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Diablo III: Reaper of Souls review: Finally, the Diablo III we've been waiting for

Hayden Dingman | April 15, 2014
The new Reaper of Souls expansion doesn't make Diablo III the perfect game--far from it--but between it and the revamped Loot 2.0 system, Blizzard have salvaged a pretty entertaining core experience from the flaming Diablo III wreckage.

It's boring to even harp on this again, but Reaper of Souls is still always-online. For no reason. Before, Blizzard could feed us this line about "Well, we're afraid people will cheat and then bring down the integrity of our sacred Auction Houses." It was a poor excuse then, and now it's nonsense. There is literally zero apparent reason why Diablo III needs to be always-online except that Blizzard wants it to be.

It's a drag. As someone who's on the road a fair amount for events, you never realize how often you're without an Internet connection until you need one. Ninety percent of the Reaper of Souls audience will never notice or care that it's always online, because they're tethered to a gaming desktop or whatever, but on principle I find the practice distasteful, especially in a case like Diablo III, where it's completely unnecessary.

And even on a steady connection, I still had a few instances of rubber-banding and lag as the game tried to communicate with Blizzard's servers. In one particularly egregious example I swung at a barrel five times before it broke. Did it matter? Not really, because it wasn't a high-stakes moment. But if I'd been in the midst of a boss battle, let alone a boss battle on hardcore? Big problem.

Bottom line

I'm not kidding: I can't believe Blizzard turned Diablo III around. Two years ago when the game first launched, I never thought I'd be sitting here writing a positive review of anything branded Diablo III, and yet here we are.

Is Reaper of Souls perfect? No. And I suspect like World of Warcraft, many people will sprint through the new content, maybe raise the new Crusader class up to Level 70, and then quit when progress slows down again. But Reaper of Souls is an entertaining piece of content that, in conjunction with Loot 2.0, fixes many of Diablo III's deepest flaws. This is definitely worthy expansion in the Diablo franchise.

 

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