Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition Review
publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
developer: Blizzard Entertainment
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Aug 19, 14
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I knew that Diablo III: Reaper of Souls was an expansion for the original game, that it added a fifth and final act to the game, but I had no idea how much it actually changed the game. I knew of various updates to the PC version to add on Reaper of Souls, but really, PC games have huge patches and updates all the time. I never thought a thing of it, and I really believed that the console version of the original game that I already owned was the “final” PC version of Diablo III. When I was told I would have to drop another $60 on the Reaper of Souls expansion, I didn’t mind because I also considered it a “remastered” HD version of sorts over my PS3 copy. As I’m sure all of your PC gamers are already thinking and snickering about, I was obviously quite unprepared for how different the Ultimate Evil edition was. It’s not just the original game with the fifth Act tacked on; it’s nearly a completely different experience from the original console game.
Ultimate evil... supreme and ultimate. It just hooks you right in.
Reaper of Souls, beware, cuz you're ass is min!
The core elements of the original Diablo III are all there; the story is the same, the dialogue is the same, the maps are essentially the same, and the mechanics are the same. Players do not have to relearn how to play the game they’ve already mastered from the last-generation, but they need to be prepared for the fact that this isn’t the same walk in Sanctuary they may be used to, even if they’ve beaten Diablo III on Inferno mode with a hardcore character (by the way, if this is you, you’re insane).
So what has changed (other than the Trophies/Achievements)?
I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of mini-bosses right out of the gate. Here I am, starting with the Crusader class because it’s new to me, ready to tackle the first real quest with ease: take out the Wretched Mothers and the Wretched Queen. As I leave the comforts of New Tristram, I see the usual Walking Corpses munching on an unfortunate soul, and after I bash their skulls in with my mace, a horde of blue- and yellow-highlighted Corpses are lumbering my way. I’m fairly versed in Diablo III, but I know there aren’t supposed to be enemies at the Elite and Champion levels this early in the game, especially since I’m only playing on Normal. The demons obviously ain’t messing around with the Reaper of Souls update. I was also surprised to see a change with the difficulty modes. There’s no Easy, Nightmare, Hell, or Inferno modes; they’ve been replaced with Hard, Expert, Master, and various levels of torment. For whatever reason, I had little desire to automatically replay the game on the harder modes like I did with the first Diablo III other than to get more chances to acquire Death’s Breath to max out my Blacksmith and Jeweler. The fact that I finished the game at level 51 with one playthrough didn’t help my lack of motivation.
However, this doesn’t mean I have zero motivation to play with this character at all, thanks to the new Adventure mode. Adventure mode offers two new ways to play Diablo III and continue to level your character without playing the game again and again: bounties and Nephalem Rifts. Nephalem Rifts are similar to the Hell Rifts the heroes battle in with Act IV in that these are tears in space and time that allow the Nephalem to kill lots and lots of enemies for the fun of it. Oh and of course there are awesome loot and rewards to be had as well for clearing them. The Rifts can only be opened with Keystones, and the Keystones can only be acquired by completing the bounties from each Act. The bounties are my personal favorite, as they allow me to jump in and out of Diablo III without needing to commit at least an hour to get to a favorable checkpoint.
The Ultimate Evil edition also apparently has one feature that is not part of the PC game: gifting items to friends. Before, if I wanted to give a friend a weapon I found that best suited their class instead of mine, I had to play with them and then drop the item in front of them. Now I can put it in the mailbox in town and send it to them directly. The next time they play, they’ll receive a notification that they have something in their mailbox. In addition, some mini-bosses and bosses will drop gifts specifically for one of your friends. You will have no idea what is inside, as it’s in your inventory as a wrapped gift box that says it’s for such-and-such friend. You can either be a jerk and drop it or send it right away. I asked one of my friends what was in the gifts, and she said she got a couple of legendary items and one strength boost.
The gifts aren’t the only way that the Ultimate Evil edition interacts with you and your friends. If one of your friends is killed by a mini-boss, the new Nemesis system will send that mini-boss in your game. You’ll know it’s a nemesis and not some other brightly colored mini-boss, because it proudly declares that it killed a particular friend of yours. It’s up to you to avenge your friend’s death.
So many improvements to the game overall, including the loot system, the fun new class, the Nemesis system, the gifting system, and the fun story wrap-up of Act V;
The multiplayer is a bit wonky at times, which could be the PSN or the game, but occasionally there were issues connecting with friends, and the lag at times was just awful if I wasn�t hosting the session.