Endless Hack n’ Slash fun

From a newcomer to the series to an addict – exploring Diablo III Eternal Collection was endlessly fun. The level system is fun and captivating, and frankly was one of the most addictive leveling systems I can recall from the past 5 years. Knowing that every level promised new unlockable gear and abilities felt genuinely rewarding – more so than in similar progression systems which lack real reward.

The main campaign which consists of five acts does feel dated in some story elements, but it never feels sluggish and is enjoyable from start to finish even as a newcomer.

In story mode particularly, we found ourselves bumping up the difficulty regularly, beginning on hard mode and quickly bumping the level of difficulty up through various levels of torment.

This range of difficulty really kept the game fresh for us, however, I would have liked to a quicker way of upping the difficulty without exiting the game – though understandably, this is to prevent constant fluctuation in difficulty or scaling down when things get tricky.

Co-op seems the most enjoyable method of play, as two players didn’t feel oversaturated or like we were fighting over the enemies. We were able to spread out and claim loot appropriately, without ever feeling like there was a disparity between what we found.

During my first playthrough, I chose the necromancer, partly due to my interest in the character and its addition in the DLC: The Rise of the Necromancer.

After finishing the campaign I became obsessed with rearranging my build and remapping abilities. Exploring other classes was also interesting as my play style changed drastically. This is what prompted me to put so many hours into the game and eventually fall in love with it.

After hitting level 70, the progression through paragon levels feels no different other than the natural decrease in speed it takes to reach the next level.

The abundance of weird and wonderful stuff Blizzard managed to pack into this 7-year-old game is astounding. The DLC for Diablo III makes the game feel more fleshed out, and there was no loss of continuity when jumping from the fourth act to the added fifth. To be honest, in my first playthrough we didn’t realise we had proceeded into the additional content until we’d completed our play through. The progression to this additional chapter and how natural we found it can’t be overstated.

The abundance of weird and wonderful stuff Blizzard managed to pack into this 7-year-old game is astounding. The DLC makes the game feel more fleshed out, and there was no loss of continuity when jumping from the fourth act to the added fifth. To be honest, in my first playthrough we didn’t realise we had proceeded into the additional content until we’d completed our play through. The progression to this additional chapter and how natural we found it can’t be overstated.

The most out-there experience I had was stumbling upon a treasure goblin, of which teleported me to a level with completely overhauled visuals and with a new host of enemies flooding the screen. These enemies had also been reskinned, and now took the form of unicorns and teddy bears. This was obviously shocking and hilarious, and as I was playing alone at the time, this meant I had to convince my co-op partner I had actually seen this and wasn’t making it up.

This wasn’t the first time I found myself in a secret level. Another goblin led me to a world filled with gold and a surprise boss at the end, as I felt a sense of urgency collecting the seemingly infinite pool of treasure surrounding me.

I expected to be underwhelmed by gameplay with a controller. Instead, I was impressed by the almost flawless button mapping for a game with so many inputs and changeable movesets.

I started off my journey into Diablo III using the Switch in either handheld mode or with split joycon, then after playing for a day or so I decided to cave and buy the pro controller. This was no fault of the joycon, but rather that I wanted to see what different control options offered. Single joycon play with local co-op was a bit less comfortable due to the games extensive inputs but otherwise surprised me in how well thought out it is.

Another thing that surprised me was how I enjoyed the shake-to-roll function, which was somewhat reminiscent of the Super Mario Galaxy shake to spin feature, but a tad more convenient though just as gimmicky. Shake-to-roll seems to be one of the more convenient ways to dodge as pretty much every button on either controller method has a function.

Internet access is required to access aspects of the games Season mode. Creation of seasonal characters requires you to be online, as well as online leaderboards. However, working towards these seasonal rewards can be done offline. In general, this never interrupted my gameplay.

Form a first timer to the series, I now understand why Diablo III is so praised. I never found the game’s grinding to be too much and was glued to the controller until a while into the paragon levels. This game also made me fall more in love with the Switch’s handheld mode, giving me the excuse to hardly put the game down for my first few weeks, with multiplayer co-op play being especially rewarding.

  • 95%
    Gameplay - 95%
  • 90%
    Controls - 90%
  • 75%
    Storyline - 75%
  • 70%
    Sound - 70%
  • 70%
    Graphics - 70%
90%

Summary

Diablo III eternal collection is still to this day a masterpiece in the hybrid of genres. As a first timer to the series, plunging into Diablo 3 reinvented what I considered Action RPGs/Hack and Slash games to be, and added levels of depth and detail that are lacking from some games even today.

Diablo 3 is the gold standard in games of its kind, and the eternal collection bundles together the best of what the game has to offer – making this one of the best places to pick up the game today.

So what do you think?

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