The PlayStation 4 launch, or announcement, or whatever you want to call it, was a few weeks back. Now that we've all had time to digest the myriad of announcements, and to stew on the fact that The Last Guardian is probably never going to come out, it's time to digest. Well, to be fair, we've already digested. Now, much like that one time my baby brother ate a bunch of tiny easter eggs without taking the foil off, it's time to rifle through the poop.
Apparently we really, really needed that foil. I can't recall why, but we did.
Anyway, the one announcement that I feel merits a close look was made by Blizzard. After flashing the logo and letting everyone get their collective hopes up, Blizzard told us that their big announcement was this: Diablo 3 is going to get ported to PS3 and PS4.
I love Diablo 3, in the same way that a loving but angry dad loves and is unbelievably disappointed in his son.
It'll have a new control scheme, four player single-screen co-op, and… wait. That's it, people yelled? That's what you came here to announce? Sony sent out press releases which finished with the obligatory plot synopsis, and suddenly, I got mad.
Here's a game which squandered its goodwill with a baffling loot system that swayed violently between chaotic random chance and an excel spreadsheet brimming with lacklustre variables. A game that pitched up a promising first act, a second act with a lazy twist, a truncated third act that felt more like an intermission, and a final act that frittered away thousands of opportunities for expansive storytelling and a final boss fight which felt like whack-a-mole on steroids.
A game that had so, so much promise. A game that was marred by months upon months of idiotic always-online stories in the gaming press, a game that hammered a real money auction house into its own heart with all the subtlety of a jerk who is in no way subtle and is a total jerk.
And now you can experience at least part of that wonderment on your consoles! Enjoy. If Blizzard are anything, they're cunning strategists and they know how to make money; having observed just what did and didn't infuriate a loyal PC fanbase who waited seven years for a threequel which still somehow felt rushed, they can now avoid certain potholes. Who knows. Maybe you'll get a purer version of the game, with exclusive DLC to flesh out the final act, or even expand upon certain unresolved plot threads.
I feel obliged to point out one more thing: I do not hate Diablo 3. I love Diablo 3, in the same way that a loving but angry dad loves and is unbelievably disappointed in his son who, showing some initial promise with his grades, opted instead to drop out of school and do nothing but play video games. One day, the son wanders into the father's study, his eyes instantly stinging because his father is polishing some oak cabinet like a real man should. And the son asks for his dads credit card, so that he can pay for a legendary item on the Diablo 3 auction house. The father shakes his head, disappointed. Partly in his son and his lack of ambition, but mostly in Blizzard. Because this dad reads MMGN.
And that, my friends, is how grief over the lost potential of Diablo 3 can interfere with an otherwise earnest blog post. I'll catch you all in a fortnight.
By Paul Verhoeven