E3 13; Diablo III runs the gauntlet on consoles
I am not a Diablo player. I never have been and up until this past week, I never thought I would be. The Diablo franchise has primarily been a PC venture, and I’ve always felt more comfortable with a controller as opposed to a keyboard. When Diablo III hits the PS3 in September, and the PS4 at a later date, it will feature a new control layout designed specifically for consoles. After going hands-on with this version, Blizzard may just have made a new fan.
Players will now have direct control over their characters with the left thumbstick as opposed to the classic point-and-click movements people often associate with the Diablo franchise. Spells and abilities can be assigned to any of the face buttons or triggers. The directional pad gives you instant access to your recently picked up look, allow you to quickly scroll through and equip or drop without haven’t to navigate any pesky menus. The familiar grid of Diablo III’s equipment menu is gone and has been replaced by a circular dial.
The controller layout is designed for newcomers such as myself who have never played a Diablo game before. It’s easy to just pick up and play. My initial impressions after a few minutes was that Diablo III plays eerie similar to the Gauntlet arcade game of years past, only with a whole lot more customization. That means the veteran Diablo players will have no problem adjusting to the new control format, either.
The PS3 version of the game will also include some exclusive items based on the PlayStation properties Journey and Uncharted. Players will be able to equip The Hero’s Journey shoulder piece that will feature the robbed figure’s flowing scarf. The second piece of equipment is Drake’s Amulet, featuring the ring Drake wears around his neck. You can also pre-order Diablo III to receive the exclusive Infernal Helm that earns you extra EXP.
With a newly designed loot system, offline play, and a dynamic camera, there’s plenty of reasons for old players to return and new players to pick up Diablo III.