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Could Diablo 3 on Console Be the Best Version?

diablo 3

It’s a big claim I know, but mainly because using “best” and “Diablo 3” in a sentence is something near heresy in the (online) gaming world.

Realistically speaking (and bad feelings left over from the Auction House and DRM debacle that was the PC launch set aside), even when Diablo 3 was initially released there was a fair amount of suspicion that it had been designed from the ground up to work on consoles.

Firstly, abilities were limited. You could only have a small number of abilities at your disposal at any one time, even though the amount of abilities and the way you could alter these abilities out of combat was numerous.

Secondly, the limited amount of players involved in multiplayer (a maximum of 4) seemed quite odd. There are 5 classes in Diablo 3, surely this would have made a much smarter cap for a multiplayer game? Then you could see the Barbarian, Monk, Demon Hunter, Wizard and Witch Doctor all frolic together in the same game space like nature intended. But of course, traditional consoles like the Xbox have only 4 controllers – so for four people playing on the one screen at home, 4 would make a more sensible cap.

Even with these oh-so-subtle hints PC players charged into the fray, and inevitably fell out of love with the progression system Diablo 3 had in-terms of endgame development and replayability. To me it seemed quite obviously inevitable. In Diablo II you had a game where you farmed the higher difficulties of the campaign in order to get the best available gear and a sense of achievement as you could see your characters skills reaching their peak. In Diablo III you farmed the difficulties you had access to in order to get gear you couldn’t use but could then sell, allowing you to buy gear from the further advanced players.

In short:

Farming for a brand new piece of epic gear = fun.
Farming for 200,000 gold so you could buy that piece off of another player = boring.

But here is where the console version comes in. Unlike the PC version, it is both playable offline and has no real money auction house. Double win. Not only this, but it has couch co-op with up to 4 players while offline, making it one of the more traditional party-atmosphere titles that oldschool console players who have their friends over for a beer (like me) tend to love.

Basically, in with the good and out with the bad.

Now the only downside to this is that I’ve already spent 80 hours playing Diablo 3. Most people would have. So I’m not sure if I can justify the expense of buying a game I’ve already completed on the offchance that someone will come over for a beer and want to play it.

But if there were any console players out there that missed the lead zeppelin of the PC launch and are curious about picking this up – I’d keep my eyes peeled, you might end up with the best experienced out of anyone.

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