Well, if you know me or have read my review of vanilla Diablo III on the PS3, you know that this genre is not my cup of tea. I might go as far as saying that I kinda hate the genre, but somehow I still managed to enjoy. So I am the perfect guy to review one of the most universally acclaimed games or at least this latest iteration, right?
Of course not! I had no idea what I was doing when I was playing the original game on the PS3 and I still have no idea what I am doing within the Ultimate Evil. (Un?)Luckily enough Activision decided to send me, once again a copy of the Ultimate Evil Edition. So what changed and what is new with this version? Well,for me this process of identification was really really hard. Back when I reviewed the PS3 vanilla edition, I just played for a week so I had a general idea of what the game was, how it played and how it felt and that was it. I never touched it again! But one thing in the Ultimate Evil was really apparent, that being the new Crusader class and that is who I used during my playtime to write up this review. In the meantime for a more in depth look, check the review for vanilla Diablo III CE by clicking right here.
Back then I used the Demon Hunter and I pretty much kicked ass with him fully decked in Legendary stuff. I pretty much followed the same steps with the Crusader and I think he is a bigger badass than my Hunter was. This new class is a mid-range hybrid caster/melee class equiped with a sword and a shield. His skills also reflect this as most of them are used as means to crowd-control, stun and deliver physical damage to the demons. But he also can cast Fire, Ice or Lighting attacks which deliver high damage to the enemies if you have active specific skills or runes and have equipped the right stuff. I mixed and matched skills, runes and equipment until I found a powerful build and I pretty much kept using that for the entirety of the game. This was a problem I had also with the vanilla edition, I wasn't really "rewarded" to switch things up even though there might have been way better builds than mine.
A thing that kinda bummed me was the lack of the ability save for these custom builds much like custom classes in CoD. If the game let me save the builds that I were using, so I could switch between them with extreme ease, then I might have experimented more. Sure, you can switch everything very easily, but I wish they had added this small improvement, maybe they might add it in the future, I don't know.
So that was it for me, this was the only thing that was new or better say that I understood it was new. But I couldn't just write about only this when the Ultimate Evil edition has many more new some visible, some under the hood, changes. And I kept playing and playing and playing and I noticed that the game felt more balance is some way. The enemies weren't dumb and easy like before nor crazy difficult like in the Nightmare mode, they just felt right for the difficulty I had chosen. Continuing slaying demons of all sorts I noticed a counter going up as I killed more and more demons and by the end when there was no one left alive, I got a 2.5X bonus XP which was quite nice. Now this helps a lot in leveling up especially if you start with a new character much like I did.
The loot drop has also been reworked, where now more powerful and rare loot will drop way more often than it previously did. This helps a lot with the replay value which was already very high in the vanilla version. Also you are more keen into changing up your gear till you find that sweet spot, where you become unstoppable.
As part of the Reaper of Souls expansion which is included in this version, you'll get to play into a totally new act, Act 5 that is. It takes place on the Westmarch region which to be honest, looks very cool. It has a medieval look and feel that fits perfectly into the Diablo III universe. As for the story well, like the main story, it's boring and not that interesting. What's interesting though it's the final new boss Malthael, formerly the Archange of Wisdom, returns now as Angel of Death. The fight is what you expect, if you are powerful enough, you can tank the attacks and destroy him. If you are not ready, you still have a fighting chance, attack, roll, repeat.
After you finish the final battle you can fight into the new Nephalem Rifts which are randomly generated dungeons where you fight randomly generated demons for 20-25 minutes just for, yes you guessed it, loot. Depending on the difficulty of the rift, the enemies change, the layout change and the loot drops change. One of these rifts, if you are playing on a Playstation console, is themed around The Last of Us where you fight against the clickers and the other enemy types you fought against in TLoU.
Adventure Mode is also a new addition to the package. After you kill the final boss, you can either continue playing finishing what's left in the story or you can switch to Adventure Mode where where the world itself is the player's battlefield. Bounty quests are also available for you to undertake, with a reward for finishing all the bounties in each Act.
Visually the Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition looks great, even when running on old hardware like the PS3 or Xbox 360 and you can imagine yourself how sweet it looks in 1080p 60fps on the next gen. The artstyle is amazing, the environments, the monsters and demons, the playable characters, the equipments, the animations, everything still looks great.
Bottom Line: Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition is a great repackaging with a few new cool gameplay features of an already great package. The thing is, if you love the Diablo series, you have already bought and are currently playing this version. If you don't love it well, the new additions make it worth while even if you are a casual gamer. Murdering a gazillion of demons never gets old. The PS3 version looks great and runs smoothly with a few hiccups, but if you are considering buying it and you own a next gen console, that's the way to go. Thanks for reading!