Diablo 3 just came out on Nintendo Switch, yet this is just the same port as in the other consoles: Xbox One and Playstation 4. Although the port has several good points, compared to PC version it has also many flaws.
As for controls, Diablo 3 on consoles is far more a rush game, and for a Diablo-style Hack’n’Slash game this is a way to go: the more you play, the more you feel it is easier to kill than on PC as you don’t have to aim with mouse for some abilities. Players will easily feel in control and with a great power to blow up all demon forces. The bad part of it is that you don’t have the capability of standing still while shooting and using abilities. By default, on PC you press Ctrl key to in mobilize your character while you keep attacking the surroundings, a really go way to deal with some enemies or even a good strategy for Demon Hunters and Witch Doctor to not get into the brawl while spam-attacking.
Also, if you want to pick up a specific dropped item from the ground, and there are some more items nearby, it is really hard to not pick up unwanted items. On PC, clicking right onto the wanted item makes life a lot more easier, but on Switch it is inevitable to pick whatever the game detects closer. This could be a great opportunity to include resources and gems auto-pick up on pets -currently just gold- as many players asked for many months. Listening to community is tough when you have a large player-base, but listening only hardcore players as Blizzard has been doing, isn’t a solution. They will most likely criticize it as a too-easy game-improvement.
Talking about items, the way to display inventory and stash on console versions is very intuitive. Players will always find the item they want if they know the slot it takes. Despite that, there is a missing feature from PC: you cannot see if the weapon uses 2 slots or just 1, unless you read description and it says “2-handed whatever”, and yet some do not say that either. The only way to realise on some weapons is to equip it, and if you have many weapons on your inventory, it’s a bit annoying to equip the old ones again.
Sometimes, when you played Diablo 3 on your PC, you went like “I don’t have a f*#$ing clue where I am”, lost between 3 other players and tons of enemies, so you just spam abilities non-sense, or with you rotation. This time, port version is way easier to see where you are, with a colorful base and a P# tag attached to it. What’s more, there is a pointy arrow on that base, telling you where your character is looking at! This was one of the best improvements on the interface. Also, the new interface was a huge effort to optimize all the info on a console version. Thought for a local mode, you could this way display the characters controls at same time for 4 people: health bars, action bars, buffs and abilities. All well displayed for a great visualization on what’s going on with your local friends.
That being said, there was a complete flaw on online matches: no way to communicate with other players. Yes, you can create a beacon-style color upon your character, but there is no way to mark the map like on PC with your banner, placing an animated beacon right on the mini-map. This, and also a way to call for the goblins whenever a player sees one, is a huge rollback on multiplayer experience. A lot of people don’t want to miss where someone killed a special boss like a Key Warden or to warn party for a Goblin Shrine or a Blue Goblin, the most wanted.
Last but not least, i have to talk about player experience in the matchmaking. This image above is how online matches are displayed when you filter for games on PC. On Switch version, and the other 2 console ports, there is absolutely NO WAY to see how many players are playing on a specific game mode, with a determined difficulty level. You just hit the one you want to play, and game will make you wait and maybe you’re lucky and get with other players, or maybe not. But you have got to waste a quite long loading screen if game forces you to create a new host, and despite that you can’t figure out if it was because there are no players at that filter, or because other games were full already. Even more, if you want to create a new game from scratch, you have to create a new game on local, and then make it public. No button to host a new one from online sub-menu.
Maybe this review was fatalistic, but these were just some game design pros and cons that had to be dealt with. The game has the exact same essence as in PC, plus you can kill demons wherever you want, which is a huge plus even compared to XBO and PS4 as a uniqueness in game design that offers this console.