Diablo III Reaper of Souls Gamescom: Blizzard announces The Reaper of Souls expansion for Diablo III

Blizzard’s presence at Gamescom 2013 led to the announcement of Diablo III‘s first expansion, which culminated in both a gameplay teaser as well as a brand new cinematic trailer.

The expansion is called Reaper of Souls, and it introduces a variety of new content including new act, a new character, two new game modes–Nephalem trials and Loot Runs, and a continuation of Diablo III‘s lore-filled story arc that delves even deeper into the franchise’s mythos.

The Reaper of Souls chronicles the twisted fate of Malthael, an Archangel who fell from his lofty position as the Archangel of Wisdom from the Angiris Council–the powerful sect that rules the high heavens. Malthael’s corruption began when he forcibly took control of the Black Soulstone to banish it from Sanctuary–but instead the foul taint of the soulstone soon corrupted Malthael, and he soon emerged as a horrific new entity: the Angel of Death.

In the expansion, players are taken through new areas never before seen in Diablo III in their epic struggle of conquest against evil: from the cities of Westmarch to the hallowed walls of the Pandemonium Fortress, gamers will face hordes of new demonic enemies while collecting new loot and building up power in the game’s new dynamic Paragon system.

D3 Reaper of Souls Crusader Gamescom: Blizzard announces The Reaper of Souls expansion for Diablo III

The Crusader is the newly added character class brought in by the expansion, and looks to be a mixture of D2‘s Paladin along with D3‘s Barbarian class. The Crusaders are heavily armed and armored, and we can only guess to the array of abilities introduced by the stalwart man-at-arms, but according to the description they will reap “heavy, heavy damage”.

Along with the Crusader class and Act V, Reaper of Souls has additional content which includes an increased level cap that extends to level 70, a majorly updated Paragon system, two new game modes known as Nephalem Trials and Loot Run, and a plethora of extra Legendary items, Blacksmith and Jeweler crafting options, and more.

Blizzard will also be rolling out various updates and tweaks that put emphasis on end-game content, and Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime has the following to say about the new expansion:

“From the beginning, Diablo has always been about the struggle between good and evil, and Reaper of Souls explores the darker notes of that conflict,” Morhaime begins.

“This expansion also represents a big milestone in the ongoing evolution of Diablo III, with key enhancements to the core gameplay, along with a new act to experience, a powerful new character class, tons of new loot, and even more end-game options.

“We think players will love playing Reaper of Souls, and we can’t wait to get it into their hands.”

It will be interesting to see the new game modes in action and experience them first-hand, as the Loot Run mode seem particularly enjoyable. Blizzard is still devoted to molding the game to bring a fresh and entertaining experience to gamers, and longtime fans–who seemed to be mostly disappointed with the game–may be impressed with the dynamic new additions.

Whether or not the expansion will be enough to revitalize wavering interest in the game remains to be seen, but Blizzard seems to be on the right track with the array of new content in the Reaper of Souls.

As a huge fan of the Diablo series I was let down with Diablo III‘s lack of customization and skill options and overhauls on basic content, but Reaper of Souls looks impressive enough and the new Crusader class looks to be tantalizingly fun.

Check out the official gameplay trailer below to see the Crusader in action, as well as the cinematic trailer above to get the full scope of Reaper of Souls’ epic tale.

No concrete release date information has been released besides the “coming in 2014” window, and since Diablo III is coming to consoles early next month, we may very well see a multi-platform release of the expansion. For more information be sure to visit Blizzard’s official website.