Diablo 3 isn’t necessarily an MMO by most standards, but it has enough MMO trappings to pull our interest in. For the longest time, many of us wrote D3 off as an economics lesson in “pay to win.” Before the expansion, which brought patch 2.0, the main goal of the game was focused on gaming the auction house for gear. Now, things have changed, and so brings about our review of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls.
To give relevance to the review and showcase that we’ve played enough of the game have a viable opinion, here is a screenshot of my current character unbuffed:
I’m going to be honest, this sounds more or less like a re-review of D3. Because I mean, the expansion is more or less a giant patch than anything else. It’s not like its own segregated world, it’s more just a patch and then paying a little bit of money to access some additional content. The patch, though, is huge, and the changes are major enough for us to take a revisit.
The game is rated Mature for Blood and Gore and Violence.
Gameplay - 95 / 100
The game’s positive side focuses on the revamped loot system, which encourages actually playing the game versus pulling out your credit or debit card. Account bound loot moves the game more from an MMO to a single player game, but that’s the cost of business to force users to play the game versus gaming the system.
Loot aside, the combat is as fluid as ever. Realistically, the combat is near perfect. I’ve been playing countless hours for the last forever and I’m just still absolutely in love with just how fluid it is. Legions of undead rush at you while your mighty mouse and carpal tunnel work in tandem to slay them all with various spells and abilities.
That isn’t to say there is any depth in the game. Like other action RPGs, there is only so many maps and only so much content to consume, which can result in a lot of repetition. RoS works to fix this by adding Nephalem Rifts, a game mechanic that summons random zones full of random monsters, but realistically it’s all the same. It pulls the same maps that already exist and just links them together, with just random enemies in it. It’s not really all that great.
Speaking of new game mechanics, rifts are really kind of lame in my honest opinion. Adventure Mode is about a five hundred million times better concept than anything D3 has seen so far, while the rifts are just this eh feature that people were running at the start because they thought it gave you something of interest. Of course, Blizzard reacted by boosting the Legendary drop rate, but the paranoid conspiracy rumors are that they nerfed Legendary drop rates elsewhere, trying to force users to consume content that isn’t specifically that engaging.
Adventure Mode on the other hand is brilliant. It allows you to go do whatever you want in the world, work on bounties which helps drastically change the formula up a bit. It helps point out spawned quests in the world, gives you a reason to go somewhere and farm something, and the horadric caches at the end are a nice touch.
Oh and there is the Crusader, I played a little bit of it, it seems cool, but doesn’t really fit as something the game needed. We already have the Monk, which is a wonderful tank, but whatever. I’m not impressed, but it’s not really that big of a downside, since people are enjoying the class, so more power to them. Wizards FTW!
Enchanting does wonders to make the game more enjoyable because it can turn bad loot into good, saving a lot of the trouble in farming. It's not a perfect system, but it's really enjoyable. Although I wish runewords would have returned.
Graphics - 90 / 100
RoS’s graphics are the same, no upgrades, although the new areas look nice and they do some pretty cool stuff with transitions. I’m not specifically sure how to define D3’s graphics other than rather good and nothing to be said good or bad about the looks.
I’m taking off 10 points for atmosphere, just because the game doesn’t creep me out as much as the first. I’m sorry if anyone wants to debate it feel free to, but seriously, I want it to be creepy. They do it in WoW near the Scarlet Monastery. So they can do it again here. Like, I don’t know, the game has NEVER creeped me out.
Sound - 87 / 100
The sound in RoS is Blizzard quality sound. Like, I don’t know what more to write. This is one of those things that you can’t really pontificate too much on because they’re pretty much already at an industry leading standard. How do you describe it other than fitting and perfect, in every sense. Then again most of us turn off most of the music and then the sounds after awhile, because why not.
One interesting note is that the game doesn’t sound creepy. Diablo was creepy. The screams, the atmospheric noises, etc. The fact your companion runs around the game bolstering how awesome you guys are and how excited they are to punch something in the face with their sword just sort of ruins the whole creepiness when you’re considered the most powerful being in Sanctuary that isn’t an angel or a demon and you’re walking around with another hero who pretty much is almost as awesome as you and talking about how totally bro awesome it was to kill like 30 skeletons at once.
I’m taking ten points off for that. Sorry bro. RoS was not creepy at all, as a matter of a fact, the enemies were kind of dumb and not scary and there wasn’t anything like the Tormented Stingers who at first glance look like scorpions but are like, sacrificed Humans turned into scorpions.
Multiplayer - 70 / 100
Okay so this gets a 100 and before you go oh man why are you giving D3 a max score in something and it’s because I can’t nitpick it so whatever oh wait, never mind, yeah thirty points from house Diablo because they couldn’t bother themselves to iterate on some point to make the game social after the loot changes. There is no point in meeting new people, since I mean, why bother you can’t trade anything that’s worth anything.
Well, multiplayer is fantastic. The reason is that it just works, you can play with up to three other friends, and it’s awesome. You can walk around and do bounties and kill monsters and have fun. I seriously have to take 30 points off for taking out any kind of reason to be social. Joining random games isn't a thing because you join one and everyone in it is doing something else. You have to join a guild and work with your guildmates if you want to do multiplayer and that's fine and all, but there is no like global community to play with. I know I'm being harsh and I know you can play with others, but our opinion comes from MMO experts who crave social interaction in games and that bias is just going to have to bleed through here.
Value - 90 / 100
Well, it’s like $29.99 right now, which isn’t a lot of money for an expansion, but the only thing you’re getting is ten additional levels (which take all of two hours to get if you’re geared up at level 60), access to Act V, and the ability to make a Crusader. Sadly, to play with your friends, you have to buy it so that you can be at their same level, which is kind of eh. I don’t know, you don’t get a lot. All the good stuff in RoS outside of a few things comes free with the patch so I don’t know.
Here let’s decide on a good 90 since it’s only $30 or less with discounts. Most of us got D3 for free by pledging to pay for WoW for a solid year, so meh.
Lasting Appeal - 97 / 100
Yeah, this game has a huge and also non-existent lasting appeal. How does that work? Simple, you can see all of the content in the game outside of UBERs or some other niche content within a day. You can paly through all of the acts in a single sitting. So, really, you can “beat” the game on day one and RoS does nothing to extend it since I finished Act V in like a few hours or less. However, the fun of the game is obtaining better and better loot. So, in order to do so, you must repeat maps and kill enemies over and over. So the lasting appeal isn’t so much the massive amount of content, but the incentive to repeat content ad nauseum.
This gets an A+, a single + is deducted because it can’t be THAT hard for them to make new maps and add them in randomly and patches that add gameplay value come so infrequently.
Pros and Cons
- Free to play after you buy the box expansion.
- Most of the game features came inside of a patch before the expansion's launch.
- No auction house and improved loot drops means you no longer have to pay to win.
- New content is neat and Enchanting is awesome.
- Still isn't Diablo II.
- Farming can get old fast.
- No ability to trade limits social interaction.
- Enchanting can become a huge gold sink fast.
In conclusion, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is a very good game, more specifically, loot 2.0 and the associated patches were the good part, the expansion was just some additional content, but all in and all it’s a fantastic package. The hilarious part of all of this is that the game is slowly morphing back into D2, which ultimately is what Blizzard fans want. They want what they fell in love with and trying to change the formula is stupid, which is what they originally did.
So yeah, if you didn't like D3, log in and try it again. If you enjoy it, buy the expansion. If you don't then no harm done, other than your bandwidth consumed. That's a pretty sweet deal, in my opinion. I'm happy enough with it. It's not perfect and the best thing since sliced bread, but it's fun and so much better to me than before. However, the patch is free, so you're welcome to form your own opinions, which I hope that you will. It's a perfect try before you buy scenario and I suggest anyone take advantage of it.
Overall 88/100 - Great
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Diablo III Game Page.