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Review

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls Review

  • Game release: May 15, 2012
  • Reviewed: March 26, 2014
  • PC
Robert Handlery on Google+

Diabolical by design.

by

What motivates the heroes of Sanctuary to battle the forces that threaten humanity? Is it an unwavering desire to do what's right? Or is it a thirst for more power, more riches, and more stuff? Whatever it is, Reaper of Souls has it. This expansion adds a decent new character class, a great new campaign act, and most significantly, Adventure mode, a devious Blizzard concoction calculated to make Diablo III's existing content more rewarding--and more addictive--than it has been in the past.

The angel of death, Malthael, is the force threatening humanity in the new campaign chapter, and the impressive opening cutscene establishes him as a fearsome adversary indeed, showing us why he's called the reaper of souls. In a bid to end the conflict between angels and demons once and for all, Malthael is slaughtering humankind and adding the dead to his ever-growing armies. He's a terrific and terrifying villain, and it's just too bad that he doesn't show up a bit more between his show-stopping entrance and the challenging boss battle that concludes the act.

Your journey to confront Malthael takes you through the most grim and beautiful locations Diablo III has yet featured. Absent here is any hint of the life and color that sometimes clawed their way into the settings for the first four acts. Instead, you explore the gloomy city of Westmarch on one of the worst nights in its history. Later, in an impressive moment, you stand atop a massive battering ram as it smashes open the gates of the fortress of Pandemonium, and then venture into the eerie ethereal realm that lies beyond. If you like your Diablo dark, you'll be pleased to find that act five starts that way and stays that way. It's also noticeably a bit tougher than the acts that precede it, throwing more swarms of monsters at you more frequently. Malthael is determined to give your clicking finger a workout.

Urzael, one of act five's new bosses, is a fierce and fiery foe.

Reaper of Souls raises the level cap to 70, giving each class new active and passive skills to unlock. Playing through act five using my demon hunter, I made frequent use of her new vengeance skill, which tremendously increases the amount of damage you deal for 15 seconds. And the expansion introduces a new class, the crusader, a holy warrior who employs a mix of melee and ranged attacks. Crusaders feel weighty and formidable, able to bash foes with shields and cut a swath through enemies with flails, while also making use of defensive skills to manage the danger, like the ability to temporarily blind nearby enemies. They're a fine addition to Diablo III's existing pantheon of powerful heroes.

But the most significant addition Reaper of Souls brings to Diablo III is Adventure mode. Unlocked once you've defeated Malthael, Adventure mode gives you bite-size bounties to tackle in every region across Diablo III's five acts, making it a great way to accomplish something meaningful even if you can play for only 15 minutes or so. Bounties have goals like killing a specific boss or clearing a certain dungeon of monsters, and they reward you with gold, experience, and a new item called blood shards, usable at specific merchants. Completing all five bounties in an act earns you a Horadric cache, which might contain some sweet gear.

The best rewards, however, come once you collect five rift keystone fragments from doing bounties, and can then open a nephalem rift. These randomized dungeons are visually striking for the ways in which they combine tilesets from familiar locations with different lighting effects, and conquering one of these dungeons earns you some quality loot. Diablo III is, at its core, a game about addiction. It tries to keep you coming back by tempting you with increasingly alluring rewards. With Adventure mode, Diablo III now has a way to get bigger, better rewards to you faster than it has before.

Death maidens are maidens who come bearing death. Also, they're really tall.

And if you're not happy with a particular piece of loot you earn, there's now a new artisan, the mystic, who can replace one randomly generated property on a piece of gear for you; it's a bit of a gamble, but you might end up with something better. She can also change the appearance of your items, turning your armor into something that looks more stylish or making your helm look like a hood.

If you've played Diablo III before and found that it wasn't for you, the changes Reaper of Souls makes to the game won't be far-reaching enough to change your mind. Reaper gives those who already liked Diablo III more of what they already liked about it. Adventure mode leverages Diablo III's existing content in a clever way, and with its haunting settings and memorable villain, act five is the best chapter in the game's campaign. If you're looking for reasons to keep on clicking, Reaper of Souls has plenty.

The Good
New story content features haunting locations and a great villain
The rewarding Adventure mode revitalizes Diablo III's existing content
Also adds a new class, cool new skills, and a new artisan to the game
The Bad
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Diablo III

About the Author

/ Staff

Carolyn spent some time playing as a crusader and exploring Adventure mode on a test realm set up by Blizzard prior to the expansion's release. She played through the new campaign content once the expansion went live. She prefers not to be reminded that she has now spent well over 100 hours playing Diablo III.

Discussion

356 comments
thebigfatkill
thebigfatkill

I used to give Caroyn the benefit of the doubt that she has worked hard enough to be a subjective reviewer on gamespot.  After this review, she's lost significant credibility.  Compared to other games she's given a 9 rating, I feel she lacks the depth and subjectivity to give a quality review.  Most of all, she lacks the independence that some of the senior reviewers like Kevin and Tom bring.  Reviewing the premiere hack and slash isometric RPG an 8?  


I've followed her reviews for quite some time now and i'm convinced she has a bias toward independent games with unique perspective confusing the novel with true quality.  Metacritic ranking further supports this case for Carolyn as a biased reviewer.  Games she reviews have consistently been reviewed several points higher and lower than her average.  She puts her own infatuation with story and drama before rating a game for its true merits. 


Graphics, sound, fun factor, and game play, most of all, should be reviewed with professionalism.  Gamespot management, please speak with Carolyn and monitor her reviewing methodology more closely.  Her peculiar taste for the novel is destroying the core and perception of what a quality review should be.  It's clear she is intelligent and has an opinion on games, but she has a bias and it's eroding the core of GA reviews.  

komuchen
komuchen

20-40$/euro for this expansion is justified. 


"the changes Reaper of Souls makes to the game won't be far-reaching enough to change your mind"

Bullshit.

The game is much more rewarding. I still remember in 2012 when people were pissed by 3 inf act run and getting lvl 30 worthless shit or barb items with int and dexterity. Now at least there are items 65 and up and all of them are useful, because...

You can make your own legendary/set items with smith and not only that, but if you will find item which has one stat wrong, you can fix it, because now there is an option. Legends are tropping more often too. In the last 3 weeks I was playing this and took short breaks for Child of Light and Spelunky, and from 40k dmg (which was not that bad for inferno back then) to 500k.

Crusader is another story - he's fucking awesome.

Problem is, it won't sell that well, because people burned on D3 - this expansion makes everything right and awesome, which should be from the beginning. Better now then never

churdo
churdo

Carolyn Petit has a noisy voice and i do not get much useful info from her reviews. 


I like the ones from VanOrd and Chris Watters. Would be amazing if there were reviews from two editors, different points of view and distinct ways of analysis. But i know its not possible .. :(

sankohuy
sankohuy

I hated the original, quit after I finished Act 4. But I can't stop playing this. I find it a lot better and much improved.

energy1983
energy1983

I'm sure I'm not the only one to ask this OVER AND OVER again but have been getting little to no information on this question; as a PS3 player who bought it as soon as it was released, are they even planning on releasing ROS for the PS3 or did am I living a pipe-dream?  If so, this is shoddy business practice and will never deal with Blizzard again.  Anyone with information, please do share:)


Dark_Rage
Dark_Rage

Well same again, everything on Gamespot gets 6, 7, 8 or 9 these days. But that's not the reason that i have almost stopped coming to Gamespot.

The reason that i don't come to Gamespot is their exceedingly confusing website layout / design. They keep making weird unnecessary changes to it. Sometimes they're changing the score meter, sometimes they're coloring it different, the latest change, the Top Games section on the right side at the homepage, they added whole game art behind the game score panel. I mean it's seriously annoying and confusing and just unprofessional for a website as Gamespot. Then comes the font, a seriously dumb looking font for page headings, you're a gaming website, a lot of which involves state of the art technology in terms of software and hardware, at least try to keep your fonts smart looking, pleasing to the eye. I've been a user / viewer of this website for 11 years now. And this is the first time where i don't even come twice in a week to Gamespot.

Epicurus-Reborn
Epicurus-Reborn

I think the patches since launch for the standard game are worth noting too in the review. Paragon points, and the new way the enemies scale, aren't 'new' to reaper of souls, but they carry over, and are relevant to all the folks who haven't played in a year or since launch.

EddyG0RD0
EddyG0RD0

no bad and still 8? wtf , should have been 10 then

how can you trust a review like that?

the bad is the price among others bads that were left out due to incompetence of GS reviewers




Jedi4ce28
Jedi4ce28

a decent expansion, however I don't like that trading between players has been all but eliminated. This really makes gearing up a pain, I may have an item someone else is looking for and they may have one I want. It's pretty much tough luck though since almost EVERYTHING is BoA I upgrade out of my gear and a friend may have a less geared character of the same class, but that doesnt matter, can't give my stuff to them. Sure this eliminates the pay to win atmosphere, but at the same time it eliminates one of the more fun aspects of previous diablo games.

Stesilaus
Stesilaus

Perhaps the next expansion will bring the game up to the level of Torchlight II.


Ash2X
Ash2X

40€ for 15€ Content?No thanks.I really liked Diablo 3,but this is too much Money for a Mode which should be there in the first place,the Level Cap rising,a Character class and only one Act more.
Sorry Blizzard,you made a great game but you´re ripping of your Customers.


carolino
carolino

gear is the new "skill tree"


legendaries allow smart combos



Frosty192
Frosty192

Started playing this on Friday.....stopped playing when my alarm was going off for work today. Seriously when you play this the hours just fly. I am enjoying this more than I did when the game first came out.

Gbullet
Gbullet

The bad :

40 bucks for an expansion;

40 euros in Europe - 55 bucks !

FU Blizzard.

flexy456
flexy456

RoS has truly revived this game. Thinking this expansion would "only be one additional act" for Diablo 3...you could not be more wrong. It's so much more than just "one more new act". The changes are significant, the amount of content is crazy. Of course, the most obvious thing to start with is Act V itself, the campaign. Its' AMAZINGLY designed and without a question the best (and longest, and coolest) Act in the entire game. Then there is a new class and better, new loot. But this is not even the tip of the iceberg. It adds adventure mode where you can play solo or with others to hunt four bounties or even cooler, open nephalem rifts. This is the coolest thing ever. What it does it gets you get different sorts of rewards for killing bosses etc. and gets you into new zones but also the "old" ones, however ALL the zones are re-done with a little more dark "flair" and some zones now have insane monster density and Elites/packs on every corner. 

Several/Many zones have many sub-levels, you find dungeons/caves, rifts etc. going 10 levels etc...you can play until you're blue in the face and probably still have not seen all those new zones.


Before RoS, for many of the more "advanced" players, Diablo 3 has become really nothing more than farming Keep and Heart of the Sin..but now you can have the same, no, much better and even re-visiting the old locations now as part of a rift etc. is a lot of fun since EVERY Act/level really got spiced-up and is now interesting.


Loot 2.0, while not "perfect" is still a big, big change compared to RoS especially with many legendaries now having amazing "special" abilities where some of them can just be entirely amazing which can allow to make special builds taking advantage of such abilities. For example, there may be a wizard OH which allows lighting spells to chain, a piece which makes magic missile fire 2 more missiles, just to name a couple examples. This opens up new possibilities to play characters with spells that can take advantage of such abilities, depending what interesting pieces you find.

And then of course there is the new class, crusader which I myself didn't even try yet.


I also at first was hesitant since I thought $40 for an "expansion" is a little silly but you DO get a ton of content (seriously, a TON) for your money making this really an entire new game. It's basically ALL the best things about D3 combined.

ueberdan
ueberdan

I enjoyed D3 a bit the first time around - I'm trying it again with the Crusader class and having much more fun this time. Maybe I just didn't give it a fair try the first time - though, we'll see as I progress through the game! 

komuchen
komuchen

I love the change of the photo, because Carolyn looked exactly like that Maxwell guy. Also, no bad, of course, it spells lazy as always with this reviewer or site in general.


"Reaper gives those who already liked Diablo III"

This is so wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to start. It got annihilated by the fans, because of it's lenght, bullshit item drops, server problems, constant nerfing, etc.  Also " She prefers not to be reminded that she has now spent well over 100 hours playing Diablo III." why not? You are ashamed of it, even though "it is liked"? Or you only did that because you were payed for it?


3 was a disaster, that's why they are not even expecting the money they wanted for 3. The sales are worse too. You had to wait 2 weeks at best or a month to get the vanilla, it was selling that crazy, because of the hype. Now? I already saw it for something below 30$, and it just got released. That show how much vanilla was liked.

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

I made mistake of buying D3 full price. I dont care if this is best game in history I might get it from the bargain bin in a few years on steam

D3 had so many more problems then the loot system

mariocerame
mariocerame

"If you've played Diablo III before and found that it wasn't for you, the changes Reaper of Souls makes to the game won't be far-reaching enough to change your mind."

Thanks for saving me from a timesink.

POMEGRENADE451
POMEGRENADE451

I can see how it might score an eight by virtue of being an expansion.

Tom McShea played with an interesting idea in the form of updated reviews or, more accurately, second opinions. He went back, and re-reviewed BioShock Infinite, famously giving it a 4 out of 10.

Perhaps similar practice can be used for game expansions? Rather than simply reviewing the expansion, we review the game as a new product with the objective of determining what, if anything, the expansion contributes to it?

This is hardly my entire opinion on reviews (for example, giving a game a "score" when such is based off the reviewer's opinions is odd; in my life, I've typically found scores to be based on mastery of a particular subject or skill), but after giving this issue with the "THE BAD" column some thought, I believe it proper to propose an alternative to reviewing expansion sets.

VAMPYREANGELUS
VAMPYREANGELUS

Too bad its still an online game or i would have bought it.

kozzy1234
kozzy1234

7.5/10 for D3 and 9/10 for me for the expansion pack/latest update, it finally is where I was hoping the game would be. The new additions from this REALLY add to the replay value and end game aspects. As a longtime D2 fan, I can finally say this is a really GOOD game.

Lach0121
Lach0121

hmm, did it fix the lag created from server fetching? If not, then why is that not listed under "bad"?


Especially when on the review of HD remake of FF-X/X2 under "bad" they have "Some less-than-HD textures remain." 



Assimilat0r
Assimilat0r

No passive skill tree/horizontal advancment ? No thanx i regret buying vanilla. 

ph1nn
ph1nn

Lol $40... Unless there is a big end game with multiplayer arenas and such, I have no interest. Diablo 3 was awesome until you beat it, then the end game was terrible, this looks like it changes nothing in that respect.

WaltherQ68
WaltherQ68

I see a few people discussing the story, the strength of it in comparison to the first two Diablo titles. I just wanted to throw in my opinion of modern storytelling and why I think it fails to achieve what it used to 15-20 years ago.


Today, there's little left unsaid and there's little of the story that's unpredictable and exciting to a seasoned gamer. When I think back and remember games like Diablo, Half-Life, Unreal Tournament... these titles captured our imagination despite the fact that not every answer was there in the game, something was always left to your imagination, it felt as if you're dropped, alone and lost in this world and you had to pull yourself together to survive. Today, you have a detailed UI, a voiced guide, reminders, e-mail in game to tell you who's where and who's who. But I think there used to be that role you played in filling the story behind characters, your imagination helping you out. I could compare that feeling to reading a book. It's always hard to make a movie after a book, because while reading the book - the reader is a co-creator, he imagines. On the screen he has everything "shoved" down his throat as a whole product. I always felt better while reading a book. For example, the LOTR trilogy was amazing on screen, but the books were a more magical experience. G-man, the Butcher, King Leoric, Diablo, Xan - we knew little of these characters and yet they captured our imaginations more than their modern counterparts. Today you have whole wiki pages for a particular character and everything is explained and certain. Plots can only go so far, imagination can take you further, a lot further.

churdo
churdo

@thebigfatkill  


I have to agree, you just put in words all my thoughts.

nirvana_2
nirvana_2

@Dark_Rage I stopped coming here because they stop offering downloads of demos and patches. For me that was very important.

Epicurus-Reborn
Epicurus-Reborn

oh and the death of the auction house... Pretty big detail >.>

cavs25
cavs25

@EddyG0RD0  Because games don't start at a 10 and get points reduced based on negatives.  Game start at a zero and gain points by the things they do right.

robarino
robarino

@Ash2X  Let me guess...you're the same kind of person that complains about not being paid enough at work, right? In fact, you know that day you go into work and tell your boss to cut your pay?... that will be the day the people who work to make these video games will cut theirs.

EddyG0RD0
EddyG0RD0

@Ash2X  indeed but the only way we can do against this kind of addon milking is not to buy them

komuchen
komuchen

@Ash2X if you will search, you will find it cheaper already, from what I see, you didn't bother at all. You can find it for half that price.

flexy456
flexy456

@Gbullet The good: RoS for free since I simply sold 500M I made in D3 which netted me $40 on my battle.net and allowed me to get RoS for free :) I agree tho, their policy charging significantly more for those with an European account is bad.

carolino
carolino

@Gbullet  

im europe and payed 30 dollars = 27 euros ( give of take ? ) 

just log or acc in US mode buy the game for 30$ and mail it as a gif for yourself

win

komuchen
komuchen

@abcdefgabcdefgz few years? Wait 6 months max, it will get axed by half.

Pandaria got price drop after 3 months

maxbb1
maxbb1

@mariocerame  She's wrong, it's a badly written review and i have no idea how she got the job, written like an 8th grader, i give it a 2.5/10


there was no mention of the patch 2.0.2 tied to reaper, which totally changed the loot sytem, among other things. Diablo 3 2.0.2 is 99% as good as Diablo 2 LOD WITHOUT even having reaper. That's the best compliment anyone could give it.


Before you put down the money though, just boot up vanilla with the latest patch, you'll find i'm right.

koospetoors
koospetoors

@ph1nn  Adventure mode is the big end game, grinding for bounties (which in turn gives caches that drop awesome gear) and doing nephalim rifts is where its at when you finished the campaign and got your character to 70. And gosh darnit is it fun

maxbb1
maxbb1

@ph1nn  Actually a lot has changed, given you now have adventure mode, and the revamped paragon system... You can experience it all without the expansion, i suggest you do.

Onden
Onden

@WaltherQ68 I think the problem is not so much the story (I mean who's really expecting a deep story in this type of game), but rather the delivery.


Every antagonist in Diablo 3 is like a cheesy 90's Saturday morning cartoon villain.  You beat them at every turn and they're like "well, you foiled that plan, but I'll totally decimate you with the next one!"  This happens over and over again to the point where its laughable.  Seriously, I didn't know the Lords of Hell had so much in common with Cobra Commander.  I guess their intent was to give the big bosses some personality so they're not just like any other monster in the game, but they all effectively have the same personality, and it's impotent one at that because you *know* you're going to beat them. To a certain extent, I think the game would have been better served by the Lords being a bit less chatty...

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

@WaltherQ68  Fine post, I myself have also been well read, well watched, well gamed since birth in 1971. (being lower middle income - not much to do- not like my polo club or yachting club was pretty active.) 


Dear Walther, I have noticed one thing that history books on movies, and games all state. There are only so many plots and twists that main stream public will respond to- supposedly like there are only 12 plots in literature. After several years of gaming most will have seen plots that start to resemble each other, and start to find games heavy with story similar.  You may want to tell a unique story like ICO, but can you imagine just how hard a game like that would be to get green lighted today. Just like the movie industry it is harder to make a mainstream expensive movie with a very weird, unique, strange, story. Those will have to be push to indie where the risk is mitigated by low costs. 

Thing is, it may seem like stories from the past are much better only because it was the first time you were exposed to them. Publishers know this and push developers to 'dumb down' the storyline to the most simplest of plots that would appeal to the most people in mainstream consumers. It is only those that take a really brave risk to tell that unique story, that rarely used plot or villain that is not only feared and evil but also one you can be sympathetic with. 


Not all repeated plot lines are necessarily bad, like "good vs evil" guy trying to get the girl",  etc.  Sometimes, what is most important, is how well you tell the story. Matter of fact that is always the most important part is how well you tell the story. Great developers like Square, Hudson soft, Enix could really tell a fine story with incredible presentation and flare. While not incredibly unique - the story telling was.

I disagree in that the addition of voice, menus, images, data size, or processing takes away from the imagination or the impact of the story. Very young or new people to the media/genre still have huge wide eyes in disbelief at how good that story is of saving the princess, while being able to make good and bad decisions along the way. (0),(0) wow!

Skyrim, FF13, bannder saga, amazing presentation and detail lets my imagination soar as it does so many others - even if the story is 1. self made, 2. dumb and convoluted, or 3. has been done before. 


The biggest problem I see today is that technology is to focused upon itself and to save costs developers and publishers have to limit the story as much as possible to get it quickly out on the shelf. For instance a game is big and beautiful, technical masterpiece, with great gaming physics.... but the story was cut so short that none of the characters were properly fleshed or motives explained. Almost no RPG today will talk about love and sex and relationships- especially after they have met and did the deed. Like real like - relationships are more complex then a crush the protagonist is to afraid to admit, or define after doing the deed. Biggest problem with JRPG - 80hrs of gameplay with the hero risking eveything and the universe but still to afraid to tell the girl he has traveled with they love her or god forbid ask if they are into some kinky shit with moogles.  


I do not think modern tech limits imagination it can open it more and more, just by pure access alone. When my mother was a child they could only afford a cheap book a month. I have 10,000 plus authors and all their work in my calibre app alone. My grandmother was able to see one movie in her life before growing too old to travel to theatres, my broadband lets me see any movie anytime I want. Exposure starts to make us jaded, but the exercise of our imagination is still there. It is just harder and harder for us to see something truly new and exciting. Recently a movie called, About Time, which my wife forced on me - surprised me which seems harder and harder to do. What I expected to be another shallow romantic comedy with a time travel twist- so played- turned out to be a fine story about father and son. Also a game called tale of heroes on psp surprised me by how well they told the story. I had to weed through a lot of crap but those gems will keep me going. 


Sorry for length- sharing good stories can sometimes take a while.   

filthy_casual_
filthy_casual_

@WaltherQ68 The caveat is that the book (or story) has to be good enough that you want to put in the effort to use your imagination, fill in the blanks, etc.

Lach0121
Lach0121

@WaltherQ68  Although I don't like to read books much, (I have mild dyslexia) I completely understand with your sentiment. 


The original Diablo was almost perfect in that respect where your imagination was left to fill up quite a lot. Now not only are games not doing that, they are going extra in a direction that has an always on map, or some BS Neon Arrow pointing where the next "objective" is located. So that destroys exploration, and exploration is one of the things that allows us to create as we move along.  


Though to be fair Diablo also lost much of its atmosphere after Matt Uelmen left. The music of Diablo I, and II are one of the main things that created such mood, and let your imagination run wild, even primative sometimes.

DFA1
DFA1

@maxbb1 @mariocerame  She is right, D3 was a big disappointment for me.  Got the Expansion, and still its not a game worth paying full price for.  Torch Light 1-2 is a MUCH better value!  D3.5 still sucks.


Look at the animations for the Crusader... when he swings, he warps back to his standing/default stance.  Poor and LAZY animation development.  IGN gave the original a 9.5 and it sucked, then gave the expansion a 9.1 and it's awesome now?  At least Gamespot was smart enough to give it an 8, which it's more like a 7 which is what you see from the average user rating.


This game is a 7, that is it, and definitely not anymore than that.

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

@maxbb1 @mariocerame In your opinion. I found lots of things with D3 inferior to D2 besides just the loot. Lets start with dialogue and story or maybe a girl diablo? The randomization in D3 was not very random, less monsters on the screen at once and so on

Diablo III More Info

First Release on May 15, 2012
  • PC
  • Macintosh
  • + 4 more
  • PlayStation 3
  • Xbox 360
  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
Blizzard's hack-and-slash lootfest Diablo III is coming to the PS3 and PS4 and will include split-screen and four-player co-op.
7.2
Average User RatingOut of 4924 User Ratings
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Developed by:
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Published by:
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Genres:
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Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
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