It’s not often that blizzard is criticised for making a game that doesn’t meet the expectations of its fans. They are famous or in some cases infamous, depending on how fanatical you are, for saying: “It’ll be ready when it’s ready”. In almost every case this means that when it’s ready, it will be jaw dropping and awesome. But life shows us, exceptions are made so that we form a frame of reference for how wrong or right things can actually go.
In the case of the first instalment of Diablo 3, everything that could go wrong went wrong. From launch day server crashes that put Sim City’s crashes to shame, to lacklustre content and almost non-existent replayability. One could even go as far as to say that Diablo 3 was the black sheep of the Blizzard family, in the sense that it lacked the awe inspiring factor that all of their other games possess.
With “Reaper of Souls” Blizzard attempted to fix a lot of the problems that plagued the first half of the Diablo 3 story. In this they succeeded, but I honestly think that these separate instalments should have been a single game. All the things that they added and fixed in this expansion should have been part of the original. All those that purchased the expansion should have received it for free as a gesture from Blizzard for the originals endless faults.
This said, anyone who has the original game and does not get the expansion is missing out, big time. As i said above, the fixes and changes make buying the game essential for lovers of the franchise.
The expansion brings a whole new class, The Crusader, who seems grossly overpowered in my opinion, but then again, we need as much firepower as we can get when dealing with the minions of hell. It also brings with it a new act that deals with the pursuit of the Reaper of Souls, a scythe wielding angel of death. Along with these two changes comes a new game mode called Adventure mode, in which you complete missions in random acts in order to acquire Rift Keystone Fragments that open portals to Nephilim Rifts, which are mini dungeon style instances with a boss and above par loot.
Though these are the only three changes the expansion receives as all the other changes are, thankfully, free to all the owners of the Diablo 3.
The new loot table introduced with the pre-expansion patch means that finding loot for your class and level becomes easier. With the patch came the expulsion of the Real Money Auction House. A much needed change, as the auction house was, in my opinion, one of the biggest flaws of the original game.
The flaws of the original instalment of Diablo 3 cast a very big shadow and may have left a sour taste in the mouth. This shadow unfortunately reaches over the expansion, and getting back into the good books of die-hard Diablo fans will take more than an updated loot table, new class and Act of the story.
The blunder of the original should have been fixed a lot earlier than it was as I am sure that players will have given a lot of feedback that could have been implemented without the need to charge people.
As I said above, buying the expansion is essential for those die-hard fans of the series, but being happy about having to spend money on something that should have been part of the original is not a given. Blizzard really dropped the ball with this one.
I understand that this has been more a rant than a review, but the fact that even after all of my scepticism I suggest that you get the game should be a testament to how much of an improvement to the game it makes, and how essential it is for fans to get the expansion. But please remember to take it with a pinch of salt, because if game companies are allowed to charge for fixing their own problems then things might start getting out of hand.
Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls Rating: 8/10
Check out the Diablo 3 website: Reaper of Souls