Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Review
publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
developer: Blizzard Entertainment
|ESRB rating: RP
release date: Mar 25, 14
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Only a couple of things could potentially ruin Diablo 3’s reputation – a lousy launch and poor end-game content that turns the game into a loot-oriented grind-fest. Well... umm. Launch day cock-ups were resolved. However, Blizzard themselves admitted that Diablo 3 had poor end-game content. It turned out to be a problem because Diablo is no longer just single-player, as was the case with Diablo and Diablo 2. The inclusion of multiplayer forced Blizzard to go back and improve key elements of the game. They seem to have done so -- very effectively I might add -- by launching the 2.0 loot patch and the Reaper of Souls expansion pack.
Thus goes my little Barbarian horde.
Set is green. Orange is Legendary. Nuff said.
Act V, The Reaper of Souls, continues the story of the Nephalem and events that occurred after Diablo’s fall in the battle of the High Heavens. The hero who defeated the Lord Terror now has to face the ghostly armies of Malthael. Archangel Tyrael, who still clings to his human form, meets with the hero in Westmarch where Malthael is already strengthening his undead forces. Although he calls himself the “Angel of Death” Malthael was once the Archangel of Wisdom and considered to be the greatest member of the Angiris Council. After the destruction of the Worldstone and its corruption (back in Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction), Malthael vanished. He has now returned to claim the Black Soulstone, which contains the power Diablo.
Blizzard’s long-awaited add-on has brought some changes. The level cap has now been raised to 70 (from 60). The additional 10 levels paved the way for new skills and ruins. As you reach level 70, you’ll unlock a fourth passive ability. Act V brings many hours worth of content. Completing this new part of the Diablo storyline took us almost 20 hours, with a thorough exploration of the new areas and sub-levels (can’t guarantee that we’ve seen every single side-quest tho). Anyway, once you’re done with the Act V, you can jump into the all-new adventure mode, which allows you to revisit familiar locations, gather more experience, collect bounties in specific areas and eventually unlock dungeons called Nephalem Rifts. Clearing out these Rifts and collecting bounties for each world awards players with Horadric caches, which pack some pretty cool items.
Also, the revised loot system now sees better and more useful drops. You no longer have to worry about picking up magic, rare or legendary items for different classes. Drops are now class-specific, so if you’re playing as a Wizard you’ll seldom see an item for, say, a Barbarian. However, most items are account-bound and therefore cannot be traded with other players. The player-to-player trade system is rather vague so I tried it the old-fashioned way – just dropping items and taking them off the ground (and yes they’ve also killed the Auction House, if you recall). Players can exchange items such as weapons that are rare and magic. Legendary items can also be swapped, but those have a 2-hour time limit. Once that limit expires, the legendary item is bound to your account. Items and ingredients that are used for crafting cannot be traded because they are also account bound. It’s hard to see this as a flaw. To tell you the truth, I’ve been playing the game for well over a week and I never once felt the need to trade with anyone. The variety of unique and useful drops is staggering. Also, there’s more than enough gold and crafting material to gather from fallen enemies. Once again, this doesn’t seem like a bad thing to us. The Auction House sucked tremendously bloated goat cock anyway.
All of these features signify Blizzard’s effort to improve upon its already excellent action RPG. While some may argue against the game’s $40 price tag, it seems like a fine investment to us, especially if you’re a fan of the original. Each new addition somehow streamlines the game, so that players will have a great time while amassing their riches and weapons. The tale of Malthael was well told via scrolls and diaries, so there’s enough to keep you interested if you’re in for more story-related content.
Unleash the mighty steeds of my Crusader.
Be gone spawns of Malthael!
We’ve completed Act V with a high-level Barbarian and are now plowing through the main campaign once again with the new Crusader class (currently at lvl 45). At the beginning of Act I, the Crusader may not seem like a particularly appealing. However, as soon as you unlock better abilities and indeed more powerful equipment, the Crusader easily becomes one of the best. It’s a class that uses a well-balanced combo of ranged magic skills and close combat fighting abilities. Of course, in addition to those, he wields and assortment of spells to aid companions in battle.
Reaper of Souls successfully lures you into battle you’ll surely want to experience with friends. As a single-player game it’s equally fun. On an overall note, the past week of my life has been devoted to the Reaper of Souls and I have to say it wasn’t easy getting out of the game. The damn thing had me hooked so bad I had to explain my mysterious absence to all my friends and family.
Anyway, away with such idle talk. The promise of riches and delicious loot hangs in the air.
Act V brings plenty of extra hours of gameplay, all the changes and improvements make a difference, it's an overall better experience;
Some may object to the somewhat steep price tag, restricted and vague in-game trading system may ward off some gamers (not us).
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