Diablo III is headed to home consoles. But will it be any good? Can a controller truly replace a keyboard and mouse for a game that is, at its heart, a point-and-click adventure?
It appears the answer is yes. Industry insiders report the Diablo III port is shaping up nicely and may, in fact, actually improve upon the PC version.
Notable differences between the PC and console versions of Diablo III: 1) Offline play, and 2) Playing the game with a controller actually feels surprisingly great.
Kotaku’s Jason Schreier recently toyed around with Diablo III at PAX East and offered a number of insights.
First, and perhaps most importantly, you can play the game without establishing an Internet connection. This is a simple though massively important change from the PC version, which forced all players to connect to Blizzard servers to play the game.
This presented nightmares for players in two ways: 1) Early on, the servers were anything but stable, and 2) Hackers made life miserable. I personally had an account hacked and had to contact Blizzard to reset everything in order to get back online.
I played Diablo III for many hours and never felt the urge to play with other people. For folks like me, requiring an Internet connection was just so bloody annoying.
Schreier notes that, much to his surprise, playing Diablo III with your standard game controller is surprisingly easy. “After just a few minutes with Diablo III on PS3 — which trades the clicking for nudging, jiggling, and mashing — I almost wish this series had been built for controllers all along,” he says.
Players use the left joystick to move around and the colored buttons to attack monsters and open doors, chests, etc. Attacks can also be assigned to R1, while L1 can be used for potions. Meanwhile, the right joystick can be employed for rolling and dodging attacks.
Blizzard hasn’t announced when Diablo III will come to home consoles, but it looks like we’ll see a launch before the summer.