Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: Diablo III: Reaper of Souls

2:00 PM on 03.26.2014 // Chris Carter
  @DtoidChris

No Auction House, no problem

After the classic that was Diablo II, expectations for a follow-up were at an all-time high. Although it could never really meet those expectations, Diablo III was a fine hack and slash, and I ended up replaying it time and time again with every possible class.

But it wasn't perfect of course, since loot was designed around the ill-fated and ill-designed Auction House, putting a damper on long-term gear goals. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls may not reinvent the wheel, but it eliminates many of the problems from DIII proper.

And most importantly, the Auction House is gone all around!

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (PC [reviewed], Mac)
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Release: March 25, 2014
MSRP: $39.99

Before you even begin your adventure in Reaper of Souls, Patch 2.0.1, or the "Loot 2.0" patch is already fully in place. This doesn't require the purchase of Souls, but it adds in quite a few changes that make the entire game much better as a result. Paragon levels have been uncapped and are account-wide, rare drops have increased (and junk drops have decreased), a clan system is now available, the crafting system has been made more accessible (materials have been combined for less confusion), timed events have been added, and difficulties have been reworked.

A lot of these changes seem to be unchained due to the removal of the Auction House, which allows the loot system to really thrive. You'll earn rare and even legendary items on a constant basis, keeping that loot wheel turning pretty much every run -- it reignites that flame of "one more dungeon" that Diablo III sorely missed after a few weeks of play.

The other changes are pretty great as well, most notably the difficulty system. Now you can pick from five options all the way up to Torment (which is basically Inferno with a sliding scale) whenever you want, granting extra bonuses like more experience. This is a two-fold fix, as it not only alleviates the issue of people finding the game too easy the first time around, but it also helps keep you interested for longer periods of time with more options. Now, you don't have to beat the game three times to get to the "hard part." It's a win-win.

Beyond that, there are Reaper of Souls specific additions that further augment Diablo III's new features -- most notably a brand new Act, a new character, and "adventure mode." The first thing you'll probably notice when you boot up Souls is the Crusader class, which is defense-minded damage dealer that's basically a mix between a Barbarian and a Monk.

Like the archetype allows, the Crusader is a nice mix between offense and defense, allowing you to customize your character according to your personal priorities. Because they have access to a number of buffs and debuffs, you can choose to go all out with strong abilities like hammers or defensive powers like magic shields, or go for a middle of the road approach.

They also have a ton of unique skills that no other class has, like a magical horse that crashes through enemies, and their armor design and general theme fits the game perfectly. If you loved the Paladin in Diablo II and the Monk didn't really fill that void, you'll love the Crusader. I would have preferred two extra classes (perhaps another caster) in this expansion to balance things out, but the Crusader is definitely fun enough to go from 1-70 with on its own.

Speaking of level 70, that's the new cap that applies to everyone. All classes will get an extra ultimate ability and more runes, as well as more passives and an extra passive slot at max level. The account-wide paragon system also allows you to tweak everyone beyond the cap, allowing for an unprecedented amount of customization -- and that extra passive slot goes farther than you'd think.

A third Artisan (in addition to the Blacksmith and the Jeweler) also makes an appearance in Souls, in the form of the Mystic. This NPC can re-work specific statistics in items into more desirable parameters for a price, as well as morph existing items into different skins through transmogrification. The former is a fairly pricey affair, but the latter is so well done (and appropriately priced) that it ensures you'll never hate the look of your character again. If you get an amazing item that looks lame, you can just change it in seconds. Like the new ability changes, it ensures that you're always in control of your character.

The meat of Reaper of Souls however is Act V, which takes place in the desolate area of Westmarch. The narrative itself deals with Malthael, a former member of the Angiris Council and ex-Archangel of Wisdom, who has since become the Angel of Death -- the arch-nemesis of the expansion. It's pretty standard stuff when it comes to Diablo III's so-so narrative, but the environments and enemy models aren't ripped wholesale from the core game, which is what really makes Act V shine in its own right.

Malthael's minions range from grim reaper type foes, to bone dogs, to general demonic entities, as you make your way through a variety of towns, graveyards, swamps, and temples. It's basically a mix of every Act before it, but with its own signature artstyle and charms. Although the areas themselves are fun I would have preferred better boss fights (and at least one more at that), because outside of one fan-service oriented enemy everything pales in comparison to the Ancients encounter from Diablo II. It's not like the bosses are bad, per se, but I expected a bit more based on Blizzard's past experience.

The good news is once you're all done with the story, you can embark upon Adventure Mode -- a new feature in Reaper of Souls. Here you'll basically collect a number of different quests (bounties) with every active waypoint that can be tackled with your leisure. Usually these are shallow requests like "kill this boss" or "clear this area," but you'll earn tons of bonus experience for your efforts, as well as shards that can be used to open up random dungeons (rifts).

This is basically the new lifeblood of Reaper of Souls, as dedicated players will no doubt take their 70s into Torment difficulty bounties and rifts in search of better loot -- and with Loot 2.0, they'll get it. It also helps that the new Paragon system is helping you earn stats for every character along the way, including a potential Crusader character, so no session feels like a waste.



Diablo III may have lost its allure after a first months of play, but Reaper of Souls has sucked me right back in again. Most of these additions should have been in the base game from the get-go, but there's no denying that they're welcome changes. Now that Diablo III has a new base to work from, I hope Blizzard keeps at it to make it the best they possibly can. Thankfully, Reaper of Souls gives me hope.



THE VERDICT

9

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Entrancing - It's like magic, guys. Time disappears when this game and I are together, and I never want it to end. I'm not sure if this is a love that will last forever, but if it is, you'll get no complaints from me.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director, Co-EIC
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls


  Aug 05

Diablo III sold 20 million copies worldwide

The original and Reaper of Souls across all platforms


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Roses are black, PS4 lights are blue; This is a game, and it has valkyries too?

Cblogs of 02/10/16 and WONDER-isms

Modern face of survival horror

Discussion Discussion on Games

PStoid Episode 38: Doomed from the Box Art

Cblogs of 2/9/16 - Only Slightly Late Edition

Narrative Mistakes: Mass Effect's Reapers As Primary Villains

Journey to Become a Jedi Knight - Jedi Outcast

Waifu Wars - The End

Hindsight Part II: Unreleased Games of the Past

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Lawman avatarLawman
So Zack Furniss told me I should play Dying Light on Hard. Guess who's never listening to Zack Furniss again? :-/
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Deadpool spoilers: He gets cancer.
beargreasey avatarbeargreasey
So Kanye just announced his new game, Only Once. It looks beautiful and personal. It's just a shame that I still have no idea what it is.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I dunno why people are getting so huffy about Windows Store / XbOne Quantum Break crossbuy. It means double the gamerscore for me, and AW and AW:AN are rereleasing on the One so I'll have owned them 3 times over. Great games.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
I once considered pitching an idea for a Dtoid Australia podcast, but then I realised it'd probably just be Zyk and I getting drunk on Foster's and complaining about Atlus for half an hour each week while incessantly calling each other cunts.
Parismio avatarParismio
New Splatfest is Pokemon Red vs Pokemon Blue. Im Blue Team bitches!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Been sick but these pills are fixing me right up. [img]http://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-don-t-call-it-a-comeback-i-ve-been-here-for-years-ll-cool-j-63-60-01.jpg[/img]
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
Why is it impossible to find a raid group in Destiny? Am I just cursed or something? All I want is to get a clan and do a raid.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I don't even care how the rest of this day is.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
*Starts up XCOM: UFO Defense* Alright, I'm ready to do this...hmmmm...not much going on. Space ship! Shot it down! Lets fight, I've played XCOM...wait...what the fuck do all these buttons do? Alright I got it now! Annnnnd 1/6 soldiers survived. Hmmm.
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Going to Deadpool in 45 minutes. I can't wait to see Ryan Reynolds junk.
jak2364 avatarjak2364
http://www.game.co.uk/en/dying-light-the-following-the-spotlight-edition-only-at-game-298773 I'll need to ask for a credit line increase, but sure, why not?
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Hnnnggg. My End of Evangelion video I made like 2 years ago has almost 700,000 views. I never thought it'd get this far. It was the first video I ever made and just did it for fun. Guess I have an eye for editing and an ear for music placement.
gajknight avatargajknight
I want to listen to classical music. But I'm in a funky mood right now. The solution?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Been watching Better Call Saul, being a pretty big fan of Breaking Bad, and it's been pretty decent. Like a b-side to BB. But, this scene with Trevor (GTAV)-famous Steven Ogg has been my highlight. There's more to it before this, but it's the best part.
Parismio avatarParismio
Whens the racist Wakka animation?:
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Well, wherever you are, Human...
jak2364 avatarjak2364
...Well, nice to know I could improve a game I didn't take a survey on!
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
jak2364 avatarjak2364
...Does Ubisoft let their employees do drugs before they write surveys? It really seems like it. "The progression of the main character (skills) in the game should be adapted" Can anyone tell me what the hell that's supposed to mean?
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -