Diablo III: Eternal Collection

“Portable Sanctuary”

written by Matthew Adler

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It’s no surprise Diablo III is one of the best-selling PC games of all time. The genre-defining Action RPG captivated so many when it originally launched. Then, just over a year later, it reached a new audience when it made its way to consoles, bringing with it an unmatched couch co-op experience. Now, Diablo III has the chance to find yet another new audience, those who are looking to take their demon slaying on-the-go.

Nintendo proved to the world with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that a massive title is possible on the Switch hardware. Since then, many developers have found success porting older titles to the Nintendo Switch over the past year and a half, and are finding a lucrative, untapped market of gamers who may not have experienced their titles, or who are looking for a portable experience. Many of these ports have been excellent, while others feel forced.

Blizzard’s first entry for the Nintendo Switch is a technical marvel, and one that doesn’t seem possible when you first begin your adventure. From the very first cutscene, I knew they had pulled it off. The world of Sanctuary is rich with detail, and the isometric view lends to a visually-pleasing experience on the smaller screen of the Switch. Even when playing in docked mode on a 65-inch 4K TV, the world still looked beautiful. The only minor complaint I had is with the character models, which didn’t look bad in handheld mode, but weren’t as crisp as the background when docked. Overall, the game looks gorgeous, regardless of how you choose to play.

an epic boss fight against Belial

The gameplay of Diablo III remains the same, although the Eternal Collection contains all of the post-launch content, including The Reaper of Souls expansion and Rise of the Necromancer content. This truly is the definitive version of the game. You can choose between one of seven different classes: Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer, Witch Doctor and Wizard. Each class has wildly-different abilities and play styles. The Five Act campaign has plenty of content and lore to explore, and the addition of Seasons and alternative modes means you’ll have plenty of different ways to slay demons.

Even at higher levels, playing with multiple people and having hoards of enemies on screen, the game never faltered, running at a buttery-smooth 60 frames per second. It’s a testament to how well Blizzard games scale on different hardware, but you’d never know this game was not designed for the Switch hardware from the ground up.

The multiplayer on Nintendo Switch is generally very hit or miss, but Blizzard’s in-game lobby system is easy to use, and adventuring with your friends could not be easier. Whether playing online with each other over Wi-Fi, playing over local wireless together at the park, or sharing the couch with a few friends, Diablo III truly can be experienced anywhere for the very first time. It is worth noting, however, that there is no in-game voice chat or support with the official Nintendo Switch Online app, which is a bit disappointing. We ended up having to use a third party app to communicate while playing online.

The Good

Wonderfully-addictive gameplay loop, gorgeous world and dungeons, contains all content for Diablo III. Slaying hoards of demons on the go never felt so good.

The Bad

Lack of voice chat online is disappointing. Character models are sometimes difficult to see amongst all of the chaos, especially when playing multiplayer. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, Diablo III on Switch proves once again that big games are possible on the portable hardware. Whether you’re new to Sanctuary, or are a seasoned veteran of the game, this is the definitive version of the game and is an absolute must-buy.