It’s been a long two years for those of us with a habit of breaking mouses through extensive clicking.
Reaper Of Souls is what Diablo 3 should have been to begin with; challenging, rewarding and obsessive in its attempt to keep us chasing orange items until the earliest hours of the morning. Blizzard has finally pulled the corpse of the online auction house off of Diablo 3, refined the loot system to make it regularly awesome (instead of sporadically amazing), and has generally improved and expanded the game in every way that counts.
Diablo 3 was a fun, but misguided, attempt to revive the long-dormant franchise.
Thankfully, Reaper Of Souls does everything right from its outset. It’s bigger and better in every sense – each map is immediately impressive, boasting an increase in size without sacrificing detail or content. It feels like events and dungeons are waiting to be found at every click, the variation is impressive too, and certainly helps to break up Diablo’s sometimes monotonous gameplay cycle.
This is supported by a simply wonderful score, not to mention beautiful art-direction. Blizzard has always been adapt at developing incredible looking worlds, but Diablo’s first expansion feels like yet another step forward for the studio.
Thanks to the 2.0.1 patch released last month, the new Loot 2.0 itemisation system and other core changes have already made the core Diablo experience feel energised again – it no longer feels like its dragging its heels trying to desperately keep you from logging, instead it’s more rewarding the longer you play. Reaper Of Souls simply enhances this patch, offering a variety of content, a new class and an Adventure mode that offers an alternative and thrilling way to tackle the campaign.
Overall, the expansion thrives off of the patch’s essential tweaks, ensuring Diablo 3 is better than it has ever been.
Fundamentally, Reaper Of Souls is still Diablo. If you aren’t interested in throwing yourself through an unrelenting guantlet of enemies for hours on end, then this isn’t going to win you over. If, on the other hands, you like the idea of Diablo but were put off by 3’s execution, then step into the lungs of hell – you won’t find a better dungeon crawler this year.