Tag Archives: diablo III

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition Review

Diablo III Logo

Diablo III is the third in a series of iconic PC cooperative dungeon crawler RPG’s. The franchise is well known and respected in PC gaming circles; it ranks high up there with other RPG’s and dungeon crawlers like Neverwinter Nights and Baldur’s Gate.  It is quite literally one of the industry’s most popular franchises, a battle between Good and Evil, Heaven and Hell, and now Blizzard have released Diablo III, the Reaper of Souls expansion and a bunch of other features in the all new Ultimate Evil Edition for Xbox One (amongst  other systems).

To date Over 13 million players have battled the demonic hordes of Diablo III. That’s an outstanding achievement considering a third are console players. The Ultimate Evil Edition contains both Diablo III and the Reaper of Souls expansion set together in one definitive volume with some tweaks and patches added in for good measure. The main storyline is still intact with an expansion that includes a fifth act based in Westmarch, but now additionally added is an open world Adventure Mode in which players will revisit locations from the story and hunt bounties on the elder evils that lurk throughout the mortal realms. Players can also complete boss battles and enter Rifts to fight for rare loot and heaps of gold. Adventure Mode is only available to players who complete the main story; whether solo or with other players in CO-OP Mode.

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Like its predecessors, this iteration is a diabolically (like what I did there?) hellish, cooperative dungeon crawler that isn’t afraid to ratchet up its toughness from time to time. Diablo III, while featured completely in 3D with a 3D environment, follows closely in Diablo II’s track by using the classic isometric view, fast gameplay, and randomized content for high replayability. Some changes have been made in order to make the game more welcoming to new players or to ramp up the difficulty more smoothly, and to create a deep and engaging combat system. The Diablo III developers took inspiration from previous games in the series as well as World of Warcraft. This latest behemoth offers a bevy of different degrees of challenge in the form of Normal, Nightmare, Hell & Inferno difficulties. There are multiple Inferno difficulty levels you can attempt, but you’ll need the right gear.

Other new features added to Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition, include  an Apprentice Mode where the game will automatically boost the stats of lower level characters so they can match up with higher level characters in a multiplayer game. The bonus only lasts for the duration of that MP game. Also the Nemesis System can take a monster that kills one player and make that monster appear, with added powers, in the game of someone on the friend’s list. If the monster kills that player, it will go to another person on his Friend’s List and so on, up to five times. Kill the monster and be rewarded accordingly. And finally legendary items found in multiplayer games will automatically be distributed to the class who can use them best. Whilst on the topic of legendary items, they will sometimes drop for players on your friends list, and when picked up will automatically be sent to them, with a notice when they log on showing where the item came from.

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In terms of customisation, players are given the opportunity to pick and name their character, choose its gender and class from several different archetypes; some of which will be familiar to role-playing fanatics. First up is the typical hulking muscle ripped Barbarian, a close combat specialist. Next is the speedy monk with strong Eastern martial arts influences, then the nature-wielding, necromancy practicing and alchemy expert Witch Doctor. The final two classes from Diablo III are the ranged Demon Hunter who specializes in crossbows and trap laying and finally the expected Wizard, pure spell caster who focuses the arcane and elemental energies and transforms them into destructive offensive spells. Introduced in the Reaper of Souls expansion was the Crusader class. Crusaders are an off shoot of the Paladins, holy warriors of the Zakarum church. The developers have described them as a sort of “special forces” branch of the order, specially trained and geared to battle evil in all forms.

The thing about Diablo games, and especially III, is that they are action-packed right from the get go and Diablo III ups the ante on most if not all of its peers. It doesn’t matter where you happen to be standing, the likelihood is that there are enemies in extremely close proximity to you and your party. Enemies are monstrous in their design and range from the grotesque to demonic, mutated and downright vile. This is a game about good trying to overcome evil and these enemies are everything you might have had nightmares about from childhood to adult life. Because of the sheer number of them it is best to make sure you are always fully stocked on health potions. Playing Solo (offline or without a local 2nd, 3rd and 4th player) you’ll probably die quite a bit, especially near the beginning. During those early quests I was continually swarmed by hordes of foes that killed me with relative ease – the bastards!

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If you haven’t heard about Diablo prior to this game, one of the biggest achievements for Blizzard has to be the fact that whilst playing Diablo III you’d be forgiven for thinking it had been designed for console from the outset. Graphically you have to remember that Diablo III was originally designed for PC and Mac, therefore when running on the highest settings, the game will always look better on those platforms than a console. That said, the Xbox One is far from slacking in this department because on my 48inch HD TV the Xbox One version looked fantastic. The visual design is captivating and more than pleasing to the eye. You’ll understandably encounter some minor screen tearing, and a tiny bit of slowdown here and there, but they’re more hiccups than problems and don’t detract from the overall experience in the slightest. The frame rate fluctuates during big battles on screen where there were tons and tons of hideous monstrosities on the screen.

If you enjoyed Diablo III on Xbox 360 or had been waiting for the well rumoured Xbox One version, then don’t delay, get out there and buy it. It’s a fantastic port and is one of the finest dungeon crawlers I have played in a long, long time. It is action packed, it’s a loot lover’s dream and single player is rewarding and fun whist there is great online and/or local cooperative action. If you’ve never played a Diablo title before and are looking for something new to try with friends, then again this should most definitely be on your radar. From me to you Blizzard, job well done.

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Diablo III Reaper of Souls Dated for Xbox One and Xbox 360

Diablo III Logo

On August 19, the Angel of Death invades console systems everywhere as Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition launches on the Xbox 360, Xbox One (and other platforms). Prepare your living room now, nephalem, because by summer’s end you’ll face off against Death himself—with up to four players banding together on a single TV screen.

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition is filled to the brim with fast-paced action, awe-inspiring heroes, and legendary treasure. It features all the content included in the Reaper of Souls expansion set, as well as Acts I through IV of the original Diablo III for those who have yet to vanquish the Lord of Terror on console.

The Ultimate Evil Edition goes on sale August 19 at select retail locations for a suggested retail price of $59.99 USD for the PS4 or Xbox One and $39.99 for the PS3 or Xbox 360. Keep in mind that this announcement is still fresh and retailers may require several days to get their pre-order pages set up, but here’s an early look at the Infernal Pauldrons pre-order bonus item to whet your appetites:

Pre-order & get Infernal Pauldrons! Infernal Pauldrons require an internet connection to be redeemed.
Wearable at level 1, these devilishly handsome shoulder plates provide bonuses to Vitality, Life per Second, and Cooldown Reduction, and are primed and ready for transmogrification. The key for the Infernal Pauldrons can be found in any launch day copy of Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition. (Please note that the Infernal Pauldrons key requires an Internet connection to be redeemed and cannot be transferred across platforms.)

Press Release via Battle.net

Diablo III Patch Now Available

Diablo III Logo

So nearly two weeks after it’s release on the PS3, we Xbox 360 owners and players are finally getting Patch 1.0.2. The update fixes numerous crash-related bugs and gameplay issues, and makes further balance changes.

Here’s the official patch change log from Blizzard:

Crash Fixes

  • Fixed a crash that could occur when quitting the game during a cutscene.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when interacting with the stash while another player attempts to join your game.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur after connection failures caused by NAT/
  • Firewall settings.
  • Fixed multiple crashes that could occur as a result of memory corruption.
  • Fixed crash when casting Hex with the Painful Transformation rune on a Fetish Shaman in Acts III and IV.
  • Removed unnecessary “Clear Skill” option that could appear on the Passive Skill screen and would crash the game when selected.

Gameplay Fixes

  • Enabling Elective Mode no longer causes “New Slot” notification stars to appear for the original slot as opposed to the slot the skill is assigned to.
  • Hardcore characters in the process of taking fatal damage while exiting the Scorched Chapel will no longer be permanently killed.
  • Followers can no longer permanently lose all items after migrating from one game host to another.
  • The following four item sets will no longer repeatedly and permanently add core stat bonuses each time the player logs out of the game: Blackthorne’s Armor, Endless Path, Zunimassa’s Whispers, and Guardian’s Contingency. (This fix will also retroactively correct inflated core stat bonuses on heroes affected by this bug prior to our hotfix going live.)
  • Equipping a quiver with a two-handed bow will no longer cause Quick Compare to incorrectly reflect a loss in damage.
  • Square gems should now only drop in Hell difficulty, which is also where the required items to combine them drop.
  • The Paragon experience bar for Player 2 and Player 4 now displays correctly instead of being visually clipped at the ends.
  • Fixed a bug that caused a player’s experience bar to not display in multiplayer games if a another character with a Paragon levels had entered the game first.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the inventory to not display unidentified Legendary items.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the inventory to display equipped items twice if you exited the gem socketing sub-screen with the Select/Back button.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the controller to become stuck vibrating indefinitely.
  • Made changes to address corruptions of saved game data.

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Diablo III Review

Diablo III Logo

Diablo III is the third in a series of iconic PC cooperative dungeon crawler RPG’s. The franchise is well known and respected in PC gaming circles, it ranks up there with other RPG’s and dungeon crawlers like Neverwinter Nights and Baldur’s Gate.  It is quite literally one of the industry’s most popular franchises, a battle between Good and Evil, Heaven and Hell, and now finally it is here on Xbox 360.

I’ve been waiting a long time for this day – the chance to finally get my Blizzard fix whilst relaxing on the sofa with the comfort of an Xbox 360 controller in my hand. When I first read those port rumours a couple of years back and even saw the Blizzard recruitment posts looking a Console Producer, it still felt too good to be true. But the much anticipated game is finally here and I am ecstatic to report that it handles superbly albeit outside of its usual confines.

Like its predecessors, this iteration is a diabolically (like what I did there?) hellish, cooperative dungeon crawler that isn’t afraid to ratchet up its toughness from time to time. Diablo III, while featured completely in 3D with a 3D environment, follows closely in Diablo II’s track by using the classic isometric view, fast gameplay, and randomized content for high replayability. Some changes have been made in order to make the game more welcoming to new players, to ramp up the difficulty more smoothly, and to create a deep and engaging combat system. The Diablo III developers took inspiration from previous games in the series, as well as World of Warcraft. This latest behemoth offers a bevy of different degrees of challenge in the form of Normal, Nightmare, Hell & Inferno difficulties.

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Each difficulty level repeats the same content (with a few minor changes), while scaling up all the skills, items, monsters, experience rewards, gold drops, and everything else to maintain a challenge appropriate to the character level. The fourth difficulty level, Inferno, is a new feature in Diablo III, adding a much more challenging end game experience to the Hell difficulty that was the upper limit in Diablo II. If that sounds like it’s up your alley, then you’ll surely end up enjoying the twenty-odd hour game during your first run through, and multiple run through’s afterwards.

As with all titles similar, players are given the opportunity to pick and name their character, choose its gender and class from several different archetypes, some of which will be familiar to role-playing fanatics. First up is the typical hulking muscle ripped Barbarian, a close combat specialist. Next is the speedy monk with strong Eastern martial arts influences, then the nature-wielding, necromancy practicing and alchemy expert Witch Doctor. The final two classes are the ranged Demon Hunter who specializes in crossbows and trap laying and finally the expected Wizard, pure spell caster who focuses the arcane and elemental energies and transforms them into destructive offensive spells.

Being someone who daily wishes they had spells and magical powers at their disposal, I picked the Wizard and stuck with him from start through to completion. I’ve yet to load up the next difficulty, but don’t worry, I will. I aim to finish this game on all FOUR difficulties.

The thing about Diablo games, and especially III, is that they are action-packed right from the get go. Diablo III ups the ante on most if not all of its peers. It doesn’t matter where you happen to be standing, the likelihood is there are enemies in extremely close proximity to you and your party. Enemies are monstrous in their design and range from the grotesque to demonic, mutated and downright vile. This is a game about good trying to overcome evil and these enemies are everything you’ve had nightmares about from childhood to adult life. Because of the sheer number of them make sure you are always fully stocked on health potions. Playing Solo (offline or without a local 2nd, 3rd and 4th player) you’ll probably die quite a bit, especially near the beginning. During the early quests I was continually swarmed by hordes of foes who killed me with relative ease – the bastards!

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In terms of the story line, unless you’ve played the prior two titles, it will intrigue you but won’t come across as the best or most unique script every written. For those of you familiar with Diablo lore, you’ll enjoy what is on offer as new and interesting details are revealed. The basic premise is an old man and his niece discover an ancient text, a text that speaks about an upcoming demonic invasion. As happens in all these scenarios, just as the two learn the meaning of the texts, all Hell (quite literally) breaks loose and hordes of demons break through into the realm of the living. By doing so the demons have broken a truce, choosing to invade the land of Sanctuary and take it for their own. Now demons are bad enough but someone else has come to town to play, the Lord of Terror himself, Diablo the Prime Evil. There is additional detail to the story to be found in diaries and journals scattered around the game world. These aren’t essential reading but do add further depth to those wishing to dig deeper into the story and lore.

If you hadn’t have heard about Diablo prior to this game, one of the biggest achievements for Blizzard has to be the fact that whilst playing Diablo III you’d be forgiven for thinking it had been designed for console from the outset. For a PC to console port, this is shining example of what taking extra time and care can achieve. They have haven’t released a console title since The Lost Vikings in 1997 (SNES, Saturn & PS1), yet there is no rust to be found here. Everything has been well thought out from the way abilities are mapped to controller face and shoulder buttons, and the ease at which players can escape combat through rolls. If you prefer joysticks and buttons over clicking a mouse and tapping keys, then you’ll feel right at home here, and won’t have any issues adjusting to what is a thoroughly impressive and fully acceptable input system. I can say that after being both a dedicated PC MMO player with multiple keyboard binds and macros as well as being a console fanatic.

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Graphically you have to remember that Diablo III was originally designed for PC and Mac. Therefore when run on the highest settings, the game will always look better on those platforms than a console. That said, the Xbox 360 is far from slacking in this department. The visual design is captivation and more than pleasing to the eye. You’ll understandably encounter some minor screen tearing, and a tiny bit of slowdown here and there, but they’re more hiccups than problems and don’t detract from the overall experience in the slightest. The frame rate fluctuates during big battles on screen where there were tons and tons of hideous monstrosities on the screen. There is a slight big of lag during online multiplayer and occasionally your comrades can become stuck in a building wall when they jump across the screen.

If like me you have been waiting this title ever since the announcement it was definitely going ahead for console, then don’t delay, get out there and buy it. It’s a fantastic port and is one of the finest dungeon crawlers I have played in a long, long time. It is action packed, it’s a loot lover’s dream and single player is rewarding and fun whist there is great online and/or local cooperative action. If you’ve never played a Diablo title before and are looking for something new to try with friends, then again this should most definitely be on your radar. From me to you Blizzard, job well done.

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Diablo III TV Commercial Goes For The “Sex Sells” Approach

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmsZU8ppD6Q

In this strange commercial for the console version of Diablo III, clothes are scattered all the way up the stairs leading to the bedroom, women are sounding as if they’re having more than a little fun, and the madness ends with the male role walking in to discover all the action is from the enjoyment of Diablo III on a console – who then joins in topless!

It’s all very strange. However, the console versions of Diablo III have been custom-tailored for gamepad-driven action, with a dynamic camera perspective that puts your hero front and center, as well as an all-new user interface and an intuitive control system that make vanquishing evil feel like second nature. Players can take on the vile denizens of the Burning Hells alone or in a party of up to four via same-screen local cooperative play or online over Xbox LIVE.

Diablo III is due for console release on September 3rd 2013.