Having heard so many things about the console version it was only a matter of time before I had to try it. Having invested so much time in to the PC version I knew I would never fully switch over and I needed a push to try it. That push came from a friend of mine who had never played Diablo..at all…like ever. A foreign idea to anyone reading this, but I knew he was a console gamer and this was my chance to rope him in.
We started out the night as any good console session should – with pizza and beer. A s the pizza was cooking and the beers we’re being imbibed I began to fill him in on what Diablo was about, the goals, motivations and some minor lore. I knew I was talking a lot, and that my love for the game was causing me to pour far too much information on him, so we settled on just playing.
The class screen was before us and he was asking what to play. I had to stop myself this time from yammering on about the merits of each class and keep it relatively simple. “Do you want to hit things up close or far away?” I asked. He replied “up close”. “Okay, do you want to do a lot of quick hits or slow big hits?”. “Slow and big” he replied, and there may have been a penis joke in there but I digress. We settled then on a Barbarian for him and I jumped into a Monk, having been Witch Doctored out after hitting paragon 100 in hardcore recently (have a I mentioned I did that?..oh only every column since. Last time I promise!)
After we selected our characters we jumped into Tristram and started rolling into zombies. It took a little bit to get the hang of the controller but after a while it became quite fluid, after all you only have a few skills that early on anyway. Aside from the controls everything was the same, and that to some extent made it tough for me and perhaps my friend. The dialogue and story was all new to him but had been played to death by myself. It was hard to slow down my normal break neck pace to allow for him to learn the story. A year of hard mf/xp runs had distilled my ability to slow down and enjoy the game, and I found myself quickly summarizing what we were doing instead of letting the game do it for us.
As we ventured into the Cathedral I started to notice the affects of shared drops. My friend was picking up everything while I was a bit more reserved and in the end left with very little. I found myself looking franticly for an upgrade that wasn’t swallowed by the whale of a barbarian. Eventually we had to discuss items and started looking out for one another and the game started to become bit better. Hearing him say that he found a claw, or something else I could use was nice, and I returned the favor. It helped solidify the party aspect and bonded us together as unit.
As the night rolled on we continued to roll through the denizens of hell and it was nice to see someone experience the game for the first time. I had to bite my tongue as he tried out skills I knew were useless, or equip gear I knew he wouldn’t want to. However, it didn’t really matter, they were his mistakes to make. A few beers later, our night was done but not our experience. The next day we discussed our next foray back to Sanctuary and I couldn’t be happier to come along. He may not jump into the PC version, but he was closer to that than he had been the day prior. The game had sucked him in, like it had done for me so many years ago, and I hope that it continues to do so in future returns.
Overall I won’t switch from PC to Console for all my D3 needs. Diablo has always been an online PC game for me and will stay that way, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I had a hell of a time taking a break from Diablo with its slightly different brother. Now as for Hardcore on the console, as it was my friends first time playing I decided not to subject him to the fate of permadeath, however there is always the next time!
What are your thoughts on the Console version of D3?
One Life to Live covers the Hardcore play and life style in the Diablo community. It is written by Xanth and published weekly. Post your comments below, Follow him on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly. For all the archived news about Diablo 3 hardcore check our Archives!