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unt1tled

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Review

by unt1tled

posted March 25, 2014 @ 12:07AM
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filed under ReviewGames

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Despite selling over 15 million copies, Diablo 3 was considered a failure by many gamers when compared to its predecessor. What went wrong? The horrible loot system, the real-money auction house, a poorly scaling difficulty system and poor online infrastructure, just to name a few problems. So why purchase the first expansion pack, Reaper of Souls? Because Blizzard is finally righting the golden ship that came so close to sinking.

First off, Diablo 3 lead producer Jay Wilson is out, replaced by Josh Mosqueira, who has made all the right moves leading up to the expansion. The patch that was meant to revamp the game before the release of Reaper of Souls is heralded as the patch that finally made Diablo 3 fun. The loot system is completely revamped, meaning good loot drops often, and Blizzard has removed all auction houses for Diablo 3. The difficulty system has been completely revamped and the online infrastructure is rock solid. With Diablo 3's issues fixed, Reaper of Souls is free to build on a solid foundation and finally make Diablo 3 the experience it should have been from the beginning.

The obvious new additions to the game are the new character, the Crusader, a new Act and an increased level cap from 60 to 70. Act V takes place in and around Westmarch and is extremely diverse: Something you don't see in the original game, especially in Act IV. Each of the three main areas in Act V are aesthetically different from each other, guaranteeing the six to seven hour journey through the campaign never feels repetitive. Each zone is dark and brooding, again channeling the spirit of Diablo 2 but in the best way possible. Lastly, these zones feature a large number of sidequests so there is a good reason for you to explore each one fully.

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The extra ten character levels award each class one new active skill and three new passive skills, all of which are well thought out and will change how you play the game. However, you may opt to start the game over when you see how awesome the Crusader is. The Crusader is most similar to the Paladin in Diablo 2 with a focus on heavy armor, shields and area-of-effect spells. The voice acting for the Crusader is the best of all character classes and journeying back through the previous four acts is worth it just to hear his (or her) observations. Reaper of Souls adds one new shopkeeper, the Mystic, that lets you enchant your weapons and items and change their look. It's not a huge addition but it's one that's nice to finally have.

Reaper of Souls doesn't just stop there with the new additions and adds in new difficulty options in addition to a brand new mode. For Level 60 and higher players, the Torment difficulty mode becomes available, though this mode is really six difficulty modes in one. Torment players have access to a slider that makes their enemies more difficult in return for more gold and experience and, at the highest notch, award 1600% the normal gold and experience. Torment mode also awards new Legendary items as well. It's the ultimate challenge for Diablo 3 players.

The new mode available in Reaper of Souls is Adventure mode, the mode that hardcore Diablo 3 fans have wanted since the beginning. Adventure Mode removes all story elements, including cutscenes, and unlocks every waypoint, letting players go anywhere and kill anything they want. All difficulty modes are unlocked in Adventure Mode and after completing Act V once, you can access this mode on any character at any time. However, things would get boring quick without a little direction and that's where Bounties and Nephalem Rifts come in. Bounties are randomized goals, such as killing a certain boss, while Nephalem Rifts are dungeons that “break all the rules,” according to Blizzard. For example, a Nephalem Rift may feature Act V enemies in an Act I dungeon, complete with randomized weather, length and even bosses. How do you open these rifts? By completing bounties, which brings the whole process full circle. Adventure mode provides hours and hours of fun, finally giving Diablo 3 the replayability of its predecessor.

Reaper of Souls is, without a doubt, an amazing experience and brings us the Diablo 3 experience we were promised back in 2012. If you're someone who bounced off Diablo 3 a few years ago, Reaper of Souls is the game to bring you back in. If you already love Diablo 3, chances are good you already own this game. Reaper of Souls proves why Blizzard is the best in the business when it comes to action role-playing games and is a must-buy.

tags pcdiablo

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