Blizzard is on the roll! Although famous developer had always been involved in multiple projects, this gaming giant from Irvine had been caught in a genuine creative spree, with several major projects being finalized or, at least, officially announced in a space of just a few days. In addition to all these other goodies (such as Diablo Immortal, an upcoming hack and slash RPG exclusive for Android and iOS devices), the gaming world was made exceptionally happy on the November 2 when Diablo III: Eternal Collection was released for Nintendo Switch. Since the eponymous horned mofo had simply refused to die on several occasions making it through three official sequels so far, over the years Blizzard had treated us with a bunch of expansions, special editions, battle chests, and other undeniably great offers. However, at least for the sheer amount of content, Diablo III: Eternal Collection is certainly one of the best Diablo-related gaming bundles you can get, no matter the platform.
So, let’s start unwrapping, shall we? The first thing that will definitely come as more than a pleasant surprise is that guys from Blizzard had decided to include just about everything related to Diablo III franchise. This exclusive Nintendo Switch version contains not only the basic Diablo III campaign, but also its expansion packs Reaper of Souls and Rise of the Necromancer. In practice, that means that you’ll get all existing Diablo III content, but also that some things will be available from the very start, and you won’t be required to go through admittedly sometimes tedious grind before you’ll get access to some cool stuff. First of all, all seven character classes will be available for you, including the Crusader, which appeared later as a part of the Reaper of Souls expansion pack. In addition to these holy armor-clad warriors for the fate, you’ll also be able to play as the formidable Barbarian, curses-slinging Witch Doctor, powerful Wizard, dexterous Monk, agile Demon Hunter and death-dealing Necromancer.
In the same manner, Adventure Mode, which was initially unlocked only after you’ve finished Act V (i.e. Reaper of Souls expansion) will be instantly open for you, should you wish to skip the main campaign, explore its special zones stacked with challenges and rewards and bountiful XP and complete various quests, Bounties and Nephalem Rifts. Needless to say, since this Adventure mode has relatively modest story content (especially in comparison to the main campaign of the game) and focuses on other things, its replay valley is immense.
Of course, since this new edition of Diablo III is available exclusively for Nintendo Switch, you’d probably expect that Diablo III: Eternal Collection would include at least a little something to make the owners of this gaming console feel special. And you’d be completely right too – there are a quite few things that are actually connected to Legend of Zelda, Nintendo’s famous action-adventure series. This special Zelda content (if it can be called that) includes a Triforce portrait frame, cosmetic wings, Cucco companion pet (if you haven’t played any of Zelda games, that’s basically just another word for domesticated fowl known throughout our world as chickens), and awesome transmogrification set which will let you transform yourself in non-other than Ganondorf, the main villain from Zelda games. I suppose that this is actually a pretty nice touch. However, I personally, don’t like these sort of combinations of things from different franchises that are otherwise totally unrelated – it just thoroughly shatters my immersion by awkwardly reminding me that I’m in fact just playing the game and not saving the world from the Lord of Terror and his minions. However, I suppose that some “subtle” homage had to be made to Nintendo and to one of its most famous and iconic franchises, so if you’re a fan of Zelda series, you can completely disregard what I’m saying – you’ll probably dig it a lot. If not, you can just try to avoid them completely, just like I did. That works too.
Of course, another vital thing that we must talk about is the playability and how the gameplay, game mechanics and everything else functions on Nintendo Switch. If you played any of the Diablo games before, you certainly know that, despite fundamentally simple gameplay, there’s much going on there, especially in the extreme combat conditions, which is, in other words, most of the time. For instance, you’re trying to fend off the horde of hungry enemies intended on eating you alive, and at the same time, you’re struggling to activate your special abilities and refill your health and mana. Admittedly, this works great for keyboard and mouse control scheme, but I was a little bit concerned how the fast-paced action of Diablo III would feel with Joy-Cons or Pro Controller. Well, I’m happy to announce that controls are actually translated into Nintendo Switch pretty great, and the hectic gameplay retains all its fluidity – you’ll be able to effortlessly respond to all its many challenges with the needed speed and precision.
Finally, although Diablo III first appeared all the way back in 2013, it has aged really well and its visuals are as pleasing as ever. More importantly, Diablo III: Eternal Collection also looks great on the Nintendo Switch, without any loss of the frame rate, which is for the game like this of paramount importance. Granted, in handheld mode, there is a slight deterioration in the quality of graphics, with certain dimness in some of the areas and in the representation of models and characters, but overall, that are just rather minute flaws in what’s otherwise in every other aspect a perfect port. In the docked mode, the game looks precise and crisp as ever, not any different from the one we experienced in the original PC version of the game. So, allow me to correct myself, and slightly amend my statement from the beginning of this article: Diablo III: Eternal Collection is not just “one of the best Diablo-related gaming bundles you can get”, it’s probably a definitive one, and Nintendo Switch had a special privilege to enjoy something special indeed. After all, they don’t call it “Eternal” for nothing.