The Diablo franchise has always had a special place in the hearts and minds of PC gamers. It’s (now) classic style of gameplay, creepily fantastic visuals and mythic storytelling continues to enthrall gamers all over the globe. With the release of Diablo III, they continued to build upon the same formula that made the series a household name, making various improvements along the way. This of course brings us to the latest installment, “Reaper of Souls”, which is more of an expansion of sorts. However, don’t get the wrong idea, it’s still very satisfying and chock-full of goodies and features (like a new character class, and a free-roaming “adventure mode”, among other things).
After Diablo is defeated at the end of D3, you find yourself tasked with a new mission – to prevent Malthael (aka “The Angel of Death”) from enacting a plot to wipe out humanity once and for all. Naturally, this is all part of Malthael’s attempt to end the perpetual conflict that has been raging on between the forces of good and evil, and encapsulates a number of interesting plot twists (as usual). Later it’s revealed that Adria, Leah’s mother who betrayed you and your fellow warriors, is once again assisting the dark forces and desperately searching for the Black Soulstone to revivify the fallen dark lord.
Simply put, if you were more into the sort of dank, dark and dreary environments of Diablo titles of old, “Reaper of Souls” is going to hit the spot. While there is still an abundance of variety to be found herein, the overall color palette seems to have shifted from brighter hues to more shadowed tones which emphasize the gloominess of the storyline and its accompanying atmosphere. All in all however, there aren’t too many radical departures, and if you’ve played through Diablo III already, RoS will ultimately give the impression of being somewhat familiar (not that this is a bad thing, of course).
The gameplay in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls remains largely the same from D3. Naturally, there have been adjustments made with regards to the aforementioned additions (new character class, the crusader, and more), but don’t expect any radical differences. Perhaps the most exciting addition is the new “Adventure Mode”, which allows you to explore the entire game world at their discretion. Instead of following a distinct story, you split your time between bashing through “Nephalem Rifts” and completing bounties. Changes to the points system also end up making “Reaper of Souls” behave more like you’d expect a traditional RPG to, thereby allowing you some increased flexibility when it comes to character-building and leveling.
In short, this addition to the series should satisfy fans in more ways than one. Blizzard Entertainment has intentionally made a number of welcome adjustments to the gameplay and overall structure of “Reaper of Souls”, making it feel like a slight improvement over its predecessor, Diablo III. Best of all, with the addition of randomly-generated dungeons with token boss battles at the end of each one, the “replay factor” is greatly enhanced.