It's safe to say that everyone was surprised by Blizzard's decision to bring Diablo III to consoles. This week saw the launch of the hit action-RPG for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with a PlayStation 4 version set to launch sometime next year. Not wanting to make it a simple port, Blizzard has made several adjustments to the game's user interface and controls in order to give console owners a more streamlined experience. However, one of the most notable additions to this title is the four player local co-op.
If playing with friends online had been fun before, gathering a group together takes it to a whole new level. We were able to get three people sitting on a couch (and possibly a rocking chair), to see how this feature could change the experience. Fortunately, it doesn't take long for additional players to drop into the action. This allowed us to give two and three player co-op a shot.
For starters, traversing the world of Diablo III with two people isn't as stressful as one would imagine. It's easy to communicate with each other and the spoils of fallen enemies can be quickly divided between players. One of this version's new features is the ability to quickly sort through the items the player has just picked up, allowing them to compare these spoils to their current load-out. This helps save a lot of time, given that the action is paused during local co-op when someone opens up their inventory.
Adding a third player greatly changed the game's dynamic. There was a lot more action onscreen, and it was surprising to see how simple tasks like forming battle strategies and gathering loot became more frantic. We can only imagine how things would have become even more interesting had there been a fourth player. This led to one of the most surprising aspects of this port; Diablo III is a great party game. Getting three players into the action, each with a different character class and play style, made for an uproariously good time. It's easy to imagine RPG fans getting together on a Friday night to kick back a few drinks with Diablo III while they discuss the reasons they don't have dates.
Unfortunately, there is no cross-play between the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game. Players can save their characters via cloud storage or USB sticks, making it incredibly easy to get together and continue gameplay without having to worry about restarting every time.
Those wondering if Diablo III could possibly work on consoles can rest assured. Blizzard brought a classic RPG experience that offers online and offline play, as well as local and online multiplayer. This makes for an easily accessible party game that's great to experience with both hardcore and casual RPG fans. The console version of Diablo III is now available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.