit posting.

Each storyline is based around a bloody unlucky town called ‘Tristram’, and later ‘New Tristram.’  Tristram old and new has a pesky demonic problem every now and then that completely destroys the world around them, which is known as ‘Sanctuary’… I know, right? Diablo is the leader of the ‘Prime Evils’, demons for us mortals. Diablo has a habit for sticking around and causing trouble, but guess who’s job it is to slay him once and for all? Again!

Whilst the rundown above is slightly satirical and a labour of sarcasm, Diablo is known for its solid narrative prowess and in-depth yet snappy leveling and fighting systems. It’s only right for Diablo III to receive a new lease on life on the Nintendo Switch.

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So, Why Diablo III, Switch?

Let’s get to the reasons why a reader such as yourself has opened this article. Just how different is Diablo III: Eternal Collection? Well, it isn’t really to be honest! Whilst this iteration of Diablo III has suffered a slight drop in resolution compared to its PC, Mac and console brethren, it’s all in the name of solid frame rates, even at peak times with 40+ characters on screen attacking all at once.

It is a work of art, and a compliment to the Nintendo Switch’s simplistic approach to third party development when compared to the minefield of its predecessors. The isometric viewpoint has been slightly altered to compliment handheld play, as well as the HUD being scaled in order to not overpower the presentation of Diablo III: Eternal Collection.

Another highlight of this particular Diablo outing is the particle and special effects. Smoke, magic, gore and ethereal presences look just as good as their stacked cousins. The menu layout is exactly the same, which is obvious as it’s brilliant anyway. The main worry with this version was fitting everything into a smaller screen with clarity to boot. Blizzard nailed this too. Text is easily read whilst in handheld mode, as is inventory management.

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Buddy Up in Sanctuary

Local and online co-op are such a blast, bringing the game-selling-but-now-defunct Dark Alliance series to life once again, in the realm it was supposed to be played in. Clocking onto a half-hour break with a friend and two JoyCon is truly priceless. No noticeable lag or blips were picked up on whilst playing online, which further added to the polish on Diablo III: Eternal Collection.

The sound engineering is still as great as the original release and its subsequent re-releases. Nice, crisp, yet deep, with lovely bass scoops when attacking and doing other heavy actions, resulting in maximum immersion. The voice acting has stood the test of time also, providing a dramatic, yet centred performances. A balanced approach when compared to most other A-RPG; no planks of wood here!

Diablo

Verdict:

Graphics: 8

Presentation: 10

Gameplay: 10

Sound: 10

Overall Score: 9.5 / 10

Pitbull (Mr. Worldwide): “Calling all Nintendo Switch owners worldwide!”

Diablo III: Eternal Collection is quite possibly the best way to experience the trials and tribulations of New Tristram and Sanctuary. Blizzard have made next-to-no sacrifices in bringing the masterpiece to Nintendo Switch, it’s great to see a studio and now publisher grow from strength to strength over the years and put this kind of effort into releases. Although, Diablo Immortal? Come on people!

Formats: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Mac
Price: £49.99
Publisher: Activision Blizzard
Developer: Blizzard
Release Date: 2nd November 2018

Pegi Rating: 16+

Review copy provided by publisher

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