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EGM Review: Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition

By
Posted on August 15, 2014 AT 04:00pm

Evil has never looked so good

When I originally reviewed Diablo III, way back in 2012, it was a highly anticipated PC-only game that experienced some launch problems. I stand by my original assessment, when I gave it an 8.5, despite the fiasco that was the real money auction house—may it never rear its ugly head again.

Since then, Blizzard has released console versions of Diablo III as well as an excellent expansion pack, Reaper of Souls. But it’s with this latest release—Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition—that the game gets its definitive edition.

The base game hasn’t changed here. Those who love the frantic action of the Diablo games will surely enjoy the non-relenting streams of beasties bent on ripping you limb from limb. What makes the Ultimate Evil Edition stand out is its level of polish. Optimized for the new generation of consoles, and presented in 1080p at a near constant 60 fps, the game looks spectacular, even on a 55-inch TV.

Ultimate Evil Edition includes the original Diablo III and the Reaper of Souls expansion, providing a tremendous value. With the expansion comes the Adventure, a brilliant endless mode that gives players reason to keep on questing. In another new feature, the Nemesis System, a monster kills you, levels up and leaves your game to stalk your friends. Each time the creature kills and jumps, it takes along the names of those it destroyed, so the player who defeats it can claim ultimate bragging rights.

The game’s balance has also never been better. The onslaught of creatures is challenging but never overwhelming, as long as the player stays on the ball. Additionally, Diablo’s main draw, loot drops, have been adjusted to the near perfect risk/reward rate. Players won’t have to grind forever to receive Legendary items, but they won’t come so often that a single play-through will yield all you need.

The overall result is an addictive mix that allows you to enjoy hour 100 as much as you did hour one.

Ultimate Evil Edition was built for multiplayer, though. Not only does the game contain the full complement of online features, but it also supports up to four players locally (nothing beats four buddies on the couch bonding over the slaughter of demon hordes). To keep multiplayer balanced as exquisitely as single-player, the game features an Apprentice Mode that boosts the stats of lower-level characters so they can more easily quest with their high-level friends. The effects end when the multiplayer session is over, but they keep gameplay both fair and fun.

Ultimate Evil Edition also automatically distributes Legendary items to whichever class can use them best. Plus, occasionally a Legendary item you receive will automatically be sent to someone on your friends list, along with a note as to where it came from—just Blizzard’s way of spreading the love. The PS4 and PS3 versions of the game also include some special characters and loot based on The Last of Us and Shadow of the Colossus. A fun, if not overly practical, bonus.

Finally, the control scheme—something that really worried me going in—works amazingly well on both the PS4 and Xbox One controllers. The mapping of skills, portals, potions, etc., feels completely natural once you get used to which button controls what. The auto-aim can be a little wonky sometimes, but a flick of the left analog stick takes care of that, and it never presented any real problem.

Ultimately, Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition is the most polished and complete version of the game, perfect for anyone who wants to dive deeply into an action RPG. And if you have already played earlier iterations of the game for hundreds of hours killing demons, and have no desire for more of the same, the superb local multiplayer might still be enough to change your mind.

Developer: Blizzard • Publisher: Blizzard Activision • ESRB: M – Mature • Release Date: 08.19.14
9.5
Since its original debut two years, Diablo III finally receives its definitive edition. It includes the original game and the Reaper of Souls expansion and features amazing graphics, great controls, and polished gameplay. Throw in a few new features and this version is the one to play.
The Good The most complete version of the game, with everything a Diablo fan could ask for.
The Bad Local multiplayer gets a little hectic when four players face off against large groups of enemies. Dying sucks because you can’t find yourself in the melee.
The Ugly Bumping into a monster that has already killed four of your friends and is now coming for you.
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition is available on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360. Primary version reviewed was for PS4. Review code was provided by Blizzard Activision for the benefit of this review.
Marc Camron, Senior Editor
Marc Camron is pleased to finally get a little bit of time to enjoy new games this holiday season, even if Batman: Arkham Knight isn't one of them. The rest of the time will be spent getting ready for CES in Vegas, starting on January 5th. At least it should be warmer there than in Colorado.

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