“No One Can Stop Death”

So, I’ve had the Xbox One version of Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition for over a week now. I had told myself that I’d write up my review of the game exactly a week after it released, assuming it would be enough time to both get a feel of the game, and form an opinion on whether the title was purchase-worthy or not. Being the third variant I sink my teeth in (the first being the 2012 PC release on my sub-par, made-for-school macbook), I figured that my personal deadline of a week would be as easy as loving cupcakes; I’ve already spent crazy amounts of hours in Blizzard’s dungeon crawler.

HA HA… HA. Sigh.

No, no it wasn’t. It’s now thursday, and I’ve only just sat down to write my thoughts. But that, in itself, is explanatory. Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition is downright addictive, and is a culmination of the patches, upgrades, updates and tweaks that Blizzard expanded upon in this “definite” version of the game. This is THE Diablo 3 version, making the original release seem, well, beta. And, I know I’m going to get flak for this, but between the feel of the controller and couch co-op, it’s as if the latest version of the game is at its peak on console. If you’re looking for a new game, look no further; here are my top 4 reasons Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil edition is a dungeon crawler you should definitely pick up:

Adventure Time!
As with it’s predecessors, the ultimate point of Diablo 3 is to beat the game at the highest difficulty possible; doing so quickly, efficiently, and with the best gear/weaponry possible. How does one achieve such a feat? Farming. In the last version I played (on the Xbox 360), farming meant doing the four acts over and over again. While still being really addictive, the repetition did become stale. I mean, killing Diablo for the 60th time for a chance at that legendary set piece loses its oomph after a while. I guess the creators must have felt this as well, and decided to switch things up by adding the Adventure Mode. Unlocked once you’ve completed Act V, you can now complete bounties across the plains of Sanctuary, gathering rift keystones to open Nephalam Rifts, giving you diverse gameplay through randomized areas and enemies that give a much higher chance at legendary drops.

Adventure Time… with friends!
Another neat addition, this one giving the console version a definite one-up on the PC version, is the four-player couch co-op. It’s like taking a trip back to 2005. Local co-op has recently become somewhat foreign, with the latest next-gen current-gen games such as Titanfall and Destiny allowing for online co-op only. While you can obviously access the online multiplayer version across all platforms, playing with strangers has nothing on playing with your friends, at home, on your couch. Loot runs become that much more fun.

The Crusader, Maltheal and Westmarch:
The most obvious addition to the Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition, which PC had access to back in March, is the Reaper of Souls expansion which brings players into Act V by means of the gothic medieval town of Westmarch. I won’t go into too many details, mostly because of spoilers, but it features Maltheal, the fallen Angel of Wisdom, as the newest and baddest villain the Nephalem encounters. There are also two new faces: the Mystic and the Crusader.
The Mystic, Myriam Jahzia, is the latest artisan to be added to the roster. By enchanting and transmogrifying, you now have greater control over the properties and aesthetics of your gear/weaponry.
There is also the addition of the sixth-class, the Crusader of the Zakarum faith. Similar to the Barbarian, and quasi-based on Diablo 2’s Paladin, the Crusader is a mid to close-range melee class that uses the wrath resource for most of its attacks. I’ve been using my Crusader Willow throughout my run-through and I absolutely adore her. I’ve yet to pick a specific end-game build, but I’ve been leaning towards the Blessed Shield build. Apparently they melt face in Torment 6.

And finally, they tweaked the legendary drops from the initial release. Back in 2012, I found maybe two essentially useless legendary items that were neither for my class nor my level. They “compensated” by adding in the Auction House where players can trade both in-game gold and real money for gear, gems and whatnots. But after its disastrous reception, Blizzard decided to abolish it and make legendary items more readily available throughout the game. Legendary drops will now (mostly) be useful for your class, and they’ll be suited to your level. And, as an added bonus, the legendaries now have cool affixes on top of skill buffers. Some will have a treasure goblin that follows you around, picking up gear with a chance of dropping a legendary, and others will summon champion packs every time you fall upon a shrine.

The changes brought on in the latest version of Diablo 3 aims to add excitement, and cuts the repetitiveness that plague similar games of its genre. So far, the Ultimate Evil Edition is the only game worthy of being called next-gen current-gen and shows off what the new consoles are capable of, through its dark and stylized gameplay, all in 1080p, 60FPS crispness (I’ve seen in-game details that I never knew existed). Though Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition is available on the PS3 and Xbox 360, you’ll get the most out of it on either the PS4 or Xbox One. It’s well-worth the buy.