Dear Gaming Father, forgive me, for I have sinned. My confession? I’ve never enjoyed Diablo. On paper, it’s a game that’s hard to dislike. It’s the franchise which almost single-handedly invented the action RPG. It was the game that first gave players that borderline-orgasmic rush that comes with earning randomly generated loot.
Yet, from a gameplay standpoint, Diablo’s point and click combat has always felt overly simplistic. While hundreds of thousands of PC and console players still gleefully lose hours to Blizzard’s demonic dungeon-crawler, Diablo’s basic battling and limited skill trees never quite scratched either that RPG or MMO itch for me.
Now though, after playing Diablo III ’s long-demanded Switch port – I’ve finally seen the light.
Yes, Diablo III is coming to Switch later this year. Following months of rumours online (and a not so subtle recent Twitter tease) last week Blizzard and Nintendo finally confirmed that the dungeon crawler will be slashing its way onto the hybrid console. It’s a big coup, making this the first Blizzard game to come to a Nintendo console since 2000’s StarCraft 64. Yet, instead of feeling like the quick cash in many expected, it turns out that Diablo III fits the Switch more snugly than a level 70 demonic gauntlet.
Gameplay-wise, this is the same old Diablo III – but tied up in one nice, complete package. Combining the base game with all the expansions released to date, Diablo III: Eternal Collection doesn’t add anything new in terms of content. Yet there’s one addition that sold the Eternal Collection to us – the ability to play with three friends locally on different switches.
Much like Monster Hunter on the 3DS before it, Diablo Switch is one of those games that simply feels great to play when you’re surrounded by three real-world friends. Playing Diablo III: Eternal Collection on the Switch’s screen, I was impressed to see that Diablo not only runs at a rock-solid 60 frames per second, but unlike many Switch titles, it also renders Diablo’s detailed dungeons in full 720P on the handheld. Sadly, the docked version wasn’t shown at Gamescom, but Blizzard has promised that Diablo III Switch will run at a respectable resolution of 960P while the console is docked.
With all characters boosted to max level for the purpose of the Gamescom demo, I went straight for the magic-imbued archer class, Demon Hunter. Hopping into battle with three other heroes playing on their switches beside me, after twenty minutes of slaying demon hordes while coordinating attacks with my teammates, I soon left the Diablo Switch demo with a huge grin on my face.
While sitting at home playing Diablo III on PC never enthralled me, after experiencing it on Switch, dungeon-crawling with friends on a plane or while you’re away on holiday sounds like a pretty tantalizing proposition. Yes, the gameplay is still incredibly simple, but when dropping in and out of local co-op is this intuitive and instantly gratifying, it’s hard to care.
Thankfully, there look to be no practical issues with playing Diablo on the go either. Blizzard has confirmed that the game will allow players to quest together on multiple Switches even when they’re offline, with the game’s cloud save system allowing users to upload their progress to Diablo’s servers whenever they’re back online.
In short, Diablo Switch has completely won me over. The fast-paced nature of Diablo’s demonic action makes it a perfect fit for bitesize dungeoneering on the move. Despite Blizzard making its name on the PC, it looks like one of the publisher’s most beloved franchises has finally found its true home on a Nintendo platform.