Written by Joes Xbox Name
Diablo III was originally released in 2012 exclusively for PC. Having waited the better part of a decade for a sequel to my favorite PC game of all time, I splurged on the special edition. Although the skull with the soul stone thumb-drive and giant box were pretty awesome, the game itself was a disappointment. This was due to the loot system’s real money auction house making the drop rate of any useful item infinitely low, the graphics were subpar, and the character customization was severely limited. Tack on a lack of PvP and fixed online status, I ran through the game once, put it in its box, and never looked at it again.
In 2013, Diablo III was released for Xbox360 and Playstation3. The lack of substantial RPGs for the console generation and the inclusion of an achievement score led me to give the game a second chance. Though the graphics still lacked the polish of other major releases, and the PvP was nonexistent, I did not regret my decision. The character building system no longer locked my character into a few pre-set techniques that would be exhausted by the end of the game, but rather offered a variety of moves and skills, some of which had been useless in the previous PC edition, allowing me to vary my game-play and keep the game feeling fresh. In addition, worthwhile loot could be found by actually playing the game and no longer demanded real world cash to get a hold of. These additions, combined with added couch coop and a new intuitive control scheme changed my view of the franchise that did not live up to the hype of 2012.
In 2014, Blizzard yet again released their blockbuster title with even more polish on the current generation of console. What is different about this release from last year’s? The new version entitled “Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition” has a new expansion that includes an extra act and a new gameplay type to grind levels and gear known as “adventure mode.” It also has a new character class available known as the “Crusader.” But are these seemingly minimal additions worth a second or third purchase?
In adventure mode you are given a bounty to complete and you are sent to an area of the world map where a randomly generated dungeon will be created for you to complete. The bounties are essentially mini quests. In one bounty you will be sent to an ice cave to defeat a grotesque monster. In another you could be asked to go to heaven and cleanse a shrine or close a portal. At the end of five bounties you can enter what is known as a “rift.” A rift is the closest equivalent Diablo III has to raids. In the rift you will have to fill a completion bar by killing enemies. Once you hit 100%, a rift guardian will appear. Rift guardians are mini-bosses that pack a lot of gear making leveling and gear farming faster and less tedious.
The Crusader himself is a good addition to the game as well. His new skills and play-style are a lot of fun, which put a new twist on a game that could easily lose its appeal to veterans of Diablo III. He is well balanced with the rest of the classes and has a neat visual appeal. The only place in which this new character lacks is that he feels like he was released in 2012 and lacks the love and polish the other classes have received over the past two years. There are skills that are clearly awful juxtaposed with ones that you look at and wonder why you would not take them into every possible confrontation. This being the case, all Crusaders tend to be built very similarly, taking the individuality away from the character. That does not mean he is not fun to play, there just are not as many possibilities when building this hero as you would get from the previous five.
Additionally, the final act is well made and a lot of fun. Malthael, the angel of death, has stolen Diablo’s soul stone (a stone that holds the soul of Diablo) in an attempt to end the eternal struggle between good and evil, and humanity is once again caught in the middle. The plot twist is well written and does not seem forced, especially for a game that seemingly lacks any loose ends. For returning gamers, they are provided the option to face Malthael with a previously-made character or a new one and will be kept entertained by the plethora of new items and level cap raise.
In conclusion, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is a fantastic game. Is it worth its 60 dollar price tag? Well that depends on how you look at it. If you have already played this game on console when it released in 2012, it is not worth the sixty dollars for the extra content and a next generation release. Although fun, it is not another game all in itself. It is, in fact, the same game you already played with a bonus five hours of content. If you are buying for the past generation of 360 or PS3, however, it has a price tag of only forty dollars and is a bit more reasonable for a rerelease. Finally, if you have never played Diablo III in any of its many releases yet, it is well worth the asking price.
Graphics: 7/10 – Though the art is spectacular, the graphics are lackluster and do not measure up to most of the current generation.
Sound: 8/10 – The music is appropriately epic at times, but is nothing memorable. The voice acting and sounds of battle are solid.
Gameplay: 9/10 – You will find yourself being late to work or a social event to get that next piece of gear or gain that extra level
Lasting Appeal: 7/10 – There is so much to explore in Diablo III Reaper of Souls if you never got around to the original release or the console debut. If you are a veteran of Diablo III already you may want to pass this one up.
Achievement Score: 855/1000