For someone who camped launch day of Diablo 3 to the release of Loot 2.0 and the closing of both auction houses, it has been a long journey filled with many ups and many downs. I am sure I am not the only one who left the game for a long time till the announcement of Loot 2.0 and of course the expansion Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls.
Even after watching the trailer which sent shivers down my spine, part of me still did not feel convinced enough to get the expansion. But as the developers reveal more about the many new features of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls and how Loot 2.0 has made it a fun to farm game again, I took the plunge and bought the game.
What welcomed me back was a grim looking world that well, stopping Diablo was not the end of everything. Seems like an angel of wisdom decided the best way to end it all is to kill everyone and well, you the great Nephalem hero ain’t gonna stand around and do nothing. From the doomed city of Westmarch to creepy cemeteries and that castle that makes a return from Diablo 2 (shall not spoil too much here), the new colours and locations is actually a welcome from the usual places that no doubt have been farmed to death by many.
I’m sure I am not the only one looking for an epic battle to end it all and settle all this angel demon war once an for all. Well all I can say is to set your expectations slightly lower. Not that there was no sense of accomplishment after showing the final boss who the people’s champion was nor was the concluding stories of the many non player characters enough but somehow it feels like the story makers could have done a little bit more. Of course we all know that the storyline must allow the next game in the series but somehow it was underwhelming.
Thankfully Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls makes up with the introduction of the Crusader class. Yes I will say it that it feels like an upgraded make over of the paladin class from Diablo 2 with all the holy hammer and such but somehow I grown to like it as its own after a few run throughs. Doesn’t help that I am a sucker for big shields, towering armor and the holy fury to smite evil. In fact, I will probably put my wizard on hold for the crusader which I feel can be a good team player as the “tank type” for party plays.
Completing almost 7 hours of Act 5 content (faster if you take your torment ready character and smash through at lower difficulties) rewards players with the Adventure Mode which is a welcome addition. This turns the very linear Diablo 3 into an open world form. Almost everywhere in all 5 acts are open for you to jump in, smash some baddies, look for challengers like cursed chest and smash even more skeleton skulls to bits. In fact this has become my new “I got a bit of time so lets do something” game mode and I am very happy with it.
Lets not forget about all the new glorious loot that Loot 2.0 brings. It makes sense now sinking in lots of game time farming for loot as you no longer get crap like say a wizard hat with its highest stat being strength. Getting new loot feels even better now and I can feel that subtle “one more set of mobs” feeling creeping in and looking to steal precious sleep time.
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls also introduces the new crafter Myriam who not only adds an interesting take on loot found but also gives people like me who has horded loads of gold from earlier farming days to spend on. Myriam allows u to swap (unwanted) stat of an item with a random one. While this means you still got to pray that the RNG (random number generator) is in your favor, it does bring more variety and chance that a good piece of gear can be even better.
Oh and did I mention there was no error or crashes at launch time? In fact considering I only logged in to start my camping 1 hour before launch time, there was no queue, no crashes, no errors, no nothing. A message appeared that Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls was ready and immediately there was a change in background and off I went into Act 5 to hunt for Malthael and his army of reapers.
Diablo 3: Reapers of Souls is the game that I am sure many wished the original Diablo 3 launch was. No stupid loots, no stupid errors and yeah you get what I mean. Of course the graphics could have been given a little make over but I guess that would not be fair for those with older systems or those playing on the go with their laptops. The only gripe I have though is the pricing which I have to agree is on the higher side for the amount of content given. Sure, Diablo 3: Reapers of Souls makes farming more fun which is the overall goal of the Diablo series but maybe a little more story development for the side characters and a more polished ending would have been nice.
Overall still many positives to take home for the developers, Diablo 3: Reapers of Souls comes recommended despite its higher pricing for Diablo 3 fans.
Ratings: 4 out of 5 stars
by Kenneth Wong
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