Review: Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition

Diablo 3 was launched on PC back in 2012; however, since its launch it has been ported to the PlayStation 3 as well as the Xbox 360. Fast forward to 2014 and Diablo 3 has returned… only this time on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Since its launch, I have personally avoided playing Diablo 3… not because it is a bad title or anything, but more for the reason that I just couldn’t get into it.

Even as a dedicated console gamer I avoided playing it on the PlayStation 3, but after receiving it on the PlayStation 4 I decided to sit down and see what all the hype was about. After spending multiple hours in the world of Diablo 3 on the PlayStation 4 I have realised that I have indeed missed out one of the best games I have had the pleasure of experiencing. However, does the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One port live up to the standards of their PC counter-part? Well, it’s time to find out.

Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition – Reaper of Souls comes packed with content for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Not only does it come with the original game, but it also comes with the Reaper of Souls DLC. Additionally, players gain access to the absolutely fantastic adventure mode, a raised level cap as well as reworked skills and a fourth passive skill slot. For players who played Diablo 3 on last-gen consoles, you now have the ability to import your character into the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version of the game. Needless to say, Blizzard has done a mighty fine job so far.

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls PS4 Review (3)

If you are new to Diablo 3, here is a break down of the storyline compliments of Blizzard Entertainment: The demons of the Burning Hells have long desired to invade the realm of men. To this end, a powerful group of demon lords known as the Lesser Evils exiled their brethren, the Prime Evils, from the Hells and sent them to the human world of Sanctuary.

War came with them. The Prime Evils—Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal—began corrupting humans, twisting them into dark servants, and poisoning their minds with false promises of power and wealth. They planned to use these souls in their ongoing battle against the angels of the High Heavens.

Brave heroes banded together and managed to slay the Prime Evils, though the demons’ influence left parts of the world scarred and broken. Thousands of people perished, towns were burned to ash, and an entire nation fell to ruin when the Worldstone was destroyed. This ancient relic once kept Sanctuary safe from the armies of demons and angels, but it has been shattered, and its protection is no more.

Today, few survivors tell tales of the Prime Evils, and many people on Sanctuary are unaware that the Worldstone ever existed. They remain ignorant of the growing danger that the Worldstone’s absence places them in, content to till their fields and sell their wares in relative peace. But those who saw the Prime Evils’ devastation firsthand remember that two of the Lesser Evils yet live in the Burning Hells… Azmodan, the Lord of Sin, and Belial, the Lord of Lies. These great demons have not forgotten the world of Sanctuary—indeed, they see a chance to seize it for themselves.

Now, a star has fallen from the heavens—a grim omen that heralds the End of Days. Sanctuary’s frightened inhabitants are turning to abandoned legends and prophecies for answers. They have no hope against a full onslaught from the Burning Hells. The heroes of the past are gone or dead. A new champion must rise…

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls PS4 Review (5)

Diablo 3 quite honestly has a great storyline to it; however, it tends to get a little carried away with itself at times. While story is crucial in any game, let’s face it, Diablo 3 is more about collecting loot, slaying demons and collecting more loot. Furthermore, smashing anything that is breakable is also a great way to spend your time in this title. To add to this, enemies tend to drop valuable items such as weapons, armour, and other juicy accessories more often than not. Even when you hit the game’s level cap there are so many ways to power-up your character to make them a more efficient killing machine.

After spending quite sometime playing the PlayStation 4 version of this title, I decided to give the original PC version a go. Granted, this title was originally made for the PC; however, I found that the PlayStation 4 version seems far more user friendly… especially when it comes to controlling your character. Blizzard Entertainment has done a great job of mapping out the PlayStation 4 controller for this title. In the PC version players would have to click on the world in order to move their character from one point to the other. In the PlayStation 4 version players can now freely move around the world by using the analogue sticks. Not only does this make Diablo 3 much more accessible to players, but it also smooths up the gameplay factor. To add to this combat is also much tighter and easier to get used to as you can unleash a flurry of attacks with ease.

Apart from the controls, another nice touch are the social features of the game. Players can either sell off all their old equipment or send it to a friend, via the mail system, who has just started playing in order to give them a bit of a boost. Furthermore, if your friend has been slain by a creature, you will gain the ability to slay said creature in order to technically avenge the death of your former comrade. It’s a nice touch, but not a major game changer. Another nice touch is the fact that you and 3 other players can jump into a game and lay waste to multiple enemies around you. If you don’t have any friends close by, you can connect to the internet and either join a friend’s game or have them join yours.

While playing online works rather well, be prepared to face a few issues along the way. After spending time playing with a friend of mine I felt the need to take things on solo once again; however, when I returned to my game I found duplicate characters running around. To add to this, I had lost 6 levels as well as around 2 hours of game time… Although, I still retained loot that I had picked up while playing solo and playing online. This is something that Blizzard needs to fix fast.

Visually, Diablo 3 is an absolutely stunning title. The game runs at 1080p and at 60fps. While the game runs smoothly for the most part on current-gen consoles, it does however suffer from a few frame-rate issues when your are bombarded by a horde of enemies. Apart from that, the game runs pretty similar to high-end gaming PC. When looking back at the last-gen consoles, playing Diablo 3 on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One is a massive step up.

When it comes to sound, Diablo 3 offers up a fantastic musical score that is well suited to the title. While the music is definitely a highlight, the voice overs are a bit of a mixed bag of tricks. While some characters are voiced to perfection, others tend to seem a bit too forced and unnatural. This add a bit of an unnatural balance when communicating with NPCs.

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls PS4 Review (1)

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition gives console gamers the opportunity to experience a polished and more refined version of Diablo 3. This can be seen in the innovative use of the controls and the fact that nothing was cut out from the original game in order to get it to get it to run at maximum capacity on the latest consoles. Overall, Blizzard has done a great job porting this title over to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Darryl Linington