Diablo 3 Reaper Of Souls Review
Diablo 3 had problems.
The game itself was great, of course, but all that is burdened under Error 37, the auction house and myriad other issues that caused the internet to rise up – however briefly – against its once-beloved Blizzard.
And so it is that Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls is an apology, of sorts, with Blizzard now understanding what players wanted. Better late than never, maybe, but here we are.
Blizzard has long been known for the effort it puts into its expansion packs, and Diablo 3’s first – Reaper Of Souls – is no different. There’s no faulting the quality here.
Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls – What You Get
First off, there is a patch.
Whether or not you buy Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls, you can boot up Diablo 3 and get the benefits. Things like an improved looting system, unlimited Paragon levelling, difficulty scaling with level and even tweaks to the different classes.
Oh, and the Auction House has been severed from the game.
All important features that undoubtedly make Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls a better game than vanilla Diablo 3 – but that’s not part of the expansion pack, and would be unfair to include it in there.
What you do get is a whole new Act (number five, in fact), a new class (the Crusader), a new level cap of 70 and the inclusion of randomised elements such as Adventure Mode, Nephalem Rifts and Bounties.
Content-wise you certainly get the monies worth, and so if you’re just after a little more Diablo gameplay then that’s exactly what you get.
Depending on how deep your interesting in exploration runs, you’ll likely see the end of Act V at around 8 or so hours, give or take an hour depending on the difficulty you’re choosing to play on.
You’ll need a character to have completed the game before you can get on with Act V – for obvious reasons – but it all ties in very well. No, Diablo hasn’t been revived under cheap circumstances; it is Malthael that is the threat here.
It ties into Diablo lore nicely and though it doesn’t quite have the same doomsday feel that Diablo 3 maintained, there’s certainly enough of an inquisitive nature coursing through the expansion pack that you’ll have a reason to pay attention.
You know, outside of all that mouse-clicking.
Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls – The Campaign
You’ll be pleased to hear that there’s much more to see and do in Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls too. New tilesets, themes and enemies all make their way into the expansion pack, so it’s not just a case of having more of the same stuff to smash to bits.
The variety is appealing, and it’s pleasing for lore fans to explore some of the renowned locations of the Diablo universe, in particular Westmarch.
NPCs return and have a little extra to say, especially with regards to the situation the Nephalem currently finds him or herself in – so that’s a nice little added bonus.
It is as scripted as vanilla Diablo 3, however, so if you couldn’t stand the hand-designed overworld (rather than randomised content) then there’s that to contend with. Sensible-minded players, however, will gladly absorb all this new content.
All the same Act V doesn’t feel like an afterthought or a shoehorned content slog, there’s some thought gone into ensuring gamers will get the same intrigue they have had from across the series.
And for continued lore fans, there’s enough of a setup for future expansion packs, if not the future of the series as a whole. It’s not quite a cliffhanger, but not quite a tease either.
Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls – Adventure Mode
It’s really in Adventure Mode that fans of ‘traditional’ Diablo should be interested in the expansion pack, though.
It still maintains a series of Acts, not unlike the original, but the focus here is on randomised Bounties.
These tasks appear on the map at any location and task you to head to the area in question, kill some things and earn a reward. It’s a flexible system that doesn’t impact too heavily on proceedings, simply giving you the opportunity to hunt down otherwise unexpected quests.
Since you’ll need to start again with the Crusader class anyway – who is a well rounded but not really an obligatory part of Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls – the option to play through the campaign without its strict linearity is welcome.
Tying into all this are Nephalem Rifts, a mechanism that creates completely randomised dungeons from across Diablo 3’s tilesets and combining it with new loot and enemies that wouldn’t normally be spotted in such environments.
Though there’s no mechanical difference between random dungeons and Nephalem Rifts, the advantage is obvious.
Not only do you get a totally new instance to battle through – and all that shiny loot that goes with it – but bosses are tweaked, mob density seems higher (and therefore more legendary potential) and even a greater opportunity for treasure goblins.
It helps that you can easily sit through a Nephalem Rift in a fairly short space of time, making it ideal for XP, gold or loot grinding.
Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls Review
Maybe you’ve already cast your die with Diablo 3. Maybe you’ve already said ‘enough is enough’, and that you won’t be going back.
But Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls does genuinely resolve a number of the issues that came with vanilla Diablo 3. Maybe even enough to tempt you out of your boycotting.
It’s fair that Blizzard perhaps should have considered these improvements earlier than now – and there is an argument from diehard fans that it should all have been included as a patch – but honestly that would be a disservice to the quality of the pack.
There’s plenty of content here to click through, and the addition of randomised content is a welcome addition. Truth be told you’ll only get the monies worth from Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls if you’re intending to make use of the new character and its overall replayability.
But all the same it is a great effort from Blizzard, and if you’re a fan of Diablo 3 (shock, horror) then Reaper Of Souls will give you more than enough reasons to return to Sanctuary.