If you have been listening to the rumors for the last week or so, then this news should be of no surprise to you, but it’s really good to finally get a confirmation. Earlier today, Blizzard announced that their hugely popular dungeon crawler Diablo 3 is indeed coming to the Nintendo Switch. This latest iteration will be entitled Diablo 3: Eternal Collection and will feature the original game, of course, but will also include the Reaper of Souls expansion, the Adventure Mode which will be fully unlocked from the start, Challenge Rifts, Kanai’s Cube, and the Crusader class. In addition, it will also have the Rise of the Necromancer pack, which primarily consists of the awesome Necromancer class. Blizzard didn’t give a definite release date but did reveal that they are shooting for a Fall 2018 release with a $60 price tag.
Made available by press release, this news was communicated to games outlets by Senior Producer Pete Stilwell where he describes his team’s idea for how the game will live and thrive on the Switch. He stated that they all feel like this iteration is where the game was organically headed in terms of giving gamers a way to play the game in a new way on a new type of console. Diablo 3 will be able to be played offline locally between multiple Switch consoles offering a play anywhere feature that a lot of games don’t attempt.
Just in time to take advantage of Nintendo’s new Switch Online service, your game saves will automatically upload to the cloud so that your progress can be backed up and/or transferred onto other devices. “Switch automatically uploads save files. The only thing that won’t upload is leaderboards, but anything else such as achievements or progress that’s made through the campaign will be [uploaded],” explained associate producer Matt Cederquist. “Another cool feature is the ability to play offline and still have progress count, and you can load your profiles back and forth, so if you’re on a buddy’s Switch you can load your file and get the character you want in the game too,” chimed in Stilwell.
Just so that you are completely aware, you won’t be able to transfer your characters from the PS4, Xbox One or the PC, so plan on starting a new character fresh out of the box. In addition, cross-platform play will not be available in the near future, if ever. The cool thing is that the online multiplayer function will be available to those that ante up for the Switch’s paid online service when the game launches.
One of the first things that I thought of when I heard that Diablo 3 might make its way to the Switch was will the console have enough muscle to run the game with no issues and it seems that was a concern for Blizzard as well. Stilwell says that the game will run at a steady 60 frames per second in every respect with the display being 720p in handheld mode and will switch to 960p when in the dock. “That was a huge focus, to make sure we were giving a responsive, awesome gameplay experience and we’ve managed to achieve that,” said Stilwell. “Part of the technology itself changes [depending on whether] you’re docked or not. That was one of our learning experiences along the way, dealing with how the architecture changes depending on whether you’re docked or mobile. It’s just an optimization effort.”
“In my mind the only thing that changes is the Switch itself goes from 720p to 960p. You should not be feeling any different; we don’t feel anything different … We, for the past couple of months, have spent more time just making sure that the game feels as great no matter what controller setup you have, whether you’re plugged in or not. Our biggest motivation was to make sure that we weren’t giving you an inferior experience.”
Just so we are clear, Diablo 3: Eternal Collection will work in all of the various controller configurations that the Switch offers, however, the touchscreen functionality will not be available.
“The real power of the Switch is the multiple ways you can play it, whether it’s handing your friend a controller and playing on the same Switch at the same time, linking multiple Switches, or going old school and playing it on your TV,” said Stilwell. “We’re taking full advantage of what Switch has to offer. The responsiveness you get from Diablo with a controller is an evolution of the experience from clicking on PC, and we’ve done the work to get it as playable and as responsive on Switch as any other platform so we’re extremely excited about the offering.”
“We support everything except for touch at this point,” he added. “We did some experiments with touch and we didn’t think there were enough compelling reasons to use it in the current state. We felt the controllers were a superior method of controlling the game.”
And just for being cool and grabbing a copy on the Switch, Blizzard is throwing in a few special exclusive contents such as the ability to use the transmogrification feature to turn into Ganondorf, The Legend of Zelda villain himself. I already have this game on the PS4 and the PS3 and I am not hesitating to grab this on the Switch as well. Do you plan on getting the Switch version when it comes out? Let us know in the comments below.
David is a native of Denver, CO who grew up at a time when the video game craze was just getting a foothold in the consciousness of young kids and teenagers all over America. His earliest exposure...