One Christmas, I was pratting about on World of Warcraft wondering what I was doing with my life. I knew there was no future for me in WoW. The world was too vast. The expense too large. The other games available too many. My life, too short. As I shut down WoW for the last time, exiling it into the barren wastes of my past, it was then, as I lifted the cold cup of tea to my face that wintry morning, I glimpsed the shimmering future.
It was a beautiful moment. For £15, all-in, no messing about, I purchased Diablo 3 and its expansion, Reaper of Souls. Bargain. For less than a round of beers I had returned to the halcyon days of affordable games I was allowed to actually turn off. Not that it had any impact. I must have played about 30 hours straight, working through the classes, soaking up the narrative and lore, experiencing the cinematics which Blizzard are exceptional at. It was glorious.
In the proceeding months, I waited with baited breath for news of new DLC that would never arrive. The months turned to years and with no real news or content coming from Blizzard of any substance, besides the occasional patch update, I all but lost interest and Diablo 3 went the way of WoW.
Fast-forward to now and like a corpse clawing its way out through the dry, dusty soil comes Rise of the Necromancer, Blizzard’s answer to my prayers. It’s a real shame it turned out to be nothing of the sort, but to start with, let’s focus on the positives. The added Necromancer class IS really cool. In fact it’s the most fun I’ve had playing Diablo 3. Nothing is more satisfying than raising a platoon of sword brandishing skeletons and unleashing them upon the enemy as you tear-ass through dungeons draining the blood of the undead.
Better still is turning the corpses of fallen demons into explosives, filling the screen with gore as more enemies in turn explode and die, creating yet more corpses and still more potential bombs. This is particularly enjoyable during large scale assaults as your new abilities as a Necromancer allow you to essentially sit back and enjoy the carnage.
All of this becomes available to you pretty much from the get go and Necromancer class specific gear, like a banner, pet golem and a set of badass wings, are all instantly equipable imbuing you with an addictive Godliness. The animations are glorious. The mechanics are exciting. The Necromancer rules.
I’m afraid that’s where the positives end, as while Rise of the Necromancer adds some nice new trinkets to play Diablo 3 with, it doesn’t really bring anything else to the game. And this is the main problem. The issues with Rise of the Necromancer aren’t the things that are there, but rather the things that aren’t.
There is no additional campaign content, which really disappointed me. Maybe I’m expecting too much, but after five years relative silence and the princely sum of £12.99 I would be expecting an additional Act. If I took into consideration that I paid £15 for both Diablo 3 AND Reaper of Souls it just feels like too much money to simply make corpses explode
In this respect, it feels a little like it was made to soak up a bit more cash from established players in an attempt to reinvigorate their game, rather than a new proper piece of additional content to attract new players. And while it does very well in teaching an old dog new tricks, they’re not big enough to warrant all the fuss. Or the wedge.
Save your money. Or buy a whole new game.