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4.0 out of 5 stars Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Expansion Review!, 25 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Diablo III - Reaper of Souls (Mac/PC DVD) (CD-ROM)
Even without this expansion the standard Diablo III game has taken on a dramatic improvement with recent updates and pretty large updates at that. The latest Update came in at over 6GB and has dramatically shifted the game in preparation of this incoming expansion. The whole auction house system has now been removed in which you could buy and sell weapons, armour and other items including magical rings. To sell items you have to do it with the merchants you find in the game, pretty much making every item worthless compared to what you use to be able to get for them on the Auction House. Don’t see this as a bad thing as gold pickups are far more generous and the items you find are of a better quality, they are also tailored to an extent to fit your character. Meaning if you are a Witch Doctor for example you may find more Witch Doctor specific weapons when exploring rather than generic items.

This naturally makes crafting your own weapons and armour even more important and increases the importance of exploration. In essence it makes you want to play the game more and more in order to get the money and items in order to craft what you want but at the same time like I said earlier pickups in terms of items and money are more generous than ever even though they are less frequent. The map has also been altered so now you can see a close up of the area you are (as you always could do) but also a larger scale map of the whole act.

Finally onto the expansion, which I received yesterday. Besides the same characters you get in the standard Diablo III game (and you can carry those character forward into the expansion) you now get another character class. The Crusader! Essentially a human warrior much like the paladin from Diablo II but with much better skills and weapons. Where as all the other characters are by and large mythical you could quite easily envisage the Crusader being the more realistic of characters. I’ve started a new game and must say I am thoroughly enjoying the new character class probably because I find it just different when compared to the other characters in the standard game. There are also new powers available for each character class (Avalanche for the Barbarian is great) and obviously they have extended the level limit on each character to 70, Paragon levels are now unlimited! I have continued with my Barbarian into the new Act introduced and have to say I’m very impressed. It looks stunning and has the music to match but I also like the new monsters and indeed the storyline to go with it. “Malthael” the Angel of Death really is a ruthless enemy in this new act, in some ways I fear him more than Diablo himself, alas I haven’t fought him yet but I predict the battle will be brutal.

There are two new modes, one where you can jump to any area of the game you want from any act to any act. It essentially creates a sandbox mode, it works especially well if you want to go hunting for items and money in caves in different acts (think of it as allowing you to do your own custom “Butcher run”). Now the new Bounties system is something I really like, if you capture the bounty by either killing a target or clearing out a dungeon for example tones of gold and items drop on your head and it certainly gives an additional incentive to explore each and every area in every dungeon or indeed cave. Besides all this you can get “Nephalen Rifts” which can take you to random dungeons and you never know where or what will be there till you go.

Difficulty levels have also been tweaked, there are now Normal, Hard, Expert, Master and Torment (make sure you prepare your character as Torment is seriously hard work).

Pros: A new Act which looks fantastic and is a lot darker * Crusader Character is a welcome change * new monsters * Loot 2.0 system * Bounty system * New Skills and level cap * Focuses more importance on exploration and crafting * Servers seem very stable post update!

Cons: Not cheap for one more act as many of the changes are happening to the standard game anyway

Verdict: On the whole I like this new expansion, the new character class is impressive and was a good choice to bring in. The new loot system definitely changes the game and rather than people finding and selling those rare weapons now it’s down to each person and their character alone to find or craft decent stuff. The downside that you will have to justify in your own mind is its quite expensive for just one more Act especially when you discover many of the updates and changes as I state earlier have been applied to the standard game anyway.

RECOMMENDED if you can justify the price!
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