Diablo 3 has launched on Nintendo Switch and if you had told me this was going to happen when the Switch was announced, I would have probably laughed at you. Diablo 3 is one of my favourite games, it was the first Diablo I played and I absolutely loved it.
The basic idea of Diablo is that you create a character and as you play through the story which is split into Acts you can loot enemies or find better gear and over the course of the game ranked up your character to be the god of hell fire… As I call my Wizard…. Diablo 3 is played from a sort of to the side top down perspective, which I actually quite enjoy and gives a fair amount of scope to see any pending doom.
As you play through each act you will encounter hordes of enemies who are trying to do their masters bidding, which in the case of Diablo 3 and the first part of the game isn’t actually down to Diablo, but Maghda and others. Diablo is a kind of end game which links into the whole story and how he is brought back… So much sneaky goings on!
The whole story was immense, the way it played out, the way it was told, the changes from the top down play to the cinematic cut scenes were brilliant. Being able to see those parts of the story told beautifully in that way was brilliant, and when I saw it first time when playing on my Xbox I was literally blown away, it was such a change of pace.
I was happy when playing through the story again to see that this hadn’t been sacrificed on the Switch version and was still there in all its glory! This is the baseline for the game on Switch, when playing through it, it looks and plays just like its counterparts, there hasn’t been any compromises (not that can be seen anyway) to the gameplay or how the game plays.
Diablo 3 feels absolutely solid on the Switch and props to Blizzard for this, especially when you think about how busy the game can get with hordes and hordes of enemies flooding the screen, for me it hasn’t flinched or stuttered one bit and I have to admit, this was one of my biggest fears for the game, how smoothly it would run, but top marks on this from me and this is in both handheld and docked mode.
Handheld mode as well doesn’t feel like a hindrance having to play on the small screen, yes there is a lot of information and the design from what I can remember on the Xbox version hasn’t been changed, and even though there is a lot of information and writing on the screen, it’s still clear and easily understandable. Even for first time players who may seem a little daunted by the amount of information, paying close attention to each section on the equipment wheel and the skills tab, you’ll soon quickly pick up and understand what each is for.
Although one thing I will say is that some skills when reading the description I’m not quite sure what they do, so I will tend to test them out and if I’m not happy, revert or change them over to something new. The benefits of this being when you find your perfect set up for the class that you’re using, battles will tend to be enjoyable, if not sometimes tactical.
Take for instance my Wizard, I have a skill which freezes nearby enemies, so if I get overrun and surrounded I can freeze people first and then attack to finish a few off and escape, to then go on and continue attacking the rest. This just saves me from being caught in the middle of a melee resulting in my death.
When in battle, especially if you’re playing on hardcore these are the little type of things you have to look at, being able to manoeuvre about the freely without being caught up, because if you end up being caught, you might not be so lucky to break a gap in the defences.
There are a few issues within the game, certain animations aren’t occurring when spells etc are being done, especially when it involves a lot of projectiles being fire, some of them don’t show apparently, and there is also an issue with the Necromancer were certain skills don’t seem to work, leaving him a bit in the lurch. Fingers crossed that these are patched soon.
The overall feel of the Switch version is very good, it’s an excellent game to be able to take with you and play wherever, I’ve enjoyed playing on my lunch breaks at work, being able to sit away from my desk and in the living room while my wife is playing on the PS4. The game feels comfortable to play in handheld and is very good when docked, especially when playing with a Pro controller.
If you own a Switch and have played the series or even just 3 before on Xbox or PS4 and you’re wondering whether to double dip, I would recommend it, especially if you were thinking about playing the game again. That portability aspect, as with most Switch games is brilliant and highly recommended.