Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Platforms: PC and Mac
Release Date: March 25, 2014
I stood in line anxiously awaiting the launch of Diablo 3 back on May 15, 2012 with a few Monster energy drinks chatting it up with others who were just as excited for the new game. Then came the moment of truth but instead, the now infamous, Error 37 popped up. Jokes plagued the franchise, but I didn’t care. I furiously clicked sign-in over and over and over until I was able to play, even if it was only for just a moment. Blizzard worked out all of the launch kinks and the game has been smooth sailing ever since.
Loot, loot, and more loot. That is the basis that drives the Diablo franchise forward and Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls is not any different. Loot is everywhere in this new expansion, and Blizzard has improved upon every aspect of the game, from the level difficulty system to drop rates for legendary items with the Loot 2.0 patch. Blizzard has even added a new element to the game called Adventure. However, is Reaper of Souls worth the $39.99 price tag? Lets find out.
When Angels Fall
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls’ story is dark and the opening cinematic is something straight out of a zombie flick.
After you, the Nephalem, defeats Diablo, Tyrael recovers the Black Soulstone which contains all seven of the Great Evils. Tyrael knows the Black Soulstone will not be safe in the High Heavens or in mortals hands, so he and six Horadrim take the Soulstone back to Sanctuary.
During the walk into the central chamber of the tomb of Rakkis, the first King of Westmarch, Tyrael and the Horadrim are attacked by Malthael, the former Archangel of Wisdom. Malthael had been gone for many, many years and hadn’t been seen since the destruction of the Worldstone when it was corrupted by Baal the Lord of Destruction.
Now, Malthael takes on a new name – “Angel of Death.” The Angel of Death steals all but one of the Horadrim’s souls and incapacitates Tyrael after taking the Black Soulstone. After waking, Tyrael sends the surviving Horadrim to locate the Nephalem and puts into place a plan to steal the Black Soulstone back from the Angel of Death.
An All New Adventure
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls has added new features which make the game feel much more fluid. Patch 2.0.1, which released back on February 25 a month before launch, made many of the changes that we see in the new expansion.
The patch brought an all new difficulty tier, with each tier altering experience, loot, and mobs. You think you have an awesome character? Put it on Torrent 6, the highest difficulty, and I can guarantee you might just rethink your character’s true ability because I know I failed miserably. In addition, the patch brought the Loot 2.0 system, where drops cater more towards your character rather than being truly random.
So what exactly does the expansion include? If you buy the standard edition of Reaper of Souls you will be provided a new Act, Act V, which picks up where Act IV left off, a new character – the Crusader, a new gameplay mode – Adventure, and a new artisan – Mystic.
The Crusader is an impenatrable character from the mortal realms, wielding heavy armor and heavy weapons for an “up in your face” kind of play style. The Crusader can wield a two-handed weapon in one while equipping a heavy shield in the other. This character’s strength is unbelievable. However, strength isn’t the only thing the Crusader does well. The Crusader also has an array of defense and support buffs for other players.
The new artisan, Mystic, which is picked up during the story line of Reaper of Souls, adds transmogrify to your weapons and provides the ability to roll for a new random trait on your weapons and armor. Truly comes in handy if you have a piece of armor with high strengths in a few areas but is just lacking in an area. Roll and hope you can get the trait you’re looking for!
The new Adventure mode is where the game shines. By opening up Sanctuary, travel to any location in any Act at a touch of button to replay those tough mobs over and over much more quickly than before. In addition, the new Adventure mode introduces Bounties and Nephalem Rifts.
Bounties are random side missions that occur which provides enemy after enemy. Continue knocking out the Bounties and eventually a Nephalem Rift will open. The rifts are mini dungeons that pull enemies together in countless waves to create boundless opportunities to get all the loot your heart desires and more. If you happen to make it to the end of the dungeon and slay the boss, you get a nice surprise – a lootsplosion!!!!
Many of the new additions, such as the revamped Paragon system, Loot 2.0, and the new difficulty tier, can be experienced without buying the Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls expansion. However, to get some of the nice additions, you will have to fork over $39.99 for the standard edition or $79.99 for the collector’s edition. Is it worth it? Yeah, it most definitely is.
The Adventure mode makes every penny worth it. Then you get a nice new dark story with Act V, a new character, and a new artisan which adds to the fun. This expansion has transformed the game into what players have been dying to have for the past two years. I’m sure more expansions will follow, and if this expansion is of any indication of what players can expect from Blizzard in the future, Diablo 3 has much more to come!