Dungeon Crawling on the Go
In February 2018 tongues were sent wagging when Blizzard cryptically teased fans with a GIF of a Diablo lamp being Switched on and off – do you see what they did there? Fast forward 8 months and Diablo 3: Eternal Collection was finally released on the Switch. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely! Having launched on PC and latterly the PS4 and Xbox one, the game sure had a long tail before launching on Switch, including a DLC pack featuring two new characters.
The game follows your character on a quest to discover the mystery behind a fallen star which destroys the cathedral in the town of New Tristram, leaving an ominous glowing blue crater going deep underground. What you find leads you on a quest to intervene in a battle between Angels and Demons, with humanity’s fate resting in the balance. The story is told through a series of sumptuous FMV cut scenes and mountains of optional in game lore which can be found in books scattered throughout the world.
Embrace the grind
The game plays as a top down hack and slash dungeon crawler with deep RPG-style customisation. The combat is chunky, bloody and extremely satisfying, with enemies exploding in showers of body parts as you battle. You choose from one of seven different classes, each offering a very different way to play. These include options such as a melee focused Barbarian, a Magic wielding Wizard and even a Necromancer who can reanimate their victims to create their own mini army. Each class really changes the way you play and has a huge range of customisation options within their own skillsets.
Diablo 3 keeps you hooked by offering constant rewards in the form of ever more powerful loot, such as weapons and armour. Blizzard have clearly got a good understanding of Psychology, as the loot drops at just the right rate to keep those synapses firing and keep you pushing on to see what you’ll find next. It helps that the game also looks absolutely gorgeous, with a dark gothic fantasy style.
The story takes a surprisingly long time to complete, but the real meat of the experience is the Adventure mode. This offers a randomised free roam experience with rotating bounties, focussed around hunting down different bosses and completing quest-lines. These power your character up further, enabling you take on the game’s ultimate challenge, Rifts.
Rifts are randomised dungeons with high level loot drops. The level of the Rifts, and indeed your character level, are not capped so you can play through these endlessly, with rewards and difficulty scaling continually. I found myself spending many many hours working my way through Adventure mode with different classes to see the different styles and see how far into the Rifts I could progress. The randomised content is really well done and ensures you are never short of something new to do.
Playing through adventure mode you ultimately aim to get to the endgame, where you’re constantly looking at tinkering your gear to make the most of unique bonuses afforded by the high level loot you earn. High level loot can have unique effects which allow you to completely change your character build and start developing into a godlike destroyer.
L’enfer c’est les autres
Everything in the game can be played online either with random teammates or with friends. Online play offers increased rewards and can really help with some of the more difficult content! This version also includes the bonus of local couch coop or local wireless coop with another Switch console. The Switch version also has the added bonus of an exclusive Ganondorf skin, a Cucco pet which travels alongside you and Amiibo support which allows you a free loot drop each day.
Despite the age of the game, Blizzard continue to offer regular seasons with each taking place over a few months. These add a unique modifier which changes the way you play and reward high level gear to those that complete the seasonal challenges.
Diablo 3 is a bit like digital crack, so keep that in mind if you plan on jumping down the rabbit hole! For me, it scratches the same itch I found when I played Destiny, without the insanely high time investment required. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
Why should you still pick up Diablo 3 in 2020?
- Amazing crunchy combat
- Deep deep customization
- Endless replayability
The game is a deep, satisfying and hugely rewarding experience with an endless amount of content. Diablo 3 will keep you hooked for hundreds of hours as you explore this gorgeous, dark fantasy world. The seasonal content helps keeps things fresh and doesn’t show any sign of stopping any time soon!