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02-25-21 01:48 PM

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01-21-21 08:14 AM
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01-21-21 08:14 AM
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zanderlex
dark mode
Level: 245


POSTS: 26856/26988
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LVL EXP: 230794413
CP: 135830.4
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I’ve always had some level of interest in Diablo III, but it was mostly because of the economic system and the level of community engagement. As recently as three years ago I had no idea what the game was like but I knew all about the real money markets and how big the communities were, and that always seemed interesting to me. It kind of had the same vibe as what people got out of Animal Crossing: New Horizons over the last year in regards to community and trades and such.

While I was working at Gamestop near the end of 2018, I saw a sealed copy of the game for PS4 on sale for only $20 so I grabbed it and I ended up putting like 30 hours into it. I thought it was really good but I eventually found a copy of the Switch version and the thought of playing a game that was this big on the go was too big to not see through so I traded in my original copy and grabbed the switch version.

That was in November 2019 when I grabbed a copy for $35, 14 months ago, and I still play two or three times a month after all this time and I still haven’t even gotten all that far. It’s not a game that’s for everyone but I got so much out of it and I’m sure there’s still a lot of people who haven’t played the game, who might also like it.

GRAPHICS: 9/10

The graphics of Diablo III are pretty good. It’s a hack and slash game that kind of makes me think of isometric style games. The only thing that I think would make the graphics section better is if the game was more 3D based, as in a closer cam and being able to see more of the environment and your character. Everything just seems really small while you’re playing and exploring so there aren’t that many opportunities to fill in the game with detail.

Many of the character and enemy designs and models are pretty good though and when it comes to combat, everything is really nice and smooth, and it’s only gotten better over the past decade with it’s numerous updates and improvements. The thing that I like most about the way Diablo III looks is all of the cinematic cut scenes and animations that you can find throughout the game.

This is something that you see a lot with Blizzard games and it’s something that Blizzard does very well. We’ve all seen dozens of high quality Overwatch videos that look really good and those weren’t even part of the game. The animations were one of the things that really drew me to the game in the first place. I remember watching the first animation before the game begins, watching the cathedral be obliterated and it was really just an epic cinematic.

There aren’t a ton of scenes like this but there’s a decent amount and they all look beautiful. Overall, the graphics look great and if we were able to see more detail in some of the areas and objects, I think this section would have been an easy 10 out of 10. But, for now, the graphics section gets a 9 out of 10 from me.

SOUND: 10/10

When it comes to the sound of Diablo III, the game sure does have a lot to offer, each of the three big aspects of sound have a decent amount going on. First off you have the music. I really liked many of the songs, especially how energetic some of them were and how some of them fit the tone and gameplay very well. The only issue that I had with the music was that there wasn’t even that many, which is what you’d expect from such a big game.

The base game only had like 23 total songs, which accounted for around an hour of music. That’s pretty mediocre for a game that big, there are plenty of smaller games that have soundtracks that are longer. On the bright side, the Reaper of Souls expansion pack added another hour of music to the overall soundtrack, which added quite a bit to the overall soundtrack.

In addition to the song selection, Blizzard made sure to use the best composers possible by hiring people who’ve had extensive music experience within the company. The primary composer for the base game was Russell Borwer. He worked on a bunch of other Blizzard games such as Data 2, Starcraft II, World of Warcraft, and Hearthstone. The primary composer for Reaper of Souls was Derek Duke. He was the primary composer for Overwatch and also worked on Starcraft, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, and World of Warcraft.

Beyond the music, the voice cast is very extensive. If I’m not mistaken, pretty much everybody is voiced, whether they have a lot of dialogue or only a couple lines. The entire voice cast included an impressive list of more than 150 actors, many of which supplied the voices for multiple characters. Blizzard didn’t just include a bunch of no names either, they picked out a handful of established and well known voice actors.

Easily the biggest name involved is Grey DeLisle. She’s one of the biggest voice actors ever, having starred in many big and long running shows and games. She even worked with Blizzard before on StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. A couple of the other big names involved include Jennifer Hale, Troy Baker, Steve Blum, Dave Wittenberg, Fred Tatasciore, Matthew Mercer, Phil LaMarr, Yuri Lowenthal, Dee Bradley Baker, and Nolan North.

Those 11 actors alone are an impressive ensemble cast. The 11 of them have combined to perform more than 2,000 roles across hundreds of big movies, shows, anime, and games. The rest of Diablo III’s voice cast also features dozens of actors that have decent resumes as well. Not only that, but the game shows that it’s being voiced by professionals.

But wait, there’s more! That’s just in the English version of the game! If you get the game and play in its native English language, you’ll hear hundreds of voices from many of the best English voice actors in the world. But you could also just swap out English for a number of different languages and hear the game in many different ways. The only thing is that if you want to play the game in a different language, you need to make sure that you have enough space.

That’s because if you swap out the language, you’re going to be hearing hundreds of voices by even more voice actors, countless hours of extra audio that will be on your switch. Because of that, you will have to download each voice pack as a separate DLC pack. In total, you can download 13 different voice packs to your game, including Italian, Polish, Russian, German, Japanese, French, Korean, Brazilian, and different versions of Spanish, English, and Chinese.

Beyond those two sections, the regular sounds such as what you hear during combat is good as well but I’d put it third behind the music and voice acting. Overall, the entire sound aspect of Diablo III is just brilliant and gets a perfect 10 out of 10 from me.

ADDICTIVENESS: 10/10

Diablo III is a game that encourages you to beat the game, and then start from scratch and beat it all over again. Right now Diablo III has seven different character classes. Look at Skyrim. That’s a game that has a lot of different character classes but once you beat the game with one are you going to start over with a new class to see what they are like? You probably won’t unless you’re one of those Skyrim super fans.

But that’s something you can and probably will do in Diablo III. You will probably beat all the acts of the story and max out all your levels, weapons, stats, and such. Then you might start over from the beginning, not only choosing a different class, but even making an entirely different character.

Sure, once you beat the game and you have nothing else to do, you might still go back into your old character to battle and do other things. But there will be some people who still hunger for more and want to keep leveling up and those people will have no issue with starting a bunch of new games with different characters and classes each time. The game knows how to keep bringing you back, especially with their constant updates. I wouldn’t say it’s 100% perfect though because it’s up to the specific person whether or not they want to redo everything all over again. So addictiveness kind of gets a 9.5 out of 10 from me.

STORY: 9/10

The story of Diablo III is pretty epic. It all starts with this meteor or something that obliterates a cathedral and the protagonist visits a nearby town in order to investigate and to make matters worse, whatever happened is now creating evil zombies after people die. You go to the cathedral to save someone who was in it when it was destroyed and you learn that the only way to reach whatever fell from the sky is to defeat someone known as the skeleton king., who used to be a ruler.

That seems like a decent story right there right? Well that’s just the beginning because all that happens in the first half, maybe even in the first one third of the first act. The first act alone has a lot of story stuff and in total there are five acts. So not only is it going to take you a very long time to get through all of the story stuff, but you’re going to be subjected to a lot of quality plot points, which only gets bigger and better as you progress through the game.

Diablo III has so much story and so much content that there’s at least six full length books based on what’s going on in this game. There’s enough good story stuff out of this game to last multiple movies too, and that’s something I would be interested in. Overall, the story is great and gets a 9 out of 10 from me.

DEPTH

Oh boy, Diablo III has a lot to do, maybe too much. If you just stick to one class and one character, and you do as much stuff as you can, you’re going to end up spending months on the game anyway, even if you don’t restart or mess with other classes. You do that and you’ll easily get hundreds of hours out of the base game and all the DLC stuff. If you do mess with the different characters and you work on all the little things that the game has to offer, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d become one of those people to sing thousands of hours into the game.

When it comes to the depth of Diablo III, there are four big meaty sections. Those four big ones are the expansion passes, seasons, weapons and gear, and skills. Before I get to those big sections, I want to go over a couple of the smaller sections that make up the depth, which are still pretty big in their own right.

First off you have the size of the map and the number of characters who litter the game world. I already mentioned how more than 150 voice actors were hired and many of them voice multiple characters. There might as well be more than 1,000 characters and NPC’s scattered throughout the game for you to see and interact with. There’s just so many people. The world is also pretty big featuring a handful of regions with probably more than a hundred different locations to visit and explore.

WEAPONS AND GEAR: 10/10

The amount of weapons, gear, and items that you can use throughout your Diablo III adventure is hard to think about. You have three different sets of weapons which are one handed, two handed, and ranged. Each one has a bunch of different groups.

One handed weapons include one handed axes, one handed maces, one handed swords, one handed mighty weapons, fist weapons, ceremonial knives, spears, and daggers. Two handed weapons include two handed axes, two handed maces, two handed swords, two handed mighty weapons, polearms, staves, and daibo. Lastly, ranged weapons include bows, crossbows, hand crossbows, and wands. That’s a grand total of 19 weapon groupings and we haven’t even started talking about the individual weapons yet, which there are a ton of.

For starters, let’s look at one handed sword. A basic one is the simple short sword. It averages around 5 damage per second and a little more than 1 attack per second and the minimum requirement for using one is being alive. Then you have the more advanced one handed sword such as the Exalted Grand Conquest Sword. This one is so epic that you have to be level 60 to use and it features 210 damage per second and +6 to random magic properties.

Within the category of one handed swords, there are a bunch of sword that are each better than the last and require you to be higher levels. In total, there are 46 different swords that fall within this category. In most games, you would think that having 46 different weapons would be a lot, but this isn’t just 46 weapons, this is 46 weapons that fall under one handed swords, which is just one of 19 weapon groupings. There’s a lot more to go.

In total there are more than 250 one handed weapons and when you combine them with all the two handed weapons and ranged weapons, there’s a grand total of more than 600 different weapons for you to choose from. Not only is there such a massive list of weapons to mess with, but they can be transmogrified to change the way that they look. As a result, the number of possible unique weapons that you could possess exceeds tens of thousands of possibilities. Transmogrification also works on gear, which we’re going to talk about next.

Just like weapons, there is a massive collections of armor and gear to choose from. In total, you have helms, spirit stones, voodoo masks, wizard hats, pauldrons, cloaks, chest armor, bracers, gloves, belts, mighty belts, pants, boots, amulets, rings, shields, mojos, quivers, and orbs. That’s 19 sets of gear to mess with and it doesn’t even account for gear that can be equipped to followers.

Let’s take a look at helms. These can be equipped by all classes and features 40 different options. You have your basic one like the leather hood which offers around 22 armor. But then you have stuff like Cain's Laurel which offers 8- armor, 30 strength, 30 dexterity, 30 intelligence, 30 vitality, magic properties, and more.

In total, the number of different pieces of gear that can be worn on your head alone exceeds 90. Once you take into account every single piece of armor and gear, you’re looking at well over 550 different pieces of armor and gear. There’s literally thousands of ways to customize your character based on weapons and gear alone and as a result, this category gets a perfect 10 out of 10 from me.

Skills: 9/10

When it comes to skill systems, Diablo III has one of the most complex and impressive ones to date. The game just has so many different skills and each of the seven character class has their own set of active and passive skills that can be acquired by leveling up. There are so many skills in Diablo III that even the class that has the fewest skills has a ton.

That's right, the Monk class is the weakest link and can only learn 22 active skills and 18 passive skills for a grand total of only 40 different skills. The class with the most skills is the Wizard, who can learn 25 active skills and 18 passive skill. This means that between all seven classes, there's more than 290 total skills to learn.

Not only that but you can also use a bunch of skill runes to upgrade your skills. There's a ton of different runes and each of them can upgrade or change different aspects of your rune. Some might change damage or elemental damage. Others might change damage to damage per second or change the amount of enemies that an attack can hit. If you figure out how to best use these runes, your skill inventory might become unstoppable.

You take into account nearly 300 total skills and a bunch of skill runes and you get yourself a massive skill system. There's so much to work with when it comes to skills and as a result, this section gets a 10 out of 10 from me

EXPANSION PASS: 10/10

If you’ve made it this far into the review and you’ve read my review on Immortals Fenyx Rising, then you probably know where I’m going with this section. When it comes to Season passes, Expansion Passes, and DLC, it’s not always done right. There are so many games that just don’t do it right and end up failing when it comes to DLC’s and other expansions.

Most of the time, they are just little additions to the game that don’t really add much to the entire experience. If I’m not mistaken, many of the DLC’s to the older Call of Duty games cost like $15 and all they would add was a map and a couple little bonuses here and there. If you ask me, that’s not how you do DLC at all and it really just seems like a ripoff.

In my opinion, there’s a handful of developers and publishers that do DLC right, and all of them are involved with the Nintendo Switch. The best DLC packs are the ones that a ton to the game beyond just a couple customization options or small additions that don’t really affect anything. At the same time, you want the price to be reasonable, if you paid $60 for a game that takes 100 hours to beat, you wouldn’t want a $15 DLC pack to give you 5 hours of gameplay or strictly cosmetics and weapons.

In my opinion, there are three games that I’ve already discussed in great detail that do DLC the right way plus a fourth one that I never had a chance to talk about that I will here. The first three were the expansion passes and season passes for Breath of the Wild, Pokemon Sword and Shield, and Immortals Fenyx Rising. When it comes to the two later ones, I’ve had so much to talk about.

The Breath of the Wild Expansion Pass comes with two different DLC packs. They both come with a decent amount of content, whether it’s customization options or extra story stuff. The first pack is called The Master Trials and the second is called The Champions Ballard. It’s a decent price because you get the entire pass for only $20 and according to howlongtobeat, you can easily get 30 to 40 hours out of the DLC content alone.

The Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass was even better. Like the Breath of the Wild one, it came with two different DLC packs, each of which had a bunch of new areas to explore, new story stuff, new Pokemon, and new features. You get Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra together for only $30. The two together could easily set you back 50 hours but if you focus on catching all the new Pokemon, legendary hunting, and raids, I’d have no reason to doubt that you could easily puss 100 hours from these DLC packs.

Then the Season pass for Immortals Fenyx Rising is even bigger because instead of two DLC packs, there are three. Each of them are big in their own right and not only do they introduce to areas to explore, new story stuff, and new characters and items, but new NPC and completely new gameplay mechanics as well. Since it’s not out yet it’s impossible to really gauge how long the DLC will last but it should be a decent chunk of time and costs $40, less than $15 per DLC pack.

Those are the big three that I suavely talk about when comparing DLC of other games, but there’s a fourth, which is Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s Torna ~ The Golden Country. I haven’t played this one yet but it’s another great example of DLC done right. The full price for this DLC is $40 but is usually on sale for $25 or $30 and not only does it add so much to the base game but this one DLC alone can add more than 50 hours to your playtime.

Whenever I think of developers and publishers that do DLC right, those are the four games that I think of most. But then comes Blizzard with their games and DLC and they blow all four of those games out of the water with their DLC and expansion passes. Just look at World of Warcraft. It came out more than 15 years ago and is still as big as ever because of their insane dedication to DLC and expansion passes.

Their first expansion pass came out in 2007 and was insane. Only 10 people reported playtime to howlongtobeat and nearly all of them spent more than 1,000 hours on content exclusive to this expansion pass. Their most recent expansion pass came out just last year and is called Shadowlands and apparently adds another 50 to 100 hours or more to the game. In between those two expansion passes, there were six others. That’s right, World of Warcraft had eight different expansion passes that added thousands of hours worth of content to the base game over the last two decades.

HOW MUCH DOES THE EXPANSION PASS COST?

Blizzard really knows how to make DLC, and Diablo III is no exception. The dedication to both content and accessibility really shows as a result of how much there is to do in the Diablo III expansion passes as well as it’s price.

If you’re playing Diablo III on PC, it’s fairly cheap, especially for a game that’s been out for nearly a decade. If you wanted to pay for the game, it would normally cost you $20 and then it would cost you an extra $35 to individually buy all of the expansion passes. But you can buy the Eternal Collection edition of the game for PC and get the the game and all the expansion passes included for only $40.

You can also get similar pricing for the PS4 version. But we’re talking about the Nintendo Switch, the console that is notorious for not only overcharging for the Switch version of a game but also separately charging for expansion passes and DLC packs. For instance, for a while you had to buy Pokemon Sword and Shield for $60 and the expansion pass for $30 separately. Then they made a combo pack that charges the full amount.

The same thing is true for both Breath of the Wild and Immortals Fenyx Rising. Not only is there no bundle discount unless the game is on sale, but there were also times when you had to buy separately, but that’s where Diablo III comes in, shaking everything up.

First of all, yes the base game of Diablo III is hit with the legendary Switch tax so instead of paying $20 like the PC version, you’re paying the full $60. But here’s the thing, you don’t have the option to buy the base game separately. You pay the $60 for the Switch version of Diablo III and you’re automatically getting the Eternal Collection edition with all expansion passes. Forget paying $60 for the game and then $20 to $40 for the DLC, you’re paying $60 for everything.

But that’s not all, Blizzard has a habit of constantly putting this version of the game on sale. I bought my copy of the game at Best Buy during Black Friday 2019. It was on sale for only $35. That’s such a huge steal for such a massive game and multiple expansion passes that are just as big. Just a couple months ago for 2020 Black Friday, the digital version of the bundle was on sale for $30 in the Nintendo eshop, which was an even better steal.

So not only does Diablo III have one of the best DLC systems out there, the pricing is just fantastic. If you buy the game at the right time, you can end up paying $30 for the base huge game and basically be getting the hundreds of hours of DLC content for free. This is a system that just works so well.

But what do the expansion passes actually offer? The two Diablo III expansion passes that are both included in the Eternal Collection edition include Reaper of Souls and Rise of the Necromancer. Together these two expansion passes can easily offer 100 hours on top of the base game and I’ve seen some instances where people spend hundreds of hours on Reaper of Souls alone.


REAPER OF SOULS

Reaper of Souls was just a massive expansion pass. This DLC pack had four big new additions to the game and one completely massive one that really changed the game forever.

The first big aspect added to the game through Reaper of Souls was Adventure Mode. This was a huge mode unlocked after beating the campaign that added a bunch of stuff like new NPC’s and objectives and allowed you to explore every region in the game.

The new objectives added in this expansion pass included Bounties and Nephalem Rifts. Bounties are pretty self explanatory and are just missions where the player is tasked with hunting down a random enemy. Rifts are dungeons that featured random regions and encounters. There’s lots to explore in rifts and bosses can drop keys to unlock even better ones.

When it comes to the new NPC’s, there were two major additions. The first NPC added was Mystic, who serves the purpose of enchanting items and transmogrifying your look. The second NPC added was Kadala, who lets you gamble. With Kadala you can get a variety of items, including legendary ones.

The massive game changing feature added to the game through Reaper of Souls is called Seasons. Over the last seven years, Seasons has added a virtually unimaginable amount of content into the game, and I’ll go into what Seasons are in the next section.

RISE OF THE NECROMANCER

The Rise of the Necromancer expansion pass was a lot smaller than the Reaper of Souls but still had quite a bit to offer. The main offer of this pack was adding the Necromancer class to the game. This class was available in Diablo II but has been absent from the main Diablo III game. This pack also featured a couple new cosmetic items but that’s it.

Normally, I can't really give a grade to an expansion pass or DLC pack. If I do, that grade can't be a part of the games overall grade. This is because not only are the games and DLC separate from each other, they are usually separate purchases too. Normally you wouldn't want to pay $60 for a game but all the reviews are slightly influenced by something that requires an extra purchase.

For example, if a $60 game got an 8 out of 10 but it has an amazing $40 expansion pass that's easily a 10 out of 10, it wouldn't be fair to give the a 9 out of 10. Fortunately none of that matters here since there's no separate purchases. All of the DLC packs are not only within the game already but they are an integral part of the game itself.

Not are the expansion packs perfect in their own rights, but they add so much more to the original game and overall experience. As a result, I'd say that the expansion packs deserve a little extra credit and this category gets a 10 out of 10 with a little bonus from me. Over the last couple years, there's been lots of rumors that Blizzard has already started working on Diablo IV, which probably means that there won't be any new major additions to Diablo III in the future. But, updates and community involvement should stick around for a while, and boy have there been a lot of updates.

SEASONS: 9/10

Expansion passes are great and all but updates and patches are just as important to a games success. If a game is bad when it comes out, then you need a patch or two to make it good. But even games that are already good need some updates and patches to make it even better or else people will stop playing right? Well updates and patches in Diablo III are mostly done through the use of seasons.

What do you normally think of when you hear of seasons in video games? You probably think of the two seasons in Rocket League or the five seasons in Fortnite. But those are baby numbers compared to Diablo III. You would think that a game that's lasted this long must have had a lot of updates and you'd be right. Diablo III has almost as many seasons as The Simpsons, finishing 2020 in the middle of season 22.

But what exactly does a season do? Obviously a season isn't as big as a massive expansion pass but each one features a number of small updates, improvements, features, ways to play, and things to do that will keep making you come back to the game every couple of months. That's not an exaggeration. If you played the original version of the game when it first came out and then played a little bit once a year you'd be surprised by the number of small changes.

I say original version because the Switch version has only been out for a couple years, so in comparison there hasn’t been that many things added to the game. If you're first starting out with the Switch version, you're going to start your Diablo III experience with a lot more than someone who started in like 2014.

The very first season was added into the game through the Reaper of Souls expansion pack and added so much to the game. Season 1 was also the longest season, lasting around five months.

Season 1 added a couple limited time events such as new transmogrifications and new banners. The season also added a dozen new items to the game. The three big items added to the game in Season 1 were Aether Walker, Leonine Bow of Hashir, Remorseless, Sacred Harvester, and Vengeful Wind. All five of these weapons added in Season 1 were powerful legendary quality weapons. This season also introduced a handful of other legendary items in the form of shields, sets, and more.

Near the start of February 2015, Season 2 of Diablo III began and added even more to the game. In addition to more limited time transmogrifications and banner rewards, this season added new weapons, accessories, and gems. Season 2 ended up being the shortest season so far, lasting less than two months.

Fast forward six years and we are currently in the middle of season 22. The most recent season didn’t add any new items but it did add a couple more limited time rewards, a couple guardian only rewards, and a handful of seasonal buffs.

Over the course of its 7 year update system, seasons have added so much to the game. The combined 22 seasons have added or upgraded hundreds of items, rewards, buffs, and quality of life changes to the game since they were first implemented. This aspect of the game offers so much to ensure that the game is as good as it can get and gets a perfect 9 out of 10 from me.

DIFFICULTY: 4

The game can really be hard at times, especially if you’re trying to do something and you’re just not strong enough. If you do something like that, you’re going to end up failing, a lot. But once you start leveling everything up, you’re going to do just fine. You already heard me talk about the hundreds of different options you have for weapons and gear, so all you have to get better loot and make your character stronger and you’ll be fine. That might take some time though, and a lot of grinding, but you’ll get there, don’t worry.

OVERALL: 9.6/10

Overall, Diablo III is an amazing game, probably one of the best ever. First of all, the game is huge as there’s just so much to do, so much to explore, and so much to find. There’s also massive systems and economic systems and a great storyline full of some good graphics and sound. If this is the kind of game you think you will like, this will end up being something that you put more than 1,000 hours into and you’ll end up playing for years to come. If it’s not a game you think you’ll like, you should still be able to get a decent amount of gameplay out of it, which should allow you to get your money’s worth.

On that note, it’s much more likely than not that you will get your moneys worth. If you only put 100 hours into the game, the full price tag of $60 will be well worth it. If you end up getting it on sale for $40 or even $30 and you put all your effort into the game and pass 1,000 hours, then it’s going to be a massive steals and one of the best investments that you ever made in the gaming world. There’s a reason that Diablo III is one of the best selling video games of all time.

The only thing that you’ll have to worry about is the game size if you choose to go the download option. The game is a hefty 13.3 GB, which is massive. In comparison, Skyrim is only a tiny bit bigger at 14.5 GB. You’re gonna need a bigger boat. Other than that, get the game if it interests you in any way, even if that way is small. Even with all the news that Blizzard is working on Diablo IV, this game will still be popular for many more years and keep you busy for a while. My overall grade for Diablo III for the Switch is going to be an epic 9.6 out of 10.
I’ve always had some level of interest in Diablo III, but it was mostly because of the economic system and the level of community engagement. As recently as three years ago I had no idea what the game was like but I knew all about the real money markets and how big the communities were, and that always seemed interesting to me. It kind of had the same vibe as what people got out of Animal Crossing: New Horizons over the last year in regards to community and trades and such.

While I was working at Gamestop near the end of 2018, I saw a sealed copy of the game for PS4 on sale for only $20 so I grabbed it and I ended up putting like 30 hours into it. I thought it was really good but I eventually found a copy of the Switch version and the thought of playing a game that was this big on the go was too big to not see through so I traded in my original copy and grabbed the switch version.

That was in November 2019 when I grabbed a copy for $35, 14 months ago, and I still play two or three times a month after all this time and I still haven’t even gotten all that far. It’s not a game that’s for everyone but I got so much out of it and I’m sure there’s still a lot of people who haven’t played the game, who might also like it.

GRAPHICS: 9/10

The graphics of Diablo III are pretty good. It’s a hack and slash game that kind of makes me think of isometric style games. The only thing that I think would make the graphics section better is if the game was more 3D based, as in a closer cam and being able to see more of the environment and your character. Everything just seems really small while you’re playing and exploring so there aren’t that many opportunities to fill in the game with detail.

Many of the character and enemy designs and models are pretty good though and when it comes to combat, everything is really nice and smooth, and it’s only gotten better over the past decade with it’s numerous updates and improvements. The thing that I like most about the way Diablo III looks is all of the cinematic cut scenes and animations that you can find throughout the game.

This is something that you see a lot with Blizzard games and it’s something that Blizzard does very well. We’ve all seen dozens of high quality Overwatch videos that look really good and those weren’t even part of the game. The animations were one of the things that really drew me to the game in the first place. I remember watching the first animation before the game begins, watching the cathedral be obliterated and it was really just an epic cinematic.

There aren’t a ton of scenes like this but there’s a decent amount and they all look beautiful. Overall, the graphics look great and if we were able to see more detail in some of the areas and objects, I think this section would have been an easy 10 out of 10. But, for now, the graphics section gets a 9 out of 10 from me.

SOUND: 10/10

When it comes to the sound of Diablo III, the game sure does have a lot to offer, each of the three big aspects of sound have a decent amount going on. First off you have the music. I really liked many of the songs, especially how energetic some of them were and how some of them fit the tone and gameplay very well. The only issue that I had with the music was that there wasn’t even that many, which is what you’d expect from such a big game.

The base game only had like 23 total songs, which accounted for around an hour of music. That’s pretty mediocre for a game that big, there are plenty of smaller games that have soundtracks that are longer. On the bright side, the Reaper of Souls expansion pack added another hour of music to the overall soundtrack, which added quite a bit to the overall soundtrack.

In addition to the song selection, Blizzard made sure to use the best composers possible by hiring people who’ve had extensive music experience within the company. The primary composer for the base game was Russell Borwer. He worked on a bunch of other Blizzard games such as Data 2, Starcraft II, World of Warcraft, and Hearthstone. The primary composer for Reaper of Souls was Derek Duke. He was the primary composer for Overwatch and also worked on Starcraft, Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, and World of Warcraft.

Beyond the music, the voice cast is very extensive. If I’m not mistaken, pretty much everybody is voiced, whether they have a lot of dialogue or only a couple lines. The entire voice cast included an impressive list of more than 150 actors, many of which supplied the voices for multiple characters. Blizzard didn’t just include a bunch of no names either, they picked out a handful of established and well known voice actors.

Easily the biggest name involved is Grey DeLisle. She’s one of the biggest voice actors ever, having starred in many big and long running shows and games. She even worked with Blizzard before on StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. A couple of the other big names involved include Jennifer Hale, Troy Baker, Steve Blum, Dave Wittenberg, Fred Tatasciore, Matthew Mercer, Phil LaMarr, Yuri Lowenthal, Dee Bradley Baker, and Nolan North.

Those 11 actors alone are an impressive ensemble cast. The 11 of them have combined to perform more than 2,000 roles across hundreds of big movies, shows, anime, and games. The rest of Diablo III’s voice cast also features dozens of actors that have decent resumes as well. Not only that, but the game shows that it’s being voiced by professionals.

But wait, there’s more! That’s just in the English version of the game! If you get the game and play in its native English language, you’ll hear hundreds of voices from many of the best English voice actors in the world. But you could also just swap out English for a number of different languages and hear the game in many different ways. The only thing is that if you want to play the game in a different language, you need to make sure that you have enough space.

That’s because if you swap out the language, you’re going to be hearing hundreds of voices by even more voice actors, countless hours of extra audio that will be on your switch. Because of that, you will have to download each voice pack as a separate DLC pack. In total, you can download 13 different voice packs to your game, including Italian, Polish, Russian, German, Japanese, French, Korean, Brazilian, and different versions of Spanish, English, and Chinese.

Beyond those two sections, the regular sounds such as what you hear during combat is good as well but I’d put it third behind the music and voice acting. Overall, the entire sound aspect of Diablo III is just brilliant and gets a perfect 10 out of 10 from me.

ADDICTIVENESS: 10/10

Diablo III is a game that encourages you to beat the game, and then start from scratch and beat it all over again. Right now Diablo III has seven different character classes. Look at Skyrim. That’s a game that has a lot of different character classes but once you beat the game with one are you going to start over with a new class to see what they are like? You probably won’t unless you’re one of those Skyrim super fans.

But that’s something you can and probably will do in Diablo III. You will probably beat all the acts of the story and max out all your levels, weapons, stats, and such. Then you might start over from the beginning, not only choosing a different class, but even making an entirely different character.

Sure, once you beat the game and you have nothing else to do, you might still go back into your old character to battle and do other things. But there will be some people who still hunger for more and want to keep leveling up and those people will have no issue with starting a bunch of new games with different characters and classes each time. The game knows how to keep bringing you back, especially with their constant updates. I wouldn’t say it’s 100% perfect though because it’s up to the specific person whether or not they want to redo everything all over again. So addictiveness kind of gets a 9.5 out of 10 from me.

STORY: 9/10

The story of Diablo III is pretty epic. It all starts with this meteor or something that obliterates a cathedral and the protagonist visits a nearby town in order to investigate and to make matters worse, whatever happened is now creating evil zombies after people die. You go to the cathedral to save someone who was in it when it was destroyed and you learn that the only way to reach whatever fell from the sky is to defeat someone known as the skeleton king., who used to be a ruler.

That seems like a decent story right there right? Well that’s just the beginning because all that happens in the first half, maybe even in the first one third of the first act. The first act alone has a lot of story stuff and in total there are five acts. So not only is it going to take you a very long time to get through all of the story stuff, but you’re going to be subjected to a lot of quality plot points, which only gets bigger and better as you progress through the game.

Diablo III has so much story and so much content that there’s at least six full length books based on what’s going on in this game. There’s enough good story stuff out of this game to last multiple movies too, and that’s something I would be interested in. Overall, the story is great and gets a 9 out of 10 from me.

DEPTH

Oh boy, Diablo III has a lot to do, maybe too much. If you just stick to one class and one character, and you do as much stuff as you can, you’re going to end up spending months on the game anyway, even if you don’t restart or mess with other classes. You do that and you’ll easily get hundreds of hours out of the base game and all the DLC stuff. If you do mess with the different characters and you work on all the little things that the game has to offer, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d become one of those people to sing thousands of hours into the game.

When it comes to the depth of Diablo III, there are four big meaty sections. Those four big ones are the expansion passes, seasons, weapons and gear, and skills. Before I get to those big sections, I want to go over a couple of the smaller sections that make up the depth, which are still pretty big in their own right.

First off you have the size of the map and the number of characters who litter the game world. I already mentioned how more than 150 voice actors were hired and many of them voice multiple characters. There might as well be more than 1,000 characters and NPC’s scattered throughout the game for you to see and interact with. There’s just so many people. The world is also pretty big featuring a handful of regions with probably more than a hundred different locations to visit and explore.

WEAPONS AND GEAR: 10/10

The amount of weapons, gear, and items that you can use throughout your Diablo III adventure is hard to think about. You have three different sets of weapons which are one handed, two handed, and ranged. Each one has a bunch of different groups.

One handed weapons include one handed axes, one handed maces, one handed swords, one handed mighty weapons, fist weapons, ceremonial knives, spears, and daggers. Two handed weapons include two handed axes, two handed maces, two handed swords, two handed mighty weapons, polearms, staves, and daibo. Lastly, ranged weapons include bows, crossbows, hand crossbows, and wands. That’s a grand total of 19 weapon groupings and we haven’t even started talking about the individual weapons yet, which there are a ton of.

For starters, let’s look at one handed sword. A basic one is the simple short sword. It averages around 5 damage per second and a little more than 1 attack per second and the minimum requirement for using one is being alive. Then you have the more advanced one handed sword such as the Exalted Grand Conquest Sword. This one is so epic that you have to be level 60 to use and it features 210 damage per second and +6 to random magic properties.

Within the category of one handed swords, there are a bunch of sword that are each better than the last and require you to be higher levels. In total, there are 46 different swords that fall within this category. In most games, you would think that having 46 different weapons would be a lot, but this isn’t just 46 weapons, this is 46 weapons that fall under one handed swords, which is just one of 19 weapon groupings. There’s a lot more to go.

In total there are more than 250 one handed weapons and when you combine them with all the two handed weapons and ranged weapons, there’s a grand total of more than 600 different weapons for you to choose from. Not only is there such a massive list of weapons to mess with, but they can be transmogrified to change the way that they look. As a result, the number of possible unique weapons that you could possess exceeds tens of thousands of possibilities. Transmogrification also works on gear, which we’re going to talk about next.

Just like weapons, there is a massive collections of armor and gear to choose from. In total, you have helms, spirit stones, voodoo masks, wizard hats, pauldrons, cloaks, chest armor, bracers, gloves, belts, mighty belts, pants, boots, amulets, rings, shields, mojos, quivers, and orbs. That’s 19 sets of gear to mess with and it doesn’t even account for gear that can be equipped to followers.

Let’s take a look at helms. These can be equipped by all classes and features 40 different options. You have your basic one like the leather hood which offers around 22 armor. But then you have stuff like Cain's Laurel which offers 8- armor, 30 strength, 30 dexterity, 30 intelligence, 30 vitality, magic properties, and more.

In total, the number of different pieces of gear that can be worn on your head alone exceeds 90. Once you take into account every single piece of armor and gear, you’re looking at well over 550 different pieces of armor and gear. There’s literally thousands of ways to customize your character based on weapons and gear alone and as a result, this category gets a perfect 10 out of 10 from me.

Skills: 9/10

When it comes to skill systems, Diablo III has one of the most complex and impressive ones to date. The game just has so many different skills and each of the seven character class has their own set of active and passive skills that can be acquired by leveling up. There are so many skills in Diablo III that even the class that has the fewest skills has a ton.

That's right, the Monk class is the weakest link and can only learn 22 active skills and 18 passive skills for a grand total of only 40 different skills. The class with the most skills is the Wizard, who can learn 25 active skills and 18 passive skill. This means that between all seven classes, there's more than 290 total skills to learn.

Not only that but you can also use a bunch of skill runes to upgrade your skills. There's a ton of different runes and each of them can upgrade or change different aspects of your rune. Some might change damage or elemental damage. Others might change damage to damage per second or change the amount of enemies that an attack can hit. If you figure out how to best use these runes, your skill inventory might become unstoppable.

You take into account nearly 300 total skills and a bunch of skill runes and you get yourself a massive skill system. There's so much to work with when it comes to skills and as a result, this section gets a 10 out of 10 from me

EXPANSION PASS: 10/10

If you’ve made it this far into the review and you’ve read my review on Immortals Fenyx Rising, then you probably know where I’m going with this section. When it comes to Season passes, Expansion Passes, and DLC, it’s not always done right. There are so many games that just don’t do it right and end up failing when it comes to DLC’s and other expansions.

Most of the time, they are just little additions to the game that don’t really add much to the entire experience. If I’m not mistaken, many of the DLC’s to the older Call of Duty games cost like $15 and all they would add was a map and a couple little bonuses here and there. If you ask me, that’s not how you do DLC at all and it really just seems like a ripoff.

In my opinion, there’s a handful of developers and publishers that do DLC right, and all of them are involved with the Nintendo Switch. The best DLC packs are the ones that a ton to the game beyond just a couple customization options or small additions that don’t really affect anything. At the same time, you want the price to be reasonable, if you paid $60 for a game that takes 100 hours to beat, you wouldn’t want a $15 DLC pack to give you 5 hours of gameplay or strictly cosmetics and weapons.

In my opinion, there are three games that I’ve already discussed in great detail that do DLC the right way plus a fourth one that I never had a chance to talk about that I will here. The first three were the expansion passes and season passes for Breath of the Wild, Pokemon Sword and Shield, and Immortals Fenyx Rising. When it comes to the two later ones, I’ve had so much to talk about.

The Breath of the Wild Expansion Pass comes with two different DLC packs. They both come with a decent amount of content, whether it’s customization options or extra story stuff. The first pack is called The Master Trials and the second is called The Champions Ballard. It’s a decent price because you get the entire pass for only $20 and according to howlongtobeat, you can easily get 30 to 40 hours out of the DLC content alone.

The Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansion Pass was even better. Like the Breath of the Wild one, it came with two different DLC packs, each of which had a bunch of new areas to explore, new story stuff, new Pokemon, and new features. You get Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra together for only $30. The two together could easily set you back 50 hours but if you focus on catching all the new Pokemon, legendary hunting, and raids, I’d have no reason to doubt that you could easily puss 100 hours from these DLC packs.

Then the Season pass for Immortals Fenyx Rising is even bigger because instead of two DLC packs, there are three. Each of them are big in their own right and not only do they introduce to areas to explore, new story stuff, and new characters and items, but new NPC and completely new gameplay mechanics as well. Since it’s not out yet it’s impossible to really gauge how long the DLC will last but it should be a decent chunk of time and costs $40, less than $15 per DLC pack.

Those are the big three that I suavely talk about when comparing DLC of other games, but there’s a fourth, which is Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s Torna ~ The Golden Country. I haven’t played this one yet but it’s another great example of DLC done right. The full price for this DLC is $40 but is usually on sale for $25 or $30 and not only does it add so much to the base game but this one DLC alone can add more than 50 hours to your playtime.

Whenever I think of developers and publishers that do DLC right, those are the four games that I think of most. But then comes Blizzard with their games and DLC and they blow all four of those games out of the water with their DLC and expansion passes. Just look at World of Warcraft. It came out more than 15 years ago and is still as big as ever because of their insane dedication to DLC and expansion passes.

Their first expansion pass came out in 2007 and was insane. Only 10 people reported playtime to howlongtobeat and nearly all of them spent more than 1,000 hours on content exclusive to this expansion pass. Their most recent expansion pass came out just last year and is called Shadowlands and apparently adds another 50 to 100 hours or more to the game. In between those two expansion passes, there were six others. That’s right, World of Warcraft had eight different expansion passes that added thousands of hours worth of content to the base game over the last two decades.

HOW MUCH DOES THE EXPANSION PASS COST?

Blizzard really knows how to make DLC, and Diablo III is no exception. The dedication to both content and accessibility really shows as a result of how much there is to do in the Diablo III expansion passes as well as it’s price.

If you’re playing Diablo III on PC, it’s fairly cheap, especially for a game that’s been out for nearly a decade. If you wanted to pay for the game, it would normally cost you $20 and then it would cost you an extra $35 to individually buy all of the expansion passes. But you can buy the Eternal Collection edition of the game for PC and get the the game and all the expansion passes included for only $40.

You can also get similar pricing for the PS4 version. But we’re talking about the Nintendo Switch, the console that is notorious for not only overcharging for the Switch version of a game but also separately charging for expansion passes and DLC packs. For instance, for a while you had to buy Pokemon Sword and Shield for $60 and the expansion pass for $30 separately. Then they made a combo pack that charges the full amount.

The same thing is true for both Breath of the Wild and Immortals Fenyx Rising. Not only is there no bundle discount unless the game is on sale, but there were also times when you had to buy separately, but that’s where Diablo III comes in, shaking everything up.

First of all, yes the base game of Diablo III is hit with the legendary Switch tax so instead of paying $20 like the PC version, you’re paying the full $60. But here’s the thing, you don’t have the option to buy the base game separately. You pay the $60 for the Switch version of Diablo III and you’re automatically getting the Eternal Collection edition with all expansion passes. Forget paying $60 for the game and then $20 to $40 for the DLC, you’re paying $60 for everything.

But that’s not all, Blizzard has a habit of constantly putting this version of the game on sale. I bought my copy of the game at Best Buy during Black Friday 2019. It was on sale for only $35. That’s such a huge steal for such a massive game and multiple expansion passes that are just as big. Just a couple months ago for 2020 Black Friday, the digital version of the bundle was on sale for $30 in the Nintendo eshop, which was an even better steal.

So not only does Diablo III have one of the best DLC systems out there, the pricing is just fantastic. If you buy the game at the right time, you can end up paying $30 for the base huge game and basically be getting the hundreds of hours of DLC content for free. This is a system that just works so well.

But what do the expansion passes actually offer? The two Diablo III expansion passes that are both included in the Eternal Collection edition include Reaper of Souls and Rise of the Necromancer. Together these two expansion passes can easily offer 100 hours on top of the base game and I’ve seen some instances where people spend hundreds of hours on Reaper of Souls alone.


REAPER OF SOULS

Reaper of Souls was just a massive expansion pass. This DLC pack had four big new additions to the game and one completely massive one that really changed the game forever.

The first big aspect added to the game through Reaper of Souls was Adventure Mode. This was a huge mode unlocked after beating the campaign that added a bunch of stuff like new NPC’s and objectives and allowed you to explore every region in the game.

The new objectives added in this expansion pass included Bounties and Nephalem Rifts. Bounties are pretty self explanatory and are just missions where the player is tasked with hunting down a random enemy. Rifts are dungeons that featured random regions and encounters. There’s lots to explore in rifts and bosses can drop keys to unlock even better ones.

When it comes to the new NPC’s, there were two major additions. The first NPC added was Mystic, who serves the purpose of enchanting items and transmogrifying your look. The second NPC added was Kadala, who lets you gamble. With Kadala you can get a variety of items, including legendary ones.

The massive game changing feature added to the game through Reaper of Souls is called Seasons. Over the last seven years, Seasons has added a virtually unimaginable amount of content into the game, and I’ll go into what Seasons are in the next section.

RISE OF THE NECROMANCER

The Rise of the Necromancer expansion pass was a lot smaller than the Reaper of Souls but still had quite a bit to offer. The main offer of this pack was adding the Necromancer class to the game. This class was available in Diablo II but has been absent from the main Diablo III game. This pack also featured a couple new cosmetic items but that’s it.

Normally, I can't really give a grade to an expansion pass or DLC pack. If I do, that grade can't be a part of the games overall grade. This is because not only are the games and DLC separate from each other, they are usually separate purchases too. Normally you wouldn't want to pay $60 for a game but all the reviews are slightly influenced by something that requires an extra purchase.

For example, if a $60 game got an 8 out of 10 but it has an amazing $40 expansion pass that's easily a 10 out of 10, it wouldn't be fair to give the a 9 out of 10. Fortunately none of that matters here since there's no separate purchases. All of the DLC packs are not only within the game already but they are an integral part of the game itself.

Not are the expansion packs perfect in their own rights, but they add so much more to the original game and overall experience. As a result, I'd say that the expansion packs deserve a little extra credit and this category gets a 10 out of 10 with a little bonus from me. Over the last couple years, there's been lots of rumors that Blizzard has already started working on Diablo IV, which probably means that there won't be any new major additions to Diablo III in the future. But, updates and community involvement should stick around for a while, and boy have there been a lot of updates.

SEASONS: 9/10

Expansion passes are great and all but updates and patches are just as important to a games success. If a game is bad when it comes out, then you need a patch or two to make it good. But even games that are already good need some updates and patches to make it even better or else people will stop playing right? Well updates and patches in Diablo III are mostly done through the use of seasons.

What do you normally think of when you hear of seasons in video games? You probably think of the two seasons in Rocket League or the five seasons in Fortnite. But those are baby numbers compared to Diablo III. You would think that a game that's lasted this long must have had a lot of updates and you'd be right. Diablo III has almost as many seasons as The Simpsons, finishing 2020 in the middle of season 22.

But what exactly does a season do? Obviously a season isn't as big as a massive expansion pass but each one features a number of small updates, improvements, features, ways to play, and things to do that will keep making you come back to the game every couple of months. That's not an exaggeration. If you played the original version of the game when it first came out and then played a little bit once a year you'd be surprised by the number of small changes.

I say original version because the Switch version has only been out for a couple years, so in comparison there hasn’t been that many things added to the game. If you're first starting out with the Switch version, you're going to start your Diablo III experience with a lot more than someone who started in like 2014.

The very first season was added into the game through the Reaper of Souls expansion pack and added so much to the game. Season 1 was also the longest season, lasting around five months.

Season 1 added a couple limited time events such as new transmogrifications and new banners. The season also added a dozen new items to the game. The three big items added to the game in Season 1 were Aether Walker, Leonine Bow of Hashir, Remorseless, Sacred Harvester, and Vengeful Wind. All five of these weapons added in Season 1 were powerful legendary quality weapons. This season also introduced a handful of other legendary items in the form of shields, sets, and more.

Near the start of February 2015, Season 2 of Diablo III began and added even more to the game. In addition to more limited time transmogrifications and banner rewards, this season added new weapons, accessories, and gems. Season 2 ended up being the shortest season so far, lasting less than two months.

Fast forward six years and we are currently in the middle of season 22. The most recent season didn’t add any new items but it did add a couple more limited time rewards, a couple guardian only rewards, and a handful of seasonal buffs.

Over the course of its 7 year update system, seasons have added so much to the game. The combined 22 seasons have added or upgraded hundreds of items, rewards, buffs, and quality of life changes to the game since they were first implemented. This aspect of the game offers so much to ensure that the game is as good as it can get and gets a perfect 9 out of 10 from me.

DIFFICULTY: 4

The game can really be hard at times, especially if you’re trying to do something and you’re just not strong enough. If you do something like that, you’re going to end up failing, a lot. But once you start leveling everything up, you’re going to do just fine. You already heard me talk about the hundreds of different options you have for weapons and gear, so all you have to get better loot and make your character stronger and you’ll be fine. That might take some time though, and a lot of grinding, but you’ll get there, don’t worry.

OVERALL: 9.6/10

Overall, Diablo III is an amazing game, probably one of the best ever. First of all, the game is huge as there’s just so much to do, so much to explore, and so much to find. There’s also massive systems and economic systems and a great storyline full of some good graphics and sound. If this is the kind of game you think you will like, this will end up being something that you put more than 1,000 hours into and you’ll end up playing for years to come. If it’s not a game you think you’ll like, you should still be able to get a decent amount of gameplay out of it, which should allow you to get your money’s worth.

On that note, it’s much more likely than not that you will get your moneys worth. If you only put 100 hours into the game, the full price tag of $60 will be well worth it. If you end up getting it on sale for $40 or even $30 and you put all your effort into the game and pass 1,000 hours, then it’s going to be a massive steals and one of the best investments that you ever made in the gaming world. There’s a reason that Diablo III is one of the best selling video games of all time.

The only thing that you’ll have to worry about is the game size if you choose to go the download option. The game is a hefty 13.3 GB, which is massive. In comparison, Skyrim is only a tiny bit bigger at 14.5 GB. You’re gonna need a bigger boat. Other than that, get the game if it interests you in any way, even if that way is small. Even with all the news that Blizzard is working on Diablo IV, this game will still be popular for many more years and keep you busy for a while. My overall grade for Diablo III for the Switch is going to be an epic 9.6 out of 10.
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