Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Review

Diablo3

Rating: 4/5

Release date: 3/25/2014 (5/15/2012 for Original Diablo III)

Platforms:  PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Mac

Genre: Action role-playing game, Hack and slash

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment

What is Diablo III?

Do you like to run around dungeons and kill hundreds of demons at once? If you answered yes then Diablo III might be the right game for you. It’s the 3rd game in the Diablo series and it seems to keep on improving. You pick your class and jump into the Diablo world of Sanctuary and enter the first town: New Tristan. If you have played Diablo games before this is a recurring town name. You must fight through undead, cultists, demons, angels, and devils to prevent the destruction of mankind. Now everything is better with the Reaper of Souls edition.

Mechanics

The mechanics in Diablo III are fairly simple. It is a top down role playing game where you run through dungeons and use your skills to devastate your opponents. Depending on what class and weapon you use, you will shoot, slash, warp, and explode your way to victory. Controller or keyboard buttons correspond to different skills you can use. You can also do a basic ninja roll to avoid danger. Learning how to play is extremely easy compared to other games, it is a hack and slash after all.

Graphics

The updated texture quality in Diablo III is the greatest improvement in the diablo series thus far. There are a plethora of stunning settings ranging from crypts to dreamlands. Skill effects are vastly improved from previous games and have can leave enemies on fire, poisoned, chilled etc. Everything is high definition and nothing is aliased. The game hardly has any lag and the graphics are very smooth.

The setting of diablo slightly alters between acts but for the most part this is a dark, dreary, and morose game setting. Although some say the story mode is somewhat “cheesy”, it is very graphically appealing with amazing cut scenes and dramatic voice overs. You will see no absence of bones, blood, corpses, and other disturbing visuals. Be prepared for gore. This game is rated M for mature, and rightly so. If you are offended or do not like strong visuals you may want to rethink playing Diablo III or any diablo games for that matter.

Multiplayer

Diablo III has a highly active multiplayer community but the PVP scene is severely lacking as you cannot get into random matches. There are no PVP rankings or leadership boards, or any rewards for winning. Although PVP is very limited you can duel against other players in your party with group free for all or 1v1 by talking to Nek the Brawler. You do not lose anything or suffer any penalties from losing (even in hardcore mode). Overall PVP needs some improvements.

Mainly the multiplayer scene in Diablo III is to play cooperatively. You can open your game lobby up for up to 3 players to join, you can join somebody else’s lobby and you can also split screen up to 4 different characters. Keep in mind that with more players you earn bonuses in experience but enemies also increase in difficulty. Cooperative play adds a layer of fun that single player just can’t achieve.

Improvements

As mentioned, the most dramatic difference from the Diablo predecessors is the improvement in texture quality. However, gear has become more streamlined with a pragmatic assortment of beneficial effects. Previous games had somewhat bulky stats on gear which had long stat names, too many different effects, skill level increases along with percentage increases. Overall the simplicity of gear bonuses has improved without sacrificing devastating legendary and set bonuses.

From expansions and patches Diablo III has become an even better version of itself. Diablo III started with the max level being 60 and a long series of features that turned out to hurt the game. Throughout the lifespan Blizzard has tested and came up with solutions. Loot is now generally specialized for your current character, there is no more auction house to dis-incentivize killing bosses and mobs, game difficulty works swimmingly, and seasonal characters give the game a replayability factor that you couldn’t get before. All of these aforementioned functions were fixed through patches and have built up the game to better than it’s ever been. New content is constantly being release and you can keep looking forward to more gear, characters, and fun.

End Game

Diablo III really shines through when it comes to getting to max level. End game content flourishes with Torment levels going all the way to XIII, rifts that test your abilities, and adventure mode that allows you to get rare items for improving gear. The end game is so strong in Diablo III that it can be said the real game is unlocked after completing the story and getting to level 70 and unlocking Horadric’s cube. I was amazed at how much more pulled into the game I was after I reached max level.

On top of new challenging difficulty and dungeons to complete, there are also many achievements and rare items to get by completing rare set-dungeon quests, annihilating specific elite monsters, and encountering rainbow portals leading to secret easter egg levels. One thing that has motivated me to stick with Diablo III is the quest to achieve fancy banners and stylish new wings for my characters. There is a plethora of achievements and secrets to keep you interested. There is a long conversation about whether achievements increase the fun of the game, but with a hack and slash like Diablo III I believe this improves the game dramatically. It’s a measure of completeness which resonates with many players of the community.

Issues

Diablo III is a great game but can sometimes be exploited. For console the community is crawling with hacked items from the PS3 or Xbox 360 version of the game. This can give these players an advantage to the point of not wanting to even play, since even playing in lobbies with these custom items can instantly level your character to insane paragon levels. Duplication is also rampant since data is allowed to be stored locally. The PC version is saved server-side and does not experience any of these issues. Also the issue is somewhat resolved with seasons since trading and dropping items are not allowed in this mode.

Aside from game exploits Diablo III can also get semi-stale with the limited amount of end-game items. Gear seems to stay the same as you get stronger and are improved only by increasing the “rank” from Legendary, to Ancient Legendary, to Primal Ancient Legendary. It’s the same item, but better stats. There should be special ancient or primal gear that comes only as such.

Conclusion: 4/5 stars

Overall I give Diablo III a 4/5 stars. It’s an amazing hack and slash game but is rivaled by other titles such as Torchlight and Path of Exile. There is a lot of potential for replayability but it can get kind of old with repeating items that differ only with stat improvements and players running around with hacked god-like gear on the majority of playable platforms. If you like a game where you can climb your way to the top then this might be the right fit for you.

About the Author

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Chris Mumpton
AButton Games Administrator

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