Diablo III: Eternal Collection Review
Nintendo’s little console that can has been with us for over a year now and in that time we’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve been surprised by just what it can do. From the wonderful port of Skyrim to fragging demons in Doom, it seems that with the right amount of optimisation you can port just about anything to the Switch. It’s great to see a Nintendo console with substantial third-party support and it seems the success of the platform is enough to entice Blizzard back to the fold. Diablo III: Eternal Collection marks a return for the developer after a fifteen-year absence from a Nintendo console.
One of the big draws of the Switch is its portability and how it allows the player to pick up just about any game, play for a while (perhaps on your commute), put it down again and then pick up where you left off at a later point in time. It’s no surprise then that Diablo III suits this perfectly. You can’t necessarily complete a mission during your commute but you can start one off, run around killing monsters and looting like it’s going out of style and finish things up on your way back. Best of all is that docked or undocked, everything is buttery smooth no matter how many enemies were trying to kill us.
Fans of the series will also be pleased to know that Diablo III: Eternal Collectionalso comes with the Reaper of Souls expansion and the Rise of the Necromancer pack. All in all there are seven classes to choose from and five acts’ worth of killing and looting to contend with along with adventure mode allowing for an almost endless amount of replayability. During our playthrough we left no stone unturned destroying anything and everything in the hope of more powerful gear and loot. This thirst for equipment encourages players to explore and by doing so you run across diaries and stories of the wider world which helps build upon some impressive lore.
However, it is dangerous to go alone and if you want to, you can take some friends along with you either locally, using a Joy-Con or Switch each, or online should you have a Nintendo Switch Online account. The latter is only required for cloud saves and online play, other Diablo things like seasons do not require it. This is a good thing, as while Nintendo’s online service isn’t exactly a bank-breaking deal at £18 when you compare it to Microsoft or Sony’s offerings, many die-hard fans would cry foul if the popular seasons element of Diablo was locked behind this paid service.
If you have already played Diablo III before on PC or console then the single-player story remains unchanged for the Switch with the exception of Amiibo support. For those new to Diablo IIIor the franchise in general the foundation for our story carries on after the events of Diablo II albeit some twenty years later. Deckard Cain and Leah are in Tristram Cathedral investigating a potential end of the world scenario when a falling star strikes the cathedral thus unleashing the risen undead into the world of Sanctuary. Once you’ve picked your class, it is then your job to venture into New Tristram to investigate this fallen star and to slay every demon and monster on the way.
Each of the seven classes you can pick from — Witch Doctor, Barbarian, Wizard, Monk, Demon Hunter, Crusader and Necromancer — have unique abilities and skills that you will unlock as you level up. You can also pick up companions on the way and if you choose to play Diablo III on your own you will also be responsible for their loadout, or build in local parlance, so it’s important to learn what each ability does as this will impact your party’s effectiveness. Like any good dungeon crawler all the loot is subject to random rolls and any loot you find have stats and buffs that you’ll need to consider when picking what weaponry or skills you want to use.
Combat in Diablo III is pretty fast paced so it’s a shame that aiming on the left thumbstick is a little hit-and-miss (if you pardon the pun). Once you’ve got a target locked it’s easy, and if you just keep attacking it’ll lock on to another straight after. However, if you’re trying to take out a specific enemy — say an elite or one that spawns enemies — then things can get a tad frustrating. Far too often we found ourselves firing in the opposite direction or we didn’t quite get the right direction so our shots fire off into oblivion. When you stumble into areas with plenty of enemies to kill this isn’t too much of a problem but if you are trying to be strategic in your approach then this lack of accuracy begins to tell.
We also had issues with our companions getting stuck on scenery along with a strange bug when we resumed our game after hibernation. Whilst all other controls to bring up menus worked just fine we couldn’t move our character at all until we exited to the main game menu and reloaded our save. It’s not a huge deal to some extent and pretty much no game on sale today is free of bugs. That being said though, the latter issue is worth noting as it could prove problematic if your most recent save is a fair distance back.
As alluded to at the start of this piece, Diablo III: Eternal Collection lends itself wonderfully to the Switch’s portable platform. We managed to get at least three hours off the dock which is plenty of monster slaying on-the-go. If you are heading out on along flight there’s plenty of monster slaying to occupy any would-be hero for just about any long-haul flight so long as you take a charger. It is a testament to the adaptability of Nintendo’s console that titles such as this are making an appearance on the console, doubly so given that most still look and play great despite the reduction in graphical power.
Diablo III: Eternal Collection will be an instant re-buy for anyone who’s already got it on PC or console and is keen to take it on-the-go. Whilst there’s no ability to bring saves or characters across the chance to start over with acquired knowledge can always be fun. For newcomers things may be a little daunting at first, especially learning how to build your character. However, even with little to no knowledge Diablo III is still lots of fun as who doesn’t like slaying terrible monsters or destroying random bone piles for loot?!
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