The lights are on
After sending Diablo screaming and clawing his way back into his cage, I didn’t find many reasons to pull Diablo III back off my shelf last year. However, Diablo III’s expansion, Reaper of Souls, looks to provide plenty of reasons to jump back into the fray. Malthael, the Angel of Death, has stolen the Black Soulstone and started to threaten humanity’s existence. I jumped into the game’s beta to cut down his army of reapers, but quickly fell in love with the expansion’s new character class.
I spent a lot of time with the Mage and the Monk in Diablo III, but Reaper of Souls introduces a new class called the Crusader. I usually don’t care for holy warriors, but this shield-bearing soldier isn’t a holy water tossing wimp. Similar to the Paladin from Diablo II, these zealots are a blend of close combat and ranged attacks. Crusaders build “wrath” as they attack enemies, and this resource can be used for an array of screen-clearing attacks. Shield Bash is one of the character’s early moves, which I relied on heavily. This attack is great for closing the distance between enemies and can be augmented early to create a shotgun-like burst when the Crusader’s shield connects with an enemy’s skull.
The Fist of the Heavens is another move I fell in love with. This area attack lets the Crusader call down a pillar of lightning from the sky that dissipates across the ground, shocking anyone that stands too close to the target.
The Crusader can handle himself in close quarters as well. His Heavenly Strength ability allows him to equip a two-handed weapon in one hand as long has he’s using a shield in the other, depleting only a small portion
of his overall speed. When situations got a little too dicey, I used the Steed Charge, which made the Crusader invincibile for a few seconds while a mystical horse helped him charge to a safe distance.
I didn’t have time during the beta to reach the end-game content, such as the raid-like Nephalem Rifts, but if Reaper of Souls’ post-credits content is as fun as its opening hours, then I suspect I’ll have plenty of reasons to keep this expansion installed on my hard drive when it releases sometime later this year.
See how the game's looking in the latest trailer.
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