Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer Review (PC)


Diablo III’s been out for several years now and has gone through more than plenty of patches and quality of life improvements. What was a meme at launch turned into a fairly solid game with time. With the release of Reaper of Souls back in 2014,  Diablo III has kind of been brought to a sort of standstill with content, with the true content being in the form of reaching higher levels through Greater Rifts and obtaining that next rare gear enhancement.

Rise of the Necromancer isn’t an expansion as Reaper of Souls was, and players will need to purchase the new class for $14.99. The Necromancer was already brought over to Heroes of the Storm, and now that he’s in play in Diablo III, he’s probably the most intriguing class out, not simply because he’s somebody new to use, but because he’s actually genuinely fun to play. It’s great to be able to blow skeletons up, make corpse piles,  or have an army of specter mages following you.

Necromancer gameplay centers around several different builds: from summoning zombies, skeletons, and mages to do your fighting for you, to using corpses as projectile weapons. There are, of course, other builds. The Necromancer is a spell caster-type class in its own right and is surprisingly durable for an intelligence-stat user. The Wizard and Witch Doctor who came before are great in their own ways, but are often too much akin to glass cannons. The Necromancer build I ran reminds me a lot of the character, Gilgamesh, from the series Fate/Zero. The primary build that I enjoy is the Inaurius build that utilizes corpses as projectile weapons. As fun as he is, a problem that I have is that the Necromancer is not the best solo type class. I found that I was having a bit of a slowdown in my routines when approached with a solo monster to kill. In groups, the Necromancer is fantastic. When dealing with Greater Rift bosses, though, the gameplay slows down a bit more than I would like it to.

Rise of the Necromancer also brought some new features with it in Patch 2.6.0, with the addition of Challenge Rifts. It’s a mini sandbox that allows players to take a snapshot of builds for use in a dungeon setting. Aside from Challenge Rifts, Rise of the Necromancer players will receive access to some new pets, wings, portraits, banners, pendants, and additional stash space (always valuable!).

These are wonderful add ons for the collector, but I felt that, overall, Rise of the Necromancer failed to address one of the biggest endgame problems, which is more content to be able to play through. This game can provide players with endless amounts of fun, that much cannot be denied. For $15, there should have been more than a class and a few trinkets. There’s about six years of gameplay you can romp through, but for senior players, it’s a bit harder to swallow because at the end of the day, the goal is simply to increase the damage your character doles out. Monsters have health in the billions and trillions now, and it feels like nothing has really changed. The story is still the same as it was in 2014 when Reaper of Souls came out, and people believe that the class should be included as a free addition rather than locked behind a paywall. It’s not an expansion, but it’s also not just a simple patch note either. The goal with the new Necromancer hasn’t changed, all that has changed is simply another number generator. I love the class quite a bit and it’s the most fun I’ve had with a Diablo character, but there’s simply not enough in terms of the overall end game punch to warrant a $15 price tag on a class alone when games like Path of Exile exist and provide insane levels of content freely.