Diablo 3 Console Hands-On Preview


Edge Online posted a writeup of their demo time on the Diablo 3 console game for the PlayStation 3. The article is useful in that it compares the DiabloWikiDiablo 3 console version to the PC game we all know so well, and they seem to find some pros and cons.

Here’s a partial quote; see the original article or more detail.

A 15-minute demo isn’t the best way to experience Diablo III, admittedly. The long game lies in the gear management, in kitting out your chosen character with absurdly powerful weapons and armour in order to cut an effortless swathe through the demonic hordes and pick up even more powerful loot. What is clear from the demo is that Blizzard’s made a considerable effort to retool skill and item management for a controller and a big TV screen. The pause screen is home to radial menus for speedy selection of gear and attacks, but tweaks to the game design are focused on having players spend as little time in such menus as possible. There will be fewer but better loot drops than were found in last year’s PC version of the game, for instance. Stand over an item and you’ll be able to see immediately whether it’s worth your time, and you can either equip, collect or discard it with a quick press of a face button.

The decision to minimise time spent in menus chimes well with a game that, thanks to free left-stick movement and that right-stick dodge, feels a little pacier than the original.

…It’s far from a complete picture, then, but it does feel like Diablo III has been cut down a little for consoles. It certainly feels more like an action game than before – a genre for which PS3 players are hardly starved. And we can only imagine that the subset of PC players who want to play a lighter, pacier version of a game they’ve already played is rather small, even if they can do it from their sofa.

I don’t own a modern console so it’s purely an academic concern to me, but like a lot of you guys I’m curious to see how console gamers take to Diablo 3, and especially how D3 works with the tweaked drop rates/qualities, and no Auction House. There’s still no release date to mark when we might start getting some of those answers, alas.

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 3 Console

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  1. It will definitely be interesting to see how the game plays and controls. I’ve been playing consoles for 25+ years (the Atari 2600 hooked me early, lol,) and continue to buy them and collect them, but I also play my fair share of PC games. Anywho, there have been plenty of ARPG’s that have done well on console- particularly on the PS2. I’ve always wondered why Sony didn’t revisit the Champions of Norrath series, because it seemed to be quite good from what I saw.

    Anywho, the thing I’m most interested to find out about in the console version of D3, is how they’re going to handle the “point and click skills” from the PC version- for example, Acid Rain, Blizzard, Spike Trap, etc. Will they have set distances? Will you have to press the button, aim the skill, and press it again? Will you be able to move while aiming?

    I’ve thought about this a little bit here and there, and the best solution I could think of, would be to have players hold down the skill button, which would bring up a target of some kind (I keep picturing a small, slowly-spinning ring for some reason,) and then you use the right analog to aim the target before letting go of the button. This would allow players to quickly press and release the button if they wanted it dropped immediately in front of them, but also would let players aim the skills while moving with the left analog stick.

    Anyone else out there spend a lot of time with consoles? How do you think they should handle these types of skills, and/or anything else that you feel needs alteration for the console version?

    • Oh, and I guess I should point out that this solution would only work if the skills were set to the “shoulder buttons” on top (L1, L2, R1, R2,) because otherwise you’d likely be holding a face button with your right thumb, making it rather awkward to try to use the right analog. ^ ^

      I guess they could do the “press once to select skill, aim reticule, press again to cast skill” instead, but I just feel that there’s more room for error when trying to cast them quickly and directly in front of you.

    • After watching the “Diablo 3 Controls on PS4” video that was posted here on May 16th, it sounds as though you actually have to “click in” the Right Analog Stick (known as R3) to dodge, so maybe the right analog is in fact planned out for targeting? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

  2. Does no one remember Diablo 1 on the PS1? This really isn’t a new thing. D2 wasn’t on consoles, they did it in 98′

    • My friend played alot of D1 the playstation 1, since back in those days there weren’t many computers under $2000 that could play games and a PS1 is all he could afford.

      I have zero interest in playing D3 again on a console.

    • My roommate still has Diablo on PS1, actually. That used a mouse cursor for doing things, which it seems they are trying to stay away from with D3 console, which is why I wrote what I did.

  3. The ideal way to play Diablo would be an analog stick for movement on one hand and mouse for attacks on the other. No such control exists or will ever happen but I’d love to play that version of Diablo.

    • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2010/11/rzrnostromoisolatedleft-small.jpg

      Not analog, but you see where I’m going. This was the only way to play WoW; 15 easy to reach buttons, movement on the thumb, aiming plus on the mouse. It just seems like a superior system than clicking to move all of the time.

      • Good lord, what is that thing! It looks more like a torture device than a control device. 😛

      • I have this weird PC control device from the 80s. It has about 86 more buttons than that thing!

        http://www.pcguide.com/ref/kb/layout/z_011331enh.jpg

        • Still not as good as a thumb-stick plus buttons. Moving quickly takes three fingers instead of one thumb, so you’re missing a few fingers for triggering a bunch of other stuff. Believe me, I’ve been keyboard/mouse since age 10 or so, and when I finally got a game pad, it was so easy to pick up and be quicker, more precise than before. The only more noticeable jump in control efficiency was when I switched to a flight stick for Descent and X-Wing/TIE Fighter.

    • The Logitech G13 script basically does this on the PC version, with the one exception that you have to stop moving for a split second to fire in the direction you click. Analog movement independent of the cursor is my preferred way of playing ranged characters.

      • This is probably the reason I want to play D3 on console the most- I think that DH would benefit greatly from independent analog movement. Also, if they’re introducing a dodge mechanic, will Vault still be on people’s skill bar?

      • Is it really so difficult for Blizzard to develope and implement controller controls for the PC-Version to bring independent analog movement in for ranged classes? Sure, you would have the same, ole game underneath with no comfort functions like the dodgeroll-button to not give controller-players a decesive advantage over mouse/kb-players. But independent analog movement is from my perspective rather a necessity for ranged classes than just an unessential gimmick and essential selling point for the console version.

    • Let’s go wild here:

      Joystick with Fire Button 1 and FB2 on thumb and index finger in the left hand, 5 button mouse in the right hand – technically I’m seeing no problem here.

  4. Anybody wondering how well a game such as this can be adapted for a controller should take a look at the XBox version of Torchlight.

    Here’s a hint: It works splendidly, especially with melee characters. Having direct character control and firing feels great.

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