Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition (Review) Xbox One

Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition (Review) Xbox One
Review Score:

Blizzard’s critically acclaimed action role-playing game has finally made its transition to next gen console systems as Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition. Sold together as a package, gamers can relive the story of Decker Cain and Leah through the original game’s four chapters, and then move on to the new content provided in the Reaper of Souls expansion.

As one would imagine, the game’s user-interface and menu systems have been revamped for the Xbox One’s controller. Similar to the PS3 iteration of Diablo III, the inventory system uses a vertical window system to display the armor and weapons collected on your journey. The character equipment system has been revamped to encompass your character, making it easy to select a piece of armor and then equip it. Weapons and shields, for example, are equipped in a similar fashion. The RB and LB buttons are used to toggle between the following categories – Inventory, Skills, Paragon, Follower and Quests.

The controls made a flawless transition to the Xbox One’s controller. The analog stick is used for movement, the directional pad is assigned to the world map, the teleport ability (to return to town), and every face button on the controller is assigned to a skill. Attack skills such as Justice and Bombardment are assigned to A button and RT, while buffs such as Phalanx are assigned to buttons X, Y and B respectively.

With changes aside, Ultimate Evil Edition plays identically to its PC counterpart. Combat is still gory and action packed, as you massacre Dark Cultists, Highland Walkers, and other demonic abominations. Creatures explode as you hack them to pieces; decapitated heads roll away after being severed from their bodies; and explosions send body parts flying in all directions. The game also encourages the player to smash everything that is breakable in the environment, rewarding them with XP bonuses for the effort.

The Reaper of Souls expansion teems with content by expanding the level cap to 70, adding the Crusader class to its roster of characters, and adding a fifth chapter to the story. The amount of loot that drops has been reduced, but the quality and its usefulness to your class has been increased. The game’s difficulties have also been revised to Normal, Hard, Expert, Master and Torment. The challenge for each difficulty has been tweaked as well.

Adventure mode happens to be the Reaper of Souls’ best feature. Once you have completed all five ‘Acts’, Adventure mode unlocks and provides the player with all-new challenges. For starters, all the waypoints from the actual game are unlocked and can be accessed at any given time. It’s worth noting that some waypoints have been relocated to prevent easy access to bosses. But with that oversight aside, Bounties and Nephalem Rifts are available in this mode.

There are five Bounties available per ‘Act’, and a minimum of five of these Bounties must be completed to open a Nephalem Rift. Difficult to complete, a Nephalem Rift is a random dungeon that contains large trash mobs and rare item drops for your character. Usually one to ten levels in size, a typical run through a rift can last upwards of twenty minutes or longer.

The most important thing is the game’s performance on Xbox One. Its Playstation 4 counterpart runs natively in 1080p, while the Xbox One version runs at a solid 900p. Moreover, the Xbox One’s  ESRAM tends to rearsits ugly head during some of the cinemas, causing the frame rate to dip slightly. Luckily, this issue doesn’t affect the overall gameplay, regardless of how many creatures appear on screen.  But despite some performance issues, Ultimate Evil Edition is a memorable gaming experience on Microsoft’s next gen console.

Some gamers may question whether Ultimate Evil Edition is even worth owning after playing it on PC, Playstation 3 or Xbox 360; the answer is a resounding yes. The game provides just enough content and graphical upgrades to make it worth a second play-thru, especially if you can’t get enough of the series and its many addictive qualities.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Xbox One
Developer: Blizzard
Publisher: Blizzard
ESRB: M (Mature)
Price: $59.99

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition’s Official Website

Review Score
Impeccable graphics that convey a convincing, 3D fantasy world.
Haunting music, impressive voice acting and ear-splitting sound effects overwhelm the senses.
Hardcore hack 'n slash gameplay that is complimented by a diverse crafting system.
Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition ushers in a new era of 'evil' on next gen consoles.
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