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Diablo III
E3 2013 Hands-On Impressions: Diablo III
"I would honestly prefer to play Diablo III on my PlayStation than my PC."

Nestled into Sony's booth are quite a few stations dedicated to Blizzard's Diablo III. But John, you ask, why have a large area specifically for a port of a PC game? Because despite being sharing the same gear, the same randomly-generated maps, and the same enemies as its PC counterpart, Diablo III for consoles feels like a brand new game. Mapping a userís movements 1:1 to an analog stick and attacks no longer requiring a mouse hover mean that rather than feeling like the classic Diablo, console gamers will find themselves at home like they did with Baldurís Gate: Dark Alliance.

With most of the Diablo III content remaining exactly the same, the biggest changes come with the aforementioned controls. All of your skills are intact and have been remapped. X and O take the place of your mouse buttons, while square, triangle, R1, and R2 become the rest of your skill suite. Need some potions? Theyíre mapped to the left triggers. Itís a fairly standard control scheme, but hereís the kicker: I would honestly prefer to play Diablo III on my PlayStation than my PC.

You heard it right, folks, Diablo III feels like a much more complete game playing it from the couch. The camera appears to have been zoomed in a bit, the minimap lives at the bottom of the screen, and menus cause the game to pause even in same-console multiplayer, but all of these quibbles are minor when you actually feel like you're knee-deep in the action.

Even with the aforementioned quibbles, there are still some issues that come about from the television screen. Item drops are identified only by a circular icon with the item type and a surrounding aura the color of the rarity. This makes it difficult to identify items easily, especially when a boss drops ten of them. As well, picking up items is done with the X button, the same as your first basic attack. This means that players online might get PSO disease, where walking and attacking means that the items in your inventory got there by accident.

The interface has also been completely redone for consoles, and it doesn't suffer for it. Everything looks different, certainly, but little is out of place. I found myself often not knowing I was low on health compared to Diablo III PC, but that might just take an hour or so of getting used to. The entire game doesn't look as crisp as it does running on my HD 7000 series card, but that's to be expected. Perhaps the upcoming PlayStation 4 iteration will top it.

If you're a fan of hack-and-slashes and didn't take a look at Diablo III on PC, it's shaping up to be the next coming of console couch co-op. So grab your friends on September 3 and be ready to kick Diablo's butt — all from the comfort of your controller.


© 2013 Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Entertainment. All rights reserved.




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