Diablo III Reaper of Souls

reaper box
9.4 Overall Score
Graphics: 8/10
Gameplay: 10/10
Replay Value: 10/10


Diablo III: Reaper of Souls is, in fact, the DLC you’ve been looking for. If you’re anything like us, the first incarnation of Diablo III was an amazing, if buggy experience. Since launch, there has been a fleet of updates and patches, but until the last update, players were still left unfulfilled.

The most recent patch brought a slew of welcome updates, the biggest being the Loot 2.0 system, which adds a ton more “rare” and “legendary” drops to your game. No, really. While playing Act V, I can honestly say that 85% (if not more) of our items were rare; and during the 3-ish hour act, we received FOUR legendary items. Insane, considering that during our entire run through Acts I through IV of the original game, we had gotten only three Legendary items…and only one was rendered unusable after the second hour of getting it.

If you want a better idea of the Loot 2.0 effect, imagine that your mom trades in one of those generic “Malt-O-Meal” bags of (un) Lucky Charms for a six gallon drum of only the marshmallows. Your inventory will be swollen with gold items, to the point where you’ll either end up with a huge wallet or a plethora of crafting materials. It’s a welcome change from the sea of blue we were picking up previously, and our fake-money wallet is thankful.


With all of that extra cash, upgrading the crafters in Sanctuary is a breeze…though we quickly came to realize that “maxing out” crafting abilities was seemingly all for naught, since the amazing gear we could fabricate was unable to be used until the upper 50s. Waaah-waaaaaaah. “Tiiiiiime to grind!”

Story-wise, Reaper of Souls is quite a bit darker than the original, fantasy-heavy storyline. The Cliff’s Notes version (without destroying key plot points) is that Malthiel has stolen the black SoulStone, which houses Diablo’s essence. Lucky for you, a single shard broke off during the theft, which Tyrael uses to point you towards the next event. In short, Malthiel is looking to permanently end the “Soul War” that has pervaded the last major storyline(s), by loosing his minions on Westmarch. Unsurprisingly, his Death Maidens are a chore to overcome, and later baddies make the Maidens look like pin-ups in comparison. There are also socio-political uprisings which you encounter (and can interact with), a massive battlefield to navigate, a new complement of enemies (as well as upgraded abilities ad attacks)…and all of this an overwhelming sense of dread in all of the new world designs. By the time you reach Pandemonium near the last ¼ of the game, the “wash” effect that pervades the world is incredibly disorienting.

Dark + Shiny could lead to eyestrain. Yeah. THAT’S why I’m crying.

The new class introduced in Reaper of Souls is the Crusader; and if you were ever looking to bring someone new into a game NOW IS THE TIME! Casuals will instantly feel at home with his melee-heavy area attacks, but be cushioned with his wicked defensive capabilities. Diablo veterans will equally enjoy the Crusader as well, thanks to his versatile area attacks and boost abilities. And at the end of the day, everyone loves a Tank…unless you happen to be of the demon variety; they certainly didn’t like my Crusader as much as my party did.

Reaper also adds the Mystic to your home-base group of merchants, and she can tweak previously enchanted or specialized items…for a price. Be careful when using her powers, though: I found more than once that changing the passive ability of my gear could end up as a detriment to my overall play style (IE increasing damage but decreasing defense). Lucky for you, she gives you a choice of four abilities to replace the “swapped” one with…so there’s only a 25% chance of getting hosed. Ha ha. Her other nifty ability lets you Transmogrify (IE change the visual properties of) an item, so that clunky-looking helm can be “glamored” to look like a wicked hood. Or vice versa. It’s admittedly pretty damn cool, and I spent a good $5K customizing my gear.

Yup. I Transmogrified more than Calvin & Hobbes!

All in all, the story is a superbly-crafted, albeit short, entry into Diablo lore…but the final battle is, well, disappointing. I’m not sure if it was designed to be a throwback to NES/SNES boss battles, but it felt a little too video game-y, especially when compared to the other creepy boss battles in chapters I through IV. That being said, the climb is the key to the whole experience, and even if you’re left unfulfilled with the final fight, there’s still plenty to unearth in the world of Diablo III…and thanks to the FREE patch 2.0.4, it feels like a whole new experience!

The skill tree has also received a vicious overhaul, and though they’re said to be “balanced”, I found myself dealing six- and seven-times the damage amount thanks to a generously revamped skill-set that shifted secondary- and tertiary-level skills to the forefront of my attacks. Seriously. Plus, within (no joke) 30 minutes of playing, I found items that literally rendered my previous Demon Hunter’s gear useless. I’m talking an increase ranging between 75 and 100% effectiveness. I seriously felt like an Amish girl that was given a lightsaber. It was that ridiculously rewarding. I’m sure that people will no doubt find things to gripe about, especially since some of the Witch Doctor’s more ridiculous attacks seem to have been nerfed slightly, but the overall feel of the game has increased 200-fold. Oh, and just wait until you get a suite of Runes to modify your skills. Eeeep!


Even if you’ve beaten the story into submission and aren’t ready to take the leap to a harder mode, there’s still plenty to do in Adventure mode. Now, you don’t need Reaper of Souls to get Adventure mode…but it’s worth it to have the newer locations, baddies and loot that comes with Reaper of Souls. Plus, if you play Adventure Mode co-op (and really, why the hell wouldn’t you), it allows you to cherry pick your favorite events and areas, without having to slog through the terrestrial baddies between you and the objective.

The biggest, and most understated overhaul, is the new Paragon mode, which adds 100 additional levels to players who capped out at 60. So what does that mean exactly? For starters, a massive loot boost…which culminates in a whopping 300% magic AND gold find stats once you hit Paragon level 100! If you’re a braggart (and really, who isn’t!?), you’ll get snazzy new badge updates every 10 levels you climb under Paragon. Be warned, though: Paragon isn’t as easy as prestiging: you should expect to spend as much time between Level 60 and Paragon as you did between 59 and 60. Why? Because it wouldn’t feel so sweet if they just gave it to you, would it!?

So what does that all mean? It’s simple: the team at Blizzard somehow made grinding and item searching in Diablo III an absolute blast to do. I honestly am hard-pressed to think of another game that made me actually look forward to re-beating the same boss and enemies six times over, for just the thought of picking up some gear that complements my current play style. Plus, the extra Paragon levels make it fun to fill out your player’s skill tree, while taking on new and impressive enemies.

Press “OK” to cry.

And what would all of that goodness be without a comparative difficulty boost? Yup, the update does away with the previous difficulty modes (Normal, Nightmare, Hell and Inferno) and replaces them with Normal, Hard, Expert, Master and a whopping SIX levels of Torment modes, which scale the enemies to your level in each game. My skin is literally crawling, thinking about the horrors our party faced in Torment. Go ahead: think your team is hot shit? Jump in to Torment. Hell, I tapped out at Level III…I didn’t want to snap my keyboard in frustration. But really, go on ahead. I dare you.

All in all, Reaper of Souls brings such a considerable wealth of goodness to the game, that you’re hard pressed to reminisce about the “pre 2.0.4″ days. This is the first time in the history of my PC gaming days, that I’ve ever agreed 100% with their changes. Minor nerfing aside, there’s a wealth of additions, from Loot 2.0 to the grueling Torment levels, that completely revitalize a franchise in ways that I’ve never seen. And the fact that they give away nearly all of this content with a patch makes it that much sweeter. Sure, purchasing the DLC gives you the Crusader (who is wicked) as well as a level boost to 70…but the real treat is the story behind the story; will you be an agent for good…or turn a blind eye to the suffering kingdom? Even with a lackluster final boss fight, there was simply too much good stuff to be discovered in both the DLC and in Adventure Mode.


Seriously. Buy this DLC set.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an Adventure to suffer through. KIYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!


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Author: Julia Ghoulia View all posts by

One Comment on "Diablo III Reaper of Souls"

  1. FIFA16Mall FIFA 16 Coins August 19, 2015 at 2:45 am - Reply

    I made a fool of myself.

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