Diablo III: Eternal Collection (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Neil Flynn 24.12.2018

Review for Diablo III: Eternal Collection on Nintendo Switch

When the Nintendo Switch was first announced there was a glimmer of hope that there would be a return of third-party developers, or better yet, attracting developers who have been lost for reasons unknown. Having 2K and EA out of the gate was a great return to form, and it showcased how serious Nintendo valued their relationship building exercise - but the real coup was getting developers such as Bethesda and now Blizzard Entertainment to join the fray. Diablo III: Eternal Collection for the Nintendo Switch might be an abnormality in Activision Blizzard's release schedule, but it is one that should be welcomed with open arms… and here's why.

Blizzard's absence on a Nintendo console is highly evident, having to dredge up the record books to find that three SNES ports that made their way to the GBA, a sole N64 release, and a scarce port of Starcraft 64, which never made it to the UK, are all that Blizzard has to its name this millennium - until 2018, that is. Diablo III: Eternal Collection represents a large hardcore gaming franchise making the jump to Nintendo's hybrid machine, and is somewhat surprising considering the technical specifications required to smoothly play a title such as this. Initially launched in 2012 for the PC, Diablo III has seen numerous incremental updates and content drops, all of which have been wrapped into one package for this collection, meaning the expansions Reaper of Souls and Rise of the Necromancer are included for no additional cost.

Screenshot for Diablo III: Eternal Collection on Nintendo Switch

For the uninitiated, this is a top-down action-RPG/dungeon crawler, which requires a whole heap of savage dismemberment, loot grabbing, and strategical loadouts. The campaign story mode can be played throughout with the now rather clichéd character archetypes, such as the brutally strong Barbarian, ranged attackers like the Demon Hunter, or the typical spell caster, the Wizard. There are seven character classes in total, all of whom have their own advantages and disadvantages. As for the campaign, it meanders through five distinct acts, and all include an assortment of enemies to hack and slash, or alternatively utilise environmental hazards to crush foes.

A selection of difficulty options is made available at the start, and fighting enemies at a harder difficulty will essentially speed up the levelling up process, and likewise having the game on easy will perhaps make things a tad too easy for the average gamer. The difficulty can be lowered or heightened at any time using the in-game menu, with the exception of playing in Seasons Journey - a set of challenges that rotate every few months, and encourage further exploration through the use of experimenting with the selected Season character. In this mode, there are additional loot drops, which might not be available if played otherwise.

Screenshot for Diablo III: Eternal Collection on Nintendo Switch

Unlike previous versions of Diablo III, the Nintendo Switch version unlocks Adventure mode right from the start, which would normally require beating the Campaign mode first - Blizzard probably recognised that this might not be everyone's first trip into the Diablo universe. Adventure mode was initially introduced as post-release end-game content, structured for quick bursts of gameplay, without the need for scope and pacing that the traditional campaign mode would need.

Controls are fairly intuitive, using the left analogue stick to run around and each of the face buttons representing the elected abilities that are gradually unlocked throughout the roughly 20-hour campaign. The right analogue stick can be used to duck and roll away from the action, which can be highly useful in evading attacks. Interestingly, Blizzard has given the option to play with a single Joy-Con, which takes away the evasion ability, among one or two added abilities (for obvious reasons). However, to have four-player local co-op on one screen, each with a single Joy-Con, is a marvellous feature for those wanting to play with friends. A Nintendo Switch Online subscription is required for online play, but not for Leaderboards or Seasons mode, which is a silver lining for those yet to invest in Nintendo's online service.

Screenshot for Diablo III: Eternal Collection on Nintendo Switch

Diablo III performs brilliantly on the Nintendo Switch, which is great news considering the short development time and small team that worked on the project. Playing while docked shows no signs of slowdown, nor any graphical downgrades. As Sade would say, Diablo III is certainly a "Smooth Operator," with 1080p and 60fps that just doesn't shift no matter what is happening on screen. Handheld mode is no different, with a 720p output and 60fps, and it looks incredible, so for those looking to play on the go, there is a lot to rejoice about.

The Switch version also comes with a small range of exclusive content - namely the fact that armour can be acquired in-game (via Transmogrification) to make the player's avatar appear as The King of Darkness, Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda. This armour is nothing more than cosmetic, and can be unlocked very early on, but it is advised that players wait until later in the game to do so. Acquiring the Transmog armour comes at a hefty price of in-game currency, and the fact that applying this to a higher-level piece of kit would make it much more practical in the long run. Another Nintendo Switch exclusive feature is amiibo, which essentially drops a number of enemies onto the battlefield that, when defeated, drop a number of gold and loot. Any of the numerous amiibo from any franchise can be used, but an exclusive Loot Goblin amiibo is being launched by Blizzard, which will serve a similar purpose.

Screenshot for Diablo III: Eternal Collection on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

There are some that will welcome the familiarity of retreading their footsteps with Diablo III, and others that will be embracing it for the first time. Blizzard's ambitious, sprawling dungeon crawler has lore, loot, and deadly combat embedded in its DNA, which enshrines in gaming history. The Eternal Collection refines the very best of the series by including all past updates, and through its savage yet extravagant gameplay, ensures that there is a huge amount of replayability to be had.

Developer

Blizzard

Publisher

Blizzard

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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