Published on March 30th, 2014 | by Alex Porter0
Review: Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls
So, with Diablo finally locked away inside the Black Soulstone we can get back to relaxing and enjoying life… Or so we thought! It looks like it’s time for us Nephalem to get back to work, Sanctuary needs us! Diablo 3’s first game expansion is finally upon us bringing with it a brand new act, a new character class and much more. The game itself has been out for a few years now and gamers (including myself!) have been patiently waiting for some new content, with Reaper Of Souls finally providing us with just that. Is Reaper Of Souls worthy of a visit from the Nephalem? Let’s find out!
Reaper Of Souls adds a complete new act to the game, Act 5, which follows on directly after the events of Diablo 3’s main campaign. With Diablo sealed inside the Black Soulstone and Sanctuary on the mend, a new force arrives to cause havoc upon humanity. Malthael, the Angel of Death, seeks to unleash the power contained within the Black Soulstone to wipe out Sanctuary’s inhabitants. Now it’s up to our well known heroes, the Nephalem, to put a stop to Malthael’s plans! This all sounds good in practice, but the game’s story never really comes across well. There are plenty of cutscenes and moments with Malthael threatening you but you just don’t really feel the threat of annihilation that he promises. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though as Diablo 3 is one of those games were the story is not absolutely forefront but rather it’s the gameplay and mechanics that ultimately need to shine and this is something that, after a few updates, Diablo 3 managed to achieve. The question then becomes: Does Reaper Of Souls also achieve this?
The answer? Yes! Diablo 3 itself has near enough hit its apex with recent changes such as Loot 2.0 and the removal of the in-game auction house but Reaper Of Souls brings with it even more improvements. The addition of Adventure Mode gives players more freedom than ever before to loot the world of Sanctuary, and the addition of the Mystic who can alter the appearance and attributes of your gear allows for even greater character customisation. The new additions that Reaper Of Souls adds to Diablo, coupled with the latest improvements in loot and Paragon levels, brings with it an unprecedented level of replayability to a game that was already in a good spot in terms of replay value; there has never been a better time to loot your way through the minions of Hell!
One of the big features with Reaper Of Souls is the Adventure Mode. This new way to play allows players access to the entire game world giving players the opportunity to loot and explore any area at will rather than trudging their way through the linear campaign. The addition of Bounties gives this game mode some extra variety by giving players tasks to complete including boss fights and side quests with these giving players rewards. The rewards themselves are pretty awesome with Rift Keystones (which I’ll come on to in a moment!) and Horadric Caches which spill out gems, crafting materials and the odd legendary item for your character to nab. Adventure Mode adds a new dimension to Diablo by giving players the freedom to choose when and where to go on their looting sprees!
Another great addition to the game is the introduction of Nephalem Rifts. These portals can only be activated by sacrificing 5 of the aforementioned Rift Keystones, which you can get from Bounties, allowing players to enter a completely randomised dungeon. The goal here is to wipe out most of the enemies lurking in the dungeon, with many of said enemies being Elites ripe for the looting. Once the goal has been met, a random boss encounter will occur giving players their last objective in the dungeon. Naturally with the boss and the sheer number of Elites that can be encountered in these Rifts, loot is plentiful and an upgrade for your character is never far off!
Along with these great new features, Reaper Of Souls adds a sixth class to the game in the form of the Crusader. This fellow is more than happy to join our Nephalem in their quest to destroy demons and he brings along his own array of abilities to do just that. The Crusader has a mix of mid-range skills as well as abilities that help to buff allies or debuff the enemy. This new class’ abilities are a great addition to the Diablo line up with moves such as Steed Charge allowing the Crusader to charge straight through the enemy dealing damage as he does so. He also comes with several passive abilities called ‘Laws’ with only one being active at any one time. These Laws give passive boosts to nearby allies as will as granting more powerful effects when activated. The Crusader is an excellent addition to the class line-up and will have players rethinking how they want to play the game!
Diablo 3 has always been an enjoyable experience but sadly had a flaw with loot never seeming to improve once you hit level 60. The recent updates have drastically improved this but Reaper Of Souls simply builds on top of what Diablo already had, and then builds on top of that! Loot is aimed towards your character and you will find yourself changing gear at regular intervals with legendary gear actually living up to its name. The new modes and areas added by Reaper Of Souls keeps the game fresh even if the story it brings feels weak. It’s time for the Nephalem to get back to work looting the hell out of everything that stands in their way!
Summary: Diablo 3 has had some recent improvements but Reaper Of Souls just blows everything out of the water! The gameplay, freedom and loot provided by the new modes and additions makes Diablo 3 better than ever and you will easily find yourself looting through enemies right into the early hours of the morning!