|Genre: Adventure & RPG|
|Min OS X: 10.8|
|Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls|
June 28, 2014 | Ted Bade
Mac OS X: 10.7.5 | CPU: Dual Core Intel Mac | RAM: 2 GB | HD Space: 12 GB | Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT, Intel HD Graphics 3000
Blizzard recently released Reaper of Souls, a major update to their Diablo III action RPG. This paid expansion adds a new character type, called Crusader, and a whole new act to enjoy with a character previously leveled to 60. The new expansion adds several new features and a lot of fun to the game. It’s worth considering if you are already a fan of Diablo III and the new changes might attract you if you haven’t already tried the game.
The new scenario, while being somewhat more of the same, adds a new Act to the story. Fallen angel Malthael returns as the Angel of Death. He possesses the Black Soul-stone, and is using it to wreak havoc in the world just recently saved by your character in the main game. It is your job to track him down, defeating his sub- commanders along the way, and eventually deal with him. Your search will bring you into three new zones of the game, the City of Westmarch, the swamps called the Blood Marsh, and the Pandemonium Fortress. There are several “boss” level commanders that need to be defeated before you finally get a chance to defeat Malthael at the end.
I enjoyed my time so far in the areas of these new maps. Sure, they are typical Diablo style, but then, I like playing Diablo and wouldn’t have it any other way! Besides the new areas on the map there are more mini-maps of caves, cellars, and such to visit, along with more NPCs with short side quests as you travel along. There is a lot of new territory to visit in these new maps, and a lot of fun and loot to be had. The new version is said to have an “Intelligent loot system”, which means that loot dropped is more likely to be usable by the character you are playing. So far, this seems to be true, although the really really good stuff is still pretty scarce.
Along with this the new expansion they added one new character type called the crusader. Crusaders are your typical Paladin type, what I would call a warrior with a cause. He has been trained to fight with sword and shield. He is so experienced with this method that one special ability is to be able to wield a two-handed weapon one handed with a shield! Nice for DPS! The Crusader has a number of special attacks, some of which give him the ability to hit creatures which are not in melee range. My favorite is a shield toss that sends the Crusader’s shield spinning into a group of creatures, damaging them all both on the way out and way back as the shield returns to the Crusader. He also has some abilities that make him a good party member, such as buffs which affect him and any other members of his party.
The crusader starts at the beginning of the game, and you’ll need to have him complete the first four acts before he can enter act V. I found playing the earlier acts with the Crusader a lot of fun. There is a lot of gear to find, and a lot of new side events appear to help level your character. While the basic story and events of the first four acts remains the same, the side events and additional places to explore refresh this a bit.
I know that Blizzard generally gives owners of the previous version of World of Warcraft the ability to see aspects of the new expansion. Generally, this is mainly things that affect the earlier parts of the game. I don’t know if this is the same case with Diablo III. There are some things about playing the first four acts that are new to me, but they could be available to players who don’t buy the expansion.
It appeared that leveling my Crusader was faster then I recall with my other several characters. There are also some other things like the drops which are more geared to your character and there are more side events then I recall. Obviously, choosing an easier difficulty level makes the game easier. Luckily, you can increase (or decrease) the difficulty as you play. As you increase the difficulty level the amount of experience and the quality of the loot increases. Most players will want to experiment with the difficulty levels, but a hard core player should choose something way up the line!
Another thing I noticed was that there is a movie now at the completion of Act I, rather then just some sepia art and a narration. The animation depicting the funeral of a major NPC is very well done, quite realistic, and worth watching. In any case, playing the crusader is a lot of fun. I didn’t mind going over acts once again!