Diablo 3 on 360 – Five Reasons To Be Excited
As Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo III finally comes to console we look at why you should be excited to play its epic dungeon crawler on Xbox 360
After months of speculation fuelled by job posting rumours, tests done by Blizzard on various ways to control the game and the burning desire of console dungeon crawler fans, it’s finally been confirmed that Diablo III is definitely coming to console. We’ve talked about how this was likely before, particularly once we discovered that Blizzard was testing Diablo III on joypads, but it was made official by Blizzard Community Manager Micah “Bashiok” Whipple via Twitter this week.
“Yup,” Whipple said answering a fan who asked it was coming to console. “Josh Mosqueira is lead designer for the Diablo console project.” Whipple didn’t specify which consoles Diablo III was coming to, but we’ll eat our collective hats if it doesn’t appear on 360. This is some of the best news we’ve heard in ages, because it means that 360 gamers will get to enjoy one of the biggest games of 2012 – and one that was previously going to be a PC exclusive to boot. There are so many great reasons to be excited that Diablo III is coming to 360, but here are our Top Five.
5. It’s a Blizzard Game!
Blizzard is easily one of the most successful developers in video games, and with good reason. The amount of craft and polish that goes into their games, which include World of Warcraft and StarCraft II, is incredible, but it’s the reason why they are so beloved – and successful. The Irvine based developer has generally worked on PC and never really shown what it can do on a current generation console- the old PS2 ports of Diablo and Diablo II really showed the limitations of that console compared to PC’s at the time. Diablo III, with its high action slant, is the perfect console fit for them and this time out the 360 has enough power for Blizzard to craft an experience that reflects its PC offering.
4. It’s full of dungeon crawler fun
The Diablo series is famous for its fast pace dungeon crawling action as tons of enemies pour out at you from every direction as you hack and slash, bow or magically blast your way through them in wonderfully randomised dungeons. Having played the PC Beta we know that’s also true of Diablo III –at it’s best it’s sheer pandemonium, but your abilities and skills require real management, making combat the most satisfying of any dungeon crawler we’ve ever played. Loot is the lifeblood on any good dungeon crawler, and well as having monsters constantly dropping ever better weapons, armour, potions and special trinkets, Diablo III will let players, through special NPC followers, craft more powerful versions of the gear they pick up. Both this, and the fact that you can have some followers come with you on adventures and level up to become better as they do, promises to add a whole new dimension to the genre.
3. It has a strong variety of character classes
While every ‘crawler fan can enjoy Diablo III’s combat and exploration, we all like to play dungeon crawlers in our own way, and Diablo III promises to cater to that with five very specialised classes. The Barbarian is a melee- oriented class with great health and physical power that will appeal to those who like to charge in headlong. The Demon Hunter is a ranged attack class that uses bows, crossbows and traps to tackle enemies. The Monk is a martial arts based melee fighter that relies upon speed, The Witch Doctor is a natural magic spell-caster who also uses Summoned Creatures and Necromancy and The Wizard is a pure spell caster who utilises elemental and blast magic to tear foes apart. All the classes have their own resource system that fuels special attacks and powers, and a unique skill tree to develop as you level up. There’s something for everyone here, and options to explore other classes to find out what else you might like.
2. It controls amazingly on joypad
One of the biggest worries we had about Diablo III coming to 360 was whether its controls, originally designed for mouse and keyboard, would translate to a joypad. Those fears turned out to be unfounded as Blizzard did extensive tests with ‘direct control’, as it described the joypad, and found that it more than worked. Talking about how the team successfully implemented joypads in the game last year, Diablo III game director Jay Wilson said, “ With some of our early experiments in putting a direct control scheme into the game via a 360-like analogue controller, I’ve been ‘Oh this feels even better, with direct control…’” With comments like that, we’re looking forward to playing Diablo III on console more than ever.
1. It promises epic multiplayer madness on Xbox Live
Imagine all of the crazy dungeon crawler fun and adventure we’ve described, and then envision enjoying that with up to three friends over Xbox Live. There might be more, but at this point four players seems most likely on 360. Diablo III has been very much designed as a multiplayer co-operative game on the campaign side, with quests that throw enough varieties of enemies at you to require real co-operation and allow players using different classes of characters to shine. You’ll need to work as a team to take on some of the amazing and monstrous bosses the game looks like it’ll throw at you, and that’s an exciting prospect. But it won’t just be limited to co-op fun, as Dialbo III will also have Player Vs Player areas, where you can take you character – armed with all the goodies he’s gathered in single player and co-op – and pit him in combat against other players.
All in all it looks like Blizzard is tailoring Diablo III to be both the best single player and co-op dungeon crawler it’s ever created, which is no mean feat. It promises to be an experience 360 gamers can really start to get excited about, and hopefully we won’t have to wait for long after its PC release this Febuary to get our hands on a 360 version.