Through Active Shutter Glasses : Diablo III


posted 11/2/2012 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
Platforms: PC
I admit, I haven’t been playing many games in 3D lately. When I first got my NVIDIA 3D Vision setup courtesy of NVIDIA, I was playing as many games as possible in the third dimension. As time went on, I became annoyed with how dark the picture got and some of the inconsistencies in some games. Well, one game’s gotten me back into using 3D and that game is Blizzard’s Diablo III.

NVIDIA categorizes Diablo III as a good experience, although from my point of view you can probably bump that up a little bit. There aren’t many games that I’ve come across where 3D not only improves visual quality but actually improves on the game’s interface. Diablo III is a prime example of doing both.

Let’s start with the environment and characters. With the isometric view, 3D Vision pushes all the action back a bit so it feels like you are watching over a tabletop game. Nothing pops out of the screen and that’s good because that’s a big reason a lot of people get eye strain. Instead, 3D Vision conveys a sense of depth to the Diablo world offering up visually pleasing experience when walking around and fighting the demons that are present.

But what 3D Vision does that really makes it worthwhile is improve on the user interface vastly. First of all, every overlay is placed on the topmost plane, which you can consider the monitor itself. While all the action sits farther back, the important information sits right in front making it easy to focus on when you need to grab a look at what’s happening with your character.

The cursor itself also looks like it sits high in the gaming world, but yet is accurate and easily picked up amongst the action. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes lose track of where my cursor is during times of intense action in Diablo III. With 3D Vision, the cursor is more pronounced and easier to spot when I found myself in those situations. It made for a lot less frustrating experience and probably saved me a few times from dying when going through a farming session in Inferno.

A really awesome thing that happens when using 3D Vision is that any drops become much, much easier to spot. The loot stays in the plane of the gaming world, but the labels pop out to the top. Now, seeing the exact items and where they are is 10 times easier. Really, it’s hard to go back to the normal non-3D view when farming because finding magical drops is so much easier with the 3D glasses on. The first few times it happened, I just couldn’t believe how much nicer it was to find them.

Now, I have the older 3D Vision glasses and monitor so it still darkens the picture a little too much for me. NVIDIA does have an updated model of glasses that uses newer monitors to generate a brighter picture. Unfortunately, I couldn’t test this, but the darkening of the screen is one of the reasons I’ve slowly stopped playing games with my 3D Vision setup. But, I tend to try new games from time to time and I’d love to play more this way with a brighter picture.

Another problem for Diablo III is that there are some graphical anomalies when using 3D Vision. Shadows don’t line up correctly, which can really be seen on the characters. Some of the glowing effects from portals and such are also off. Other than that, there’s not much else I could see that was distracting. The good news is that the issues are relatively minor compared to what other games experience in the “Good” range that NVIDIA rates this game’s 3D Vision experience in.

I really don’t know why I waited this long to try Diablo III with 3D Vision. If you have the setup and haven’t tried it with the game, do so and you’ll probably see how much nicer the user experience is with it on. 3D Vision really does improve the interface with Diablo III and I’m really attached to playing it with the glasses now, something I didn’t think would happen when I decided to try it out just for giggles.
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