Developer Blizzard Entertainment has recently come under some fire for their announcement of Diablo Immortal: a mobile Diablo game that invoked the ire of fans wishing for a more traditional Diablo experience. The Diablo IP hasn’t been immune to controversy, as main series title Diablo III was mired in controversy in its first few months, six years ago. Many would argue that Diablo III has since been what the fans were looking for, with many still playing Diablo III to this day. Diablo: Immortal won’t be Diablo’s first foray into small screen video games as Diablo 3: Eternal Collection has recently released on Nintendo Switch, and I think it made the transition well.
I have to concede right away that I’ve only played Diablo III on PC prior to the Eternal Collection. I knew the console version was different, most notably having a roll dodge the PC version doesn’t have, but learning to play Diablo III on console was a challenge. It’s not like I’m totally unfamiliar with action role-playing games on consoles, as I’ve enjoyed their couch co-op nature, but having played Diablo III so much on PC I had to learn how to do everything again. My brain knew the actions I wanted to perform, I just couldn’t make the controller do it—it felt like learning to walk again. But Blizzard did a great job translating Diablo III’s keybinds to a controller, and once I got used to it I hate to say that I almost prefer how much more tactile this control scheme is. Don’t get me wrong, I doubt I’ll use my Switch to primarily play Diablo III going forward—I have too much dedicated to the PC version already—but the prospect of only playing the Switch version from now on is not an unappealing one.
For those unfamiliar, Diablo 3 is an action role-playing game played from a pseudo isometric, top-down perspective. You can play as one of seven character classes that wield a combination of super human strength and magic to fight the denizens of Hell in an ongoing battle of good vs. evil that take you across the world of Sanctuary and to the depths of Hell to the spires of Heaven with the ultimate goal of defeating Diablo, Lord of Terror. To do so, you’ll need to fight and collect better gear to progress.
Diablo III is perhaps one of the most popular action role-playing games in recent memory–it has been reviewed, discussed, and dissected many times in both PC and console versions. It has undergone several changes, with the most dramatic being the overhaul closer to its original release, but Diablo III is a great, extremely satisfying action role-playing game. It doesn’t lose a beat being on the Nintendo Switch. While the visuals may seem lower fidelity than you’re used to, with textures and other effects toned down, the result is a silky-smooth experience.
Diablo III Eternal Collection on Nintendo Switch allows for Diablo III on the go, with its full four player local co-op functionality intact. You can play with any combination of controllers you can think of: four Pro controllers, or a mixture of Joy Cons and Pro controllers. Each person can even use a single Joy Con, with the roll that is usually relegated to the right joystick instead activated with the flick of the Joy Con. Unlike the PC version of Diablo III, you can play offline, but if you’re involved with any online content—including seasons—you must be online to play.
While Nintendo Switch players can’t play with PC players, they’re not really missing out on the type of content that other Diablo III players can enjoy. On Nintendo Switch you still have access to Seasons, which include unique gear, as well as access to other timed events that the Diablo III community at large enjoys. You also get the Adventure Mode, which allows you to run around the world of Sanctuary unbound by the narrative. For those looking for a challenge, or a way to compete globally with others, Rifts and Greater Rifts exist on the Switch version in all of their glory. Permadeath Hardcore mode is even still available to the most daring of players.