Penny Arcade Hands-On the Diablo 3 Console


Blizzard gave the Penny Arcade guys a chance to try out the DiabloWikiDiablo 3 console in a group, couch-rules style, and they’ve posted their exploits in a two-hour video of game footage and couch cam video to show their reactions. They don’t have much experience with Diablo 3 so it’s not a real representative vision of what it would be like for any of us to play the Diablo 3 console, but it’s a fairly entertaining presentation.

Here’s the 3:30 promo, with short interviews with the contestants and some footage of their early gameplay.

Click through for the full 2 hour video. It gets an NSFW warning since there’s a lot of language of the type you hear when 4 gamers are playing together on someone’s couch.

If you skip to the last couple of minutes they give their overall impressions after beating the Skeleton King and they’re all fans of the UI and other features.

Elly watched a bunch of it earlier while I was out and fired me some funny recaps of the action:

  • 14:40 — “I hate it on the console. I hate it on the console.”
  • 15:50 — Is fun. Trying to stay in a dungeon. They are actually having to instruct everyone to move away from the door as they keep entering and exiting the Damp Cellar.
  • 16:00 — Someone mid-battle decides he doesn’t like his skill so hops into his skill UI – team mates sit looking very fucked off.
  • It seems like this would work best with 4 people who know how to play, or 4 noobs. If it was just you who knew what you were doing and 3 friends, you’d need to be pretty patient to wait while everyone else tried to figure out what they were doing and how to control things and where to move. But the group interaction looks very fun, heckling each other and arguing over loot and such.

    Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 3 Console, Hands-On Reports, Videos

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    1. Wow. The Penny Arcade guys are all really out of character here, it’s painfully obvious that Blizzard has scripted and paid for this ‘review’.

      Lost a lot of respect for Tycho and Gabe for shilling for Blizzard like this.

    2. THis was painful to watch. I consider myself a PC gamer but don’t usually bash console gamers, but they seem like a worst stereotype console gamers ever…’oh look at the LAZZZERS!! this game is awesome”.

      -_-

      • My thoughts were somewhat similar, but rather coming from the “that’s how Blizzard picture their broad target audience nowadays” end:

        A bunch of random people who aren’t really too deeply invested into game series and happy to be playing anything with a name really (no matter what quality/standard/consistency) for a few hours, the more screen-shaking involved, the better.

        “Oh look at the LAZZZERS!” sums it up really well. And if the console UI didn’t look thrown together in such a stuporous way, I think there would be very little arguing about how their console market ambitions did indeed pretty much figure into the very creation of Fiasco III right from the (re-re-)start.

    3. I sat and watched the full 2 hours cause it was kinda funny.

      However, I was kinda surprised by how much they suck at games.

      The wizard threw away several good weapons because he assumed he could only use wands.

      The Barbarian never used secondary attack, only ever used primary attack and leap. For that matter the Wizard used secondary attack very rarely (although he was trained that the ice beam sucks lol).

      They were slowly starting to figure out inventory systems but out of them all the only one that looked like he knew how to play a video game was the Demon Hunter. This is my first time even seeing console gameplay in action and I was figuring stuff out faster than they were. =/

      However, if I can get a dependable crew together for playing together on the couch, this blows Gauntlet out of the water. It’s great to have another four-player game to play with friends in person. Online play can be fun but it really isn’t the same.

      The 1-to-1 movement, just watching it, it looks more fun than click to move. The inventory system, being able to equip or drop stuff on the fly, as well as filters for each of the slots, not having to rearrange inventory for space, marking stuff as junk to be sold real quick. All good stuff.

      The biggest problem is the ninja looting (although that’s less of a problem when the person is there in real life). The share a screen thing isn’t all that bad actually, it keeps the group together. I also like how the camera angle shifts and adjusts slightly, it makes the world feel more three dimensional instead of two dimensional to have a camera that actually moves.

      The biggest thing is the way the game pauses for everyone when you look at inventory or skills, but if you get good at managing that quickly, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

      So yeah, I might wind up getting this if I can find people to play it with. Surprising.

      • As some other users posted, it’s pretty clear that they were offered access to the game in exchange of a favourable review.

        One of their many justifying task was probably to act dumb, as a way to justify the equally dumb interface. I bet my dick one, if not most of them, have played similar games in the past. It makes no sense to play so poorly.

        I had my grandmother play D3 better than them. I’m not even kidding. The 80 year old plays games and picked that one up like it was a joke, probably from her old NES zelda days muscle memory. Speaking of a difficult game, has anyone finished world 2 for Zelda on the NES?

    4. I’ve watched the first 20 minutes.

      The biggest problem I see is people fighting over the menus and interface. Suggestions:

      1. Allow couch groups to assign ONE player as “general”. Only this player can access certain things, such as the ability to enter/exit cellars. Couch groups can reassign generals if needed. Its purely a quality of life feature. Trouble is, most groups probably won’t know the “general” feature even exists. Maybe ask at the start of the game who should be the general, and then when they approach a cellar, you have the “X” button above it and some text saying “only generals can bring the group through”.

      2. Allow people to easily reassign skills without stopping the action and entering the menu system. Maybe a small box under the player’s health bar.

      • From my brief console play time at Bliz, it seemed to me that they could do menus side by side, so at least 2 people at once could do inv or skills or whatever. Maybe not always, and it would depend on the size of your TV and how far back you were sitting, but it seemed like a split screen or even 4 corners interface option would be workable.

    5. After 35 minutes of this video, I’m pretty certain I thoroughly hate all 3 guys who play this game. Wow are they highly annoying. Haha.

    6. Did they change any skills in the console version?

      Or this still remains true and… they didn’t really “port” the game.

    7. They didn’t sound that impressed with the offline console experience.

    8. Really enjoyed watching this. Fairly funny to watch them ninja loot one another and just genuinely trolling one another. Now with that said..

      The user interface experience seems jarring and tiring to go through. Jarring in the sense it constantly pops up, taking the entire screen and disconnecting you from the Diablo experience, then sending you right back into it. Tiring in the sense each person must and constantly goes through their loot and skills. This is an item hunt and ARPG game after all.

      Chris Metzen must be smiling right now knowing they completely skipped through the story. Maybe this is the crowd the story was designed for. At least that’s one positive out of this whole experience, right?

    9. I watched the whole thing and I think the team played reasonably well given the busy circumstances (the coach co-op setting itself was thoroughly and intentionally \casual\ but their ability to comprehend gameplay and UI intricacies seemed pretty normal to me).

      Despite the glaringly obvious inventory limitations (there are some things only a mouse can do, after all), this video made me look forward to the console version even more. It’s inevitably going to be the inferior stepbrother to the PC original – and possibly also to the completely separate Playstation 4 release which is coming in 2014 – but the 1-1 controls are shaping up to be a really big deal in terms of the core gameplay experience.

    10. They seemed to get to grips with the screen sharing fairly quickly. At first there was a bit of effing and blinding when one of them would take it upon themselves to access a UI screen without any consideration for the other players.

      Also one of them was getting a bit pissed off when the group would move off without fully clearing an area. He had no choice in the matter as he’d teleport to the group when they moved away.

      The Quick Compare/Equip feature is very cool. I’d love that on the PC version. I also like the inventory automatically storing picked up items by slot. I hate having to fanny around organising my backpack.

      • It’s not atop my wish list, but now that you mention it some more auto sorting in the INV would be nice. I’d like multiple tabs, personally. Armor in one, weapons in another, misc in the third. For one thing, weapon comparisons after IDing are super quick since you only need to glance at the DPS to rule out 98% of rare finds. Armor requires a longer glance, and my brain could do it faster with all weapons in a row, and then all armor in a row.

    11. Hmmm… while the whole concept of a gang of friends sitting on a couch together and having fun ribbing eachoter brings me waaay back to like 10 years ago, me and my friends sitting at my parents’ house and having tons of fun rocking that good old PS2 of mine, I really am not liking a few things here.

      1. The whole proccess of each sell to a vendor or changing items in the inventory makes the one person stop the action for the entire party. This in turn, makes one try to rush it in order not to disturb the entire party for too long, and that is pretty much the opposite of what I see as a Diablo game, with careful planning of items, stats, skills and so on.

      2. The teleporting issue with one player behind perhaps more “full clears” determined than the rest. I would totally be that guy, and would feel I am being rushed through the game against my will, at least the first few times.

      3. Sorry, but that roll animation still looks silly to me. Seeing a wizzard doing a backflip and sommersault is something no real RPG should allow.

      With that said, I am interested in seeing how the endgame drop work around, when the game releases on console later on next month.

      • The sense I got from watching the video, as in how I would play with friends, is using that quick compare feature and dropping all loot that isn’t an upgrade for me. So most of the time you’re just picking upgrades off the ground and dropping the rest for the other players without ever stopping the action.

        Also, the inventory seems like it’s a lot larger. 60 slots I think I saw? Can carry 60 items? If you’re only carrying gear you previously wore when putting on upgrades, and not dropping everything that isn’t an upgrade, it would take a pretty long time to fill up.

        Finally, gold is shared between all players so establishing one person to pick up stuff to sell and then having only one person (the one fastest at navigating the inventory) go through and mark everything junk and sell it all, would make it go quick.

        The slowest part would be gear previously worn before you got an upgrade, and trading that to other players so they can either wear or sell it. But it doesn’t look too hard to go in and drop all your unequipped gear pretty quickly.

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