Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition Reviews


The Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition is the console version of Diablo 3 + Reaper of Souls, available as a stand alone product for the PS3/PS4/Xbox360/XboxOne. It’s essentially the same game as the PC version with a few minor differences in content and a lot of differences in controls and interface.

As we talked about on the last podcast, most users (including me) think the console controls are considerably better, at least for melee characters. Unlike the PC version with the left click tied to/wasted on a skill, on the console the left stick is purely for movement, and a console player can always move exactly where they want, without accidentally clicking on a monster or chest or item on the ground. Other console improvements include an enhanced kill streak counter, item sharing to friends, and the monster sharing Nemesis system.

Other changes may not be improvements, the game isn’t getting patched as regularly as the PC/Mac version, there are hacked items since it’s not online-only, and the controls can be tricky for ranged characters, since without a pointer it’s hard to target ranged skills precisely. But that’s enough intro from me based on some play-time at Blizzcon, since we’ve got two full reviews of the Ultimate Evil Edition written by regular podcast guests Ynzerg and JrMint.

Here’s a quick quote from each of their write ups.

The additional console-only hooks are very smart and I’d love to see some of these ideas migrate to the PC. The Mail system allows you to send loot to your compadres similarly to how you’d do it in most MMOs. Just click send and your buddy will have a new shiny in his or her mailbox. “You’ve got mail! (and new loot!)”. Along the same lines I’d have to say the gift system is quite novel as well. Occasionally, items will drop as gifts—no, not Rammlammdingdong gifts—which are only useable for people on your friend’s list. I don’t have enough friends playing the game to receive gifts, but I imagine it feels nice to get free loot from out of the blue.
–Ynzerg

All of the features mentioned are present in both the PC and Console versions of the expansion. The console simply enhances all of them. The characters and spells really just jump off the screen on a Playstation 4 or Xbox One, due to the higher resolution and larger screen. The console versions also add a “dodge roll”. This is done by flicking the right stick on your controller and causes your character to roll out of the way. This is such a game changer and something that really should be incorporated into the PC version as an option. There are console specific features such as the Nemesis system and a gifting system, but they feel more like a gimmick than much else. The consoles also allow you to play “couch co-op” with one other person locally. Diablo is made for a system like that, and it works great.
–JrMint

Click through to read them in full and add your own console comments.

Ynzerg’s PC vs. UEE Report

Diablo UEE Writeup

For me, the Diablo franchise borders on the sacred. I spent far, far too many — or perhaps not enough– hours in D2 LoD doing Baal runs, killing Pindleskin and besting the countess all in the hopes that the unlikely would occur and I would receive my comeuppance for the hours put in. Of course this was often met with utter failure, but I continued this endless journey into D3. When they announced, a long time ago, that a console version would be released, I met this news with trepidation.

“This is a PC game, damnit!”

Putting all of the drama on the forums aside, I was quite sure there was no way I would acquire this game, let alone even play it. Alas, my curiosity got the better of me and I finally got my hands on the Ultimate Evil Edition and decided to dig in and see what this was all about. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found.

So yes, in Diablo I like to grind for gear and try to become more powerful every chance I can, but more profound for me is the experience of doing this with friends. Diablo, for me, is a social experience rarely matched by other games. This is what intrigued me most about playing the console version of the game. Unsurprisingly, then, the very first thing I did was boot up the game and jump into a Co-op session with my brother. He played a Crusader and I played a WD. Within minutes we were grinning ear-to-ear due to how much fun it was to be smashing things on the same screen together. Quite honestly, this is an experience that the PC gamers won’t understand until they try it, but the comparisons to Gauntlet are not unfounded. It does have its quirks though.

For instance, if one player moves to far afield from the other a very jarring teleport occurs from one player to the next to keep the onscreen continuity in tact. Perhaps a small issue, but if you plan to play hardcore or are doing advanced content it could be deadly. Though I can’t think of a better solution, the Co-op UI function is quite clunky and slow as only one player can access the menu at a time making the “equip new loot” process a bit cumbersome at the start but you become faster with experience. Loot is intelligently distributed in a Co-op game, but it’s really fun to actually see the loot that is dropping for you friends, again. I missed this from D2. The Co-op experience is a huge success and is very fun if you get a chance to try it out. I loved it.

Another issue I wanted to investigate was the translation of the control scheme to a console gamepad. Relative to the PC, the controls were actually quite easy to pick up. They made access to your skills, by way of the gamepad, easy to get to via the button mapping. If you are used to keyboard play it may take you a little time before you are Johnny-on-the-spot with your more important skills but, again, you get faster. The right joystick on the gamepad executes a unique roll maneuver that is a wonderful, needed addition to the console version as joysticks are not nearly as precise or agile as a mouse. This gives you a little bit more mobility during dire moments and another tactical option during serious engagements. It felt very easy to play and was surprisingly fun to someone who is so used to only using a traditional mouse and keyboard setup. Equipping gear uses a tried and true radial menu that, while it pales in comparison to the freedom of a PC UI, works very well for the console.

The additional console-only hooks are very smart and I’d love to see some of these ideas migrate to the PC. The Mail system allows you to send loot to your compadres similarly to how you’d do it in most MMOs. Just click send and your buddy will have a new shiny in his or her mailbox. “You’ve got mail! (and new loot!)”. Along the same lines I’d have to say the gift system is quite novel as well. Occasionally, items will drop as gifts—no, not Rammlammdingdong gifts—which are only useable for people on your friend’s list. I don’t have enough friends playing the game to receive gifts, but I imagine it feels nice to get free loot from out of the blue.

Truly, I have to say I was quite pleased with the console experience. They managed to solve some difficult problems in elegant ways and it didn’t detract from my Diablo experience in any way. Personally, I’ll be spending most of my time on the PC still, but for those who are considering buying the console version, rest assured you’ll be getting a great, polished Diablo experience.

-Ynzerg

JrMint’s UEE Review

Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition is the culmination of Blizzard’s efforts with the Diablo series.

It is safe to say that when Diablo 3 first launched in May 2012, it was with some turmoil. The initial play through the story was enjoyable, then we all realized the issues with the game. There was the fact that you had to play through that story four times to reach maximum level, the difficulty at max level was prohibitive to progress, and the gear required to progress was next-to-impossible to obtain. This led to the biggest issue with the game which was the economy and Auction House. This is all old news though, I only bring it up to highlight how far Blizzard has come with this latest edition of Diablo 3.

The game now requires you to only play through the story one time at a difficulty of your choosing. The initial difficulty you select is not very important since the game ramps up the difficulty as you move through the game and level up. For both new players and old, I’d recommend playing through on Hard for your first play through. It feels right at the beginning, and you feel appropriately powerful as you acquire better equipment.

The real story with Reaper of Souls though is the introduction of the Adventure System. Veterans of the PC version will be very familiar with this, but this addition is what really takes Diablo 3 to the next level. In this mode you are able to go on “bounties” which take you to different areas of the story seamlessly to complete various missions such as kill a story line boss, or kill various elite enemies plus 100 additional enemies. They are very fun, and unlock the other major feature of Adventure Mode – Nephalem Rifts. These are randomly populated areas of the game with random monsters to kill. They take anywhere from five to twenty minutes and are the best method of acquiring legendary armor. The rate of legendary drops are double in rifts than anywhere else in the game. As a bonus for the Ultimate Evil Edition on Playstation 4 the rifts have a chance to be populated with monsters from The Last of Us.

One of the biggest improvements since Reaper of Souls came out is the introduction of the Smart-Loot system. This was first shown off in the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 version of Diablo 3, and then incorporated into the expansion. The Smart-Loot system makes it so the game drops equipment specific for your class about 90% of the time. This was an excellent addition, which allows you to actually improve your character while you play instead of logging off to look through the Auction House. This is such an important update and adds a feeling of excitement almost every time you get a drop while playing.

All of the features mentioned are present in both the PC and Console versions of the expansion. The console simply enhances all of them. The characters and spells really just jump off the screen on a Playstation 4 or Xbox One, due to the higher resolution and larger screen. The console versions also add a “dodge roll”. This is done by flicking the right stick on your controller and causes your character to roll out of the way. This is such a game changer and something that really should be incorporated into the PC version as an option. There are console specific features such as the Nemesis system and a gifting system, but they feel more like a gimmick than much else. The consoles also allow you to play “couch co-op” with one other person locally. Diablo is made for a system like that, and it works great.

I’d also mention that as of the writing of this the latest patch to the game, 2.1, has been also patched to the consoles. This adds more depth in progression in the form of Greater Rifts and Legendary Gems, but does not include the Seasons feature of the PC version.

In summary this is without a doubt the definite edition of Diablo 3 and should not be missed. I would recommend it to anyone who has not played a Diablo game before, but enjoys dungeon crawlers, Blizzard fans, or just gamers in general. If you are already an avid player of the PC version, I’m not sure it is worth it as a full priced $60 game, but if you find it at a discount it is definitely worth considering.

–JrMint


Thanks to our two guest reviewers, both of whom played on the PS4. I know a fair number of other long time PC gamers who have enjoyed the UEE on their console as well. It’s the same game, but feels altered enough with the couch co-op and controls changes that it’s a different gaming experience. Most players describe it as more casual and party-based; something they enjoy throwing in when a friend is over and they can bash together for a while.

Any of you guys gotten some UEE play time and found it better, worse, or just different than the PC/Mac experience you’re used to?

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 3 Console, Diabloii.Net Columns

Comments

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  1. I definitely don't think rolling should be in PC. No thanks.

    • I wonder if adding a "dodge button" for a chance (not a guaranteed success) to go "under" rays of arcane enchanted mobs or avoid the butcher hook or some dodgeable attacks would not add interesting gameplay and a chance to use our playing skill. If the waller affix and narrow corridors make you are stuck, having this option is nice.

  2. You’re right about the ranged skills being a bit harder to use on the console. I can’t count the number of times I’ve cast black hole on one guy right next to me rather than on the mob on the other side of the screen, or teleported into a pack because I was facing the wrong way.

  3. Went from PC (Plvl263) to the XBox One and I am very happy with the console version. Updates are coming fast after the PC updates and playing with the controller, laying on the couch, is great.

  4. it’s interesting that none of the reviews mention how the ps3 and xbox360 versions are stuck on patch 2.06 with virtually no endgame.

    It’s a crappy situation that 2.06 is the final patch/update. It’s a shame that 2.1 was released only A WEEK after the not so ultimate evil edition. It’s also funny about the silence Blizzard has on the topic given the countless topics and post on their official forums of people asking for a legit answers whether or not the older console would get 2.1.

    • I don’t remember where it was listed but Blizz said right from the beginning with UEE that the last gen console versions would not get content updates. That statement was what prompted me to get the PS4 for this game. I wish I knew where it was said though.

  5. Wow… talk about ridiculous article.

    Controls better on consoles? Ya hows that shitty UI doing for you?

    “All of the features mentioned are present in both the PC and Console versions of the expansion. The console simply enhances all of them. The characters and spells really just jump off the screen on a Playstation 4 or Xbox One, due to the higher resolution and larger screen.”

    Typical misinformed console nonsense. Console enhances something? No it doesn’t. The resolution is the same on pc and next gen consoles (1080P). Only difference is you’re stretching that image over a larger surface, but the resolution is the same. Particle effects for spells are the same.

    Please know what you’re talking about before posting “reviews” that have wrong info in them

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