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Diablo 3 (PS3/360) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

 

Overall rating:

4/5

 

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

62

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, PC

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment

Publisher: Activision Blizzard

Genre: Action RPG

ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

 

Length: 10-20 Hours, Infinitely Replayable

Difficulty: Variable

Game Modes: Single Player, Cooperative,

 

Full Game Size: 12.8GB

Disc Install Size: None

Resolution: Sub-720p

Frame Rate: 60fps

Audio Format(s): Dolby Digital, DTS, PCM 7.1, PCM 5.1

 

Release Date: September 3rd, 2013

 

Version Tested: PS3

 

 

      

 

Synopsis:

 

Blizzard Entertainment’s epic action-RPG Diablo III is coming to a new platform. In an experience reforged specifically for the console, players will adventure through rich and varied settings, engage in combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, and grow in experience and ability, all while acquiring items of incredible power.


 

My Take:

 

After a decades-long absence from the console arena, Blizzard once again enters the fray, hoping to introduce Diablo 3 to a brand new audience. The PC version was one of my favorite games in recent history, and I've already spent dozens of hours on the quest for epic loot. The console version is completely revamped to suit the gamepad, but the heart and soul of the game survives the translation intact. It's a high quality port of the PC version, with a few striking differences.

 

The most obvious is that your character is now under your direct control, and it feels great. Dare I say even better than the PC version, it feels like this is how Diablo was meant to be played, and your repertoire is bolstered by a dodge mechanic inspired by other brawlers like God of War. Inventory management is radically overhauled and the quantity of dropped loot is drastically reduced, as a result the game flows much more smoothly. You'll find yourself making far less trips back to town to pawn off a bunch of junk, and the overall quality of drops is much higher. The final major update is the addition of local cooperative play. Anyone who's played Diablo before knows how intense the on screen action can get with a just one player—adding up to three more players kicks it up a few notches, making it somewhat difficult to parse what's happening, but it still works exceptionally well.

 

Otherwise, it's pretty much a straight port of the PC version. Story-wise it isn't much to write home about, but that's not why you're playing Diablo anyway. It's still the gold standard for dungeon crawlers, and it's as addictive as ever. The randomly generated dungeons ensure a surprise awaits around every corner, and you're never stuck in the same environment for very long. Your character's skill set rapidly evolves as you level up, and unlike past entries in the series, experimentation is encouraged. You'll never feel like you've built yourself into a corner, as there's always something new to try. It sheds quite a bit of outdated design, and feels like a fresh new take on an old favorite. If you've ever had a passing interest in the series but have been biding your time for a proper console release, the wait is finally over. It's not a watered down experience by any measure, it's the real deal.



 

Parental Guide:

 

Very violent and bloody, but highly stylized. Some nudity as well.



 

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:

REFERENCE = 90-100 / EXCELLENT = 80-89 / GOOD = 65-79 / AVERAGE = 55-65 /BELOW AVERAGE = under 55

 

**Ratings are judged against the state of the art in contemporary games. As technology rapidly improves, standards will raise appropriately.**


 

Audio: 52

 

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Dynamics: XB4lG6M_QzP4SYoouheBgy_0thRbqUqdfEVlUL5xHAmXvGRwQe2vQTJNN4szDPQ6uirjSHKy55Fpn-71Sil8bC6c10YE2IVEl6W-DPKP0vFRihWTY2cDTPk6

  • Low Frequency Extension: wurUsYEQDEBcqwfkbmpV7egKo5FZ-KorW36SUbNm4aIxJMbyQK7ig3uQ16dKmZt7MihNgYUSeZD_4coNg-u42KBP14-5jsjSCUsouuUYPA-iWipx3xENTsOF 

  • Positional/Environmental Cues:HNE-lRtXZ-pIxaNPMk-NylwszTAYuFRxmeNOuSzq1InRdALcYzkx4zZxVkzLV_Y94L6ByCASvbzcQ5tIoht8wME61msj4Sh6hNeIILq2CzbHdkmoWsMxDeRd

  • Detail/Realism:BiGE2IlqBSW5q5WvP1tZfsWtAOLOSYcczqdgDpqXhmR9bnQWPYoTKhaTU08qThRTiy8ZFDktlH6T-dkFX63zBgZ82f_VYZTZYO06hfes5V8TkNJzACnW5hxj

  • Dialogue/Mix Quality:BiGE2IlqBSW5q5WvP1tZfsWtAOLOSYcczqdgDpqXhmR9bnQWPYoTKhaTU08qThRTiy8ZFDktlH6T-dkFX63zBgZ82f_VYZTZYO06hfes5V8TkNJzACnW5hxj

 

Originally a mouse-driven PC title, they must have never anticipated it to be heard on a high end A/V setup, and it shows. The sound design is rather crude, as if the designers dialed it up to 11 and broke the off the knobs. Dynamic range rarely finds a home in a game where you're constantly in the middle of a pitched battle, but even so, you'll have to turn your AVR down considerably to achieve a reasonable average volume. While LFE is strong and deep, your subwoofer rarely catches a break and having your walls perpetually quaking can become fatiguing. Some of the sound effects can grate on you after you've literally heard them ten thousand times; while they're well constructed, there's a dire need for variation. Environments are well modeled, but occlusion is totally absent. The positioning is also rather odd, as sounds from the bottom half of the screen will always emanate from the surrounds. It makes sense to a certain degree, but it can become annoying if you find yourself traveling southward for a while. Music is also mixed far too low by default—it's a quality soundtrack, and deserves to be heard.

 

There's a near constant cacophony of sound, but the game design demands it. So while it's not quite fair to expect a cinematic experience, the sound design is passable at best. A game of this caliber deserves better.

 

Recommended In-game Settings:

  • Audio Settings - Turn music up a few notches.

 

 

Video: 72

 

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Resolution/Aliasing:XB4lG6M_QzP4SYoouheBgy_0thRbqUqdfEVlUL5xHAmXvGRwQe2vQTJNN4szDPQ6uirjSHKy55Fpn-71Sil8bC6c10YE2IVEl6W-DPKP0vFRihWTY2cDTPk6

  • Frame Rate: wurUsYEQDEBcqwfkbmpV7egKo5FZ-KorW36SUbNm4aIxJMbyQK7ig3uQ16dKmZt7MihNgYUSeZD_4coNg-u42KBP14-5jsjSCUsouuUYPA-iWipx3xENTsOF

  • Calibration Adherence: gbxEfzzrREr0I6Vux0bOhla-nw6gsgSLpGW2AQW8O2PYOGwq_KQXVMgiqIPds3WC4GY957ABs-9kZLts45xE3_4w6ro8OT0gvryTI004kYX-yCD9Owcmp4mI 

  • Technical Quality:BiGE2IlqBSW5q5WvP1tZfsWtAOLOSYcczqdgDpqXhmR9bnQWPYoTKhaTU08qThRTiy8ZFDktlH6T-dkFX63zBgZ82f_VYZTZYO06hfes5V8TkNJzACnW5hxj

  • Art Design/Production Values: gbxEfzzrREr0I6Vux0bOhla-nw6gsgSLpGW2AQW8O2PYOGwq_KQXVMgiqIPds3WC4GY957ABs-9kZLts45xE3_4w6ro8OT0gvryTI004kYX-yCD9Owcmp4mI 

 

It would be impossible to make sense of all the action at the console standard 30fps, but thankfully Blizzard made the right call and aimed for 60fps. It doesn't come without a few sacrifices though—resolution is clearly sub-720p, and when combined with antialiasing it lends a soft but inoffensive look to the game. Even though 60fps is the target, it often buckles under the pressure of the on-screen action, resulting in screen tearing and moderate frame rate dips. It's never harsh enough to effect playability though. While you might miss the extra pixels and image stability, emphasizing image quality over frame rate would have been disastrous for the gameplay, and I commend their decision.

 

It's technically proficient, with excellent physics and animation that lend life and character to the world, but high end effects are absent in order to maintain the smooth frame rate. The art design picks up the slack—Blizzard's artists are second to none, and they've had years of practice at making attractive games using unexceptional technology. Personality oozes from every seam. But while a few levels stand out as particularly imaginative, it never strays too far from the typical surroundings seen in the genre.


 

Game Design: 84

 

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 

  • Overall Gameplay: gbxEfzzrREr0I6Vux0bOhla-nw6gsgSLpGW2AQW8O2PYOGwq_KQXVMgiqIPds3WC4GY957ABs-9kZLts45xE3_4w6ro8OT0gvryTI004kYX-yCD9Owcmp4mI

  • Controls/Feel: wurUsYEQDEBcqwfkbmpV7egKo5FZ-KorW36SUbNm4aIxJMbyQK7ig3uQ16dKmZt7MihNgYUSeZD_4coNg-u42KBP14-5jsjSCUsouuUYPA-iWipx3xENTsOF

  • Interface: wurUsYEQDEBcqwfkbmpV7egKo5FZ-KorW36SUbNm4aIxJMbyQK7ig3uQ16dKmZt7MihNgYUSeZD_4coNg-u42KBP14-5jsjSCUsouuUYPA-iWipx3xENTsOF

  • Stability: gbxEfzzrREr0I6Vux0bOhla-nw6gsgSLpGW2AQW8O2PYOGwq_KQXVMgiqIPds3WC4GY957ABs-9kZLts45xE3_4w6ro8OT0gvryTI004kYX-yCD9Owcmp4mI

  • Load Time: BiGE2IlqBSW5q5WvP1tZfsWtAOLOSYcczqdgDpqXhmR9bnQWPYoTKhaTU08qThRTiy8ZFDktlH6T-dkFX63zBgZ82f_VYZTZYO06hfes5V8TkNJzACnW5hxj 

 

Hardcore fans of the series were quick to criticize the original PC version as "consolized"—I expect the detractors will feel vindicated by how well it plays on a console. It can be surprisingly challenging in the early levels, since you're less likely to be inundated by powerful items and potions. Despite how well it plays most of the time, it's roots as a PC port occasionally stick out. A keyboard full of controls was effectively distilled down to fit a controller, but there's still a slight feeling of disconnectedness, particularly while dodging. More often than not my character still suffered a hit despite visually having cleared the enemy's range. It's still useful in a pinch when surrounded by a horde of demons though. Likewise they did the best they can with the interface, but it's still a ton of information to parse. It's manageable, but they could have gone a little further in simplifying the interface. Stability hasn't proven to be an issue, and while the up front loads are lengthy and leave you staring at a static logo, transitions from one environment to the next are nearly instantaneous.

 

It's tough to strike a balance between making it playable on console without dumbing it down or abandoning it's essence, but they've done an exceptional job translating the full experience.


 

Final Thoughts:

 

If you've never played Diablo 3 on PC, now is as good a time as any to jump in. The current generation ports are eminently playable and look fantastic, but if you're a stickler for image quality, the next generation versions are only a few months away. Be sure to clear your calendar for the next few days and don't forget to eat—it's easy to completely lose yourself in a game this addictive.


 

Mark D'Aria

AVS Forum Video Game Reviews


 

Reference Review System:

 

Panasonic TC-P60ST30 60" 1080P 3D Plasma Display (Calibrated with i1 Display LT)

Anthem MRX300 7.1 Channel AVR (Calibrated with Anthem ARC)

Paradigm Studio 40 v.3 (Main)

Paradigm CC-470 v.3 (Center)

Paradigm Studio 20 v.4 (Surround)

Velodyne HGS-18 (Subwoofer)

Sony Playstation 3 Slim (500GB Seagate Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid HDD)

Microsoft Xbox 360

Custom Gaming PC (Intel i5-3470, Nvidia GTX 760, 8GB DDR3, Samsung 840 SSD)

 

 

post #2 of 15
Great review. The poor resolution is the main reason that I am waiting for the PS4 version in 2014.
post #3 of 15
Very nice job on the review. I really enjoyed the demo.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
I find that it's a really great game to come back to every now and then. I usually pick it back up every few months to try a new class out.

If blizzard were to come out and offer the same deal as COD/BF, to upgrade to the PS4 version for 10 bucks, and all your stats carry over, I'd say there's no reason to wait.
post #5 of 15
Nice job bd - I'm currently playing the PC version, but now the PS4 version has jumped up on my radar.

I hear this game might use the DS4 touchpad for something?
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaverJ View Post

Nice job bd - I'm currently playing the PC version, but now the PS4 version has jumped up on my radar.

I hear this game might use the DS4 touchpad for something?

Yeah, probably for the inventory management. I don't think it really needs it though, they streamlined it pretty well for a controller.

On the PC you get so much loot, that like every hour or so you have to go through this little ritual where you'd sift through everything you pick up to see if it's any good, because it's way too time consuming to do it every time you find something. On console, as soon as you pick something up, it shows you using colored arrows how it compares to what you've currently got, and you just press a single button to equip it...it's really intuitive. In the menu everything is categorized by type, and anything useless you can just mark as junk. Then when you finally get back to town, you just press one button to sell all the junk. Inventory management is so much easier and simpler than the PC version.

The only real drawback is that it doesn't expose magic item buffs all that well, but worst case you have to do a little side by side comparison. If something is plainly more powerful, the arrows make it pretty obvious.
post #7 of 15
Great review! I picked up a copy on the 360 a few days ago (due to the majority of my friends playing it on that console). I've never played a Diablo game before but am becoming addicted. biggrin.gif I may pick up the PS4 version just for the bump in graphical quality.
post #8 of 15
Great review! Might play some of this during Extra Life (http://www.extra-life.org/). I know you mentioned it, but did you spend much time playing the local co-op? Was there any perfomance issues when playing with 4 local players? Also, do you know how the inventory mangament is handled?... Do you have to take turns managing inventory, or can everyone manage their inventory at once?
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
I basically just tested it out with 2p, performance wasn't really affected. I suspect with 4p it might dip a little more, but I doubt it'll be too bad.

I dunno about the interface...the quick equip stuff should be fine, but changing skills and really combing through it all is probably still a one at a time, full screen interface. It's not that big of a deal because you don't really need to do that much managing anymore.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

I basically just tested it out with 2p, performance wasn't really affected. I suspect with 4p it might dip a little more, but I doubt it'll be too bad.

I dunno about the interface...the quick equip stuff should be fine, but changing skills and really combing through it all is probably still a one at a time, full screen interface. It's not that big of a deal because you don't really need to do that much managing anymore.

Good to know, thanks.
post #11 of 15
Audio & Video section is extremely well done. Very nice!

Unfortunately the gameplay section is totally devoid of any actual information on why the design is extremely poor. For those interested in a more comprehensive review:

Diablo 3 - Looks beautiful but has no soul.
http://www.avsforum.com/products/diablo-iii-ps3/reviews/4435
post #12 of 15
i'll skip on this one....i gave up on rpgs as playing games on pc is mostly facebook.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kascnef82 View Post

i'll skip on this one....i gave up on rpgs as playing games on pc is mostly facebook.

Yeah I could understand that - every action RPG has become a major mind-numbing grind fest. For the bang/buck though you can't beat the free Path of Exile. It comes out of open beta and will be available on steam in 4 days!
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Michaelangelo_ View Post

Yeah I could understand that - every action RPG has become a major mind-numbing grind fest. For the bang/buck though you can't beat the free Path of Exile. It comes out of open beta and will be available on steam in 4 days!

Path of Exile utterly destroys Diablo 3 in every way, and for free. I've already put in 60 hours, forgot all about Diablo at this point, seems more like a kiddie game in comparison.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by degobah77 View Post

Path of Exile utterly destroys Diablo 3 in every way, and for free. I've already put in 60 hours, forgot all about Diablo at this point, seems more like a kiddie game in comparison.

Does the pace in PoE eventually pick up? It felt like I was on the same beach and killing the same few enemies for hours and hours.

Also, that skill tree is absolutely terrifying lol.
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