Diablo III: Eternal Collection for Switch
Kill, loot, gear up, repeat. That’s the core appeal of Diablo III, and six years later, it’s still a dangerously infectious process to get sucked into. At its roots, Diablo III speaks to the average gamer’s basic instinct of destroying and murdering everything onscreen, all in search of better loot and even more gold. Like, millions and millions of gold. And now, you can do that on the Switch.
Diablo III: Eternal Collection marks Blizzard’s first foray into the Switch market, and this was certainly a pretty good game to start with. Diablo III: Eternal Collection is a no-nonsense port that just works on the Switch. It’s packed with every new piece of content and update that the game’s received over the past few years. It’s got the Reaper of Souls expansion, adventure mode, seasons, along with the Necromancer class. And guess what? It also runs like a dream on Nintendo’s hybrid console.
Over the past weekend, I’ve been moving around a lot, and got to play quite a bit of Diablo during my commuting downtime. Graphically, it definitely takes a bit of a hit when you’re comparing the game to its PS4, Xbox One, and PC counterparts. In handheld mode, the game runs at 720p, and if you look closely, the character models and textures are quite obviously not as detailed or as pretty as they could be. When you dock it, however, the game’s resolution is set at 960p, and it looks a little crisper.
That said, I’ll gladly take the graphical downgrades if that was the only way Blizzard could get Diablo III to run this flawlessly in both docked and handheld modes. Regardless of how you want to play the game, Diablo III will run at a smooth and consistent 60 frames per second. You’ll still be getting that same game feel, with enemy bodies and skeleton corpses exploding into puddles of blood all over your screen. In spite of the graphical downgrade, the character and skill animations are still intact, and it’s good to see that nothing has been sacrificed on the gameplay front. Diablo III: Eternal Collection plays and feels like Diablo should, and it’s made even better by the fact that you can take it with you anywhere you’d like.
Indeed, the portability aspect is Diablo III’s biggest draw, as it is with almost every other game currently released on the Switch. Unlike with some other action RPGs on Switch that require you to be a bit more involved with its moment-to-moment gameplay, Diablo III’s controls are relatively simple in comparison, and the smaller sized Joy-Cons don’t feel like a hindrance at all in this case. With the Switch’s smaller tablet screen, at times it can be difficult to see exactly where your character is, with all the chaos that’s going on. But aside from that, the game runs flawlessly in handheld mode, which is fantastic when you just want to chill on the couch and grind loot in Diablo while watching Netflix or something.
Of course, the Diablo III experience wouldn’t be complete without someone to play the game with. Over the past couple of days, I got the chance to test out the local co-op features. If you’re playing the game on a single Switch, there’s splitscreen support for both docked and handheld modes, though it’s considerably less comfortable on handheld. Still, the game continues to run smoothly, and you shouldn’t run into any issues here. On the other hand, if you’ve got multiple Switches, Diablo III: Eternal Collection also offers you the option of playing together via a wireless LAN connection, and it’s pretty great. Joining game sessions was easy enough, and it certainly enhanced the Switch multiplayer experience.
In fact, I was blown away by how easy it was to connect two Switches at once and quickly hop into a game. You don’t need an internet connection to play locally, which makes Diablo III a very appealing game for long commutes with friends and family, when you just want to kill some time.
Outside of that, everything else offered in Eternal Collection is pretty much what you’d expect. Because this is a Switch port, players will also be able to collect some Zelda-themed Ganondorf loot. Once you boot the game, you’ll also have the option of immediately jumping into adventure mode or clear some rifts, which is great for longtime fans who don’t want to have to slog through the campaign. And if you’re a new player, just play through the story normally to get a feel for how the game works. As mentioned before, seasons are also included here, and while you don’t need a Switch Online subscription to participate and check out the leaderboards, you do need it if you want to play online.
Diablo III: Eternal Collection is pretty much the best entry to jump into for newbies as well, with all the conveniences afforded by the Switch. While new players will almost certainly find the story to be overly cheesy and basic, it’s the gameplay that will hook you quickly. I should note, however, that while Diablo III is one of those games that’s incredibly easy to pick up, but hard to master, new players might still find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer density of some of its more complex systems. Sadly, Eternal Collection still doesn’t feature any proper tutorials to walk you through the basics and more tricky stuff like enchantments and crafting. Don’t let this turn you away, however; stick with it and experiment, and you’ll eventually get the hang of it.
Diablo III: Eternal Collection is everything I could’ve asked for from a proper Switch port. The graphical downgrades are noticeable in handheld mode, but it doesn’t detract from the experience at all, especially when it runs so smoothly. The game has been vastly improved over the years, and if you’re looking for a dangerously compelling looter action RPG to pass your time with, this is it. Diablo III is exactly the perfect kind of game that was made for the Switch, and Blizzard’s done a wonderful job with porting it over.