‘Diablo III Eternal Collection’ review: A fantastic port of a 2012 classic

A wonderfully ported albeit flawed game that is a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch.

Ever since getting the Switch launch year, I have been craving an addicting dungeon crawler for the system, and just one on a handheld for ages, and there really isn’t a more perfect one, besides “Borderlands,” than Blizzard Entertainment’s “Diablo III Eternal Collection.” I was glad to buy it day one and full price, eager to mow through enemies like Ash Williams through Deadites, or “Berserk’s Guts through Demons,” with the addicting leveling and loot experience, all in a metal setting. By all means, the game has translated perfectly to Nintendo’s system.

This port really is a technical achievement. The Blizzard art style still holds up crisply with a surprisingly rock solid in a smooth as silk 60 frames per second. Although releasing originally in 2012, Diablo’s graphics are still as great as they were back then.

Packaged with both expansions “Reaper of Souls” and “Rise of the Necromancer,”  you start out by picking a variety of classes including barbarian, witch doctor, monk, demon hunter, necromancer, wizard and crusader. You are given the RPG element of a skill tree and leveling system, giving that replay ability of making a new build, and it the foundation that Diablo certainly possesses is the combat.

Admittedly, the only class I have experience with is the previously mentioned Barb, but the simplicity of hitting hard and decimating zombies, demons and the like with a big great sword, two scythes, you name it, it is very satisfying. I can’t wait to start a new playthrough as one of the other classes. I have always been more of a solo player and the game is great even without using the co-op option.

So far, I would say the storyline isn’t really worth paying attention to but that is by no means a bad thing. Generally, I have found myself playing the game with a podcast or audiobook in the background, with the gameplay loop being perfectly satisfying, even if you don’t pay attention to the story.

The only negative I have seen is the exclusivity of the Seasons part of the game. Seasons can be explained as a limited time event that happens every so often in the game where you start a fresh character, complete objectives and earn exclusive season-based rewards. The problem is that it requires a Nintendo Online subscription, and as a solo player with sub-par wifi access, paying extra isn’t feasible, and Seasons adds a whole layer of replay ability to the game that is locked behind an unavoidable paywall, which is subjectively just a raw deal.

Overall, “Diablo III” is a perfect match for the Nintendo Switch. Its gameplay loop is perfect for being stationary and mobile. Like games like “Breath of The Wild,” “Super Mario Odyssey” and “Doom,” console quality experiences are proven to be possible on handheld. Seasons being barred may be a disappointment, but there is plenty of content without including Seasons that I will surely get my money’s worth.