Diablo 2 Review

Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction (2000/2001)

Developed by: Blizzard North
Published by: Blizzard Entertainment

I may not be a WoW player, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Blizzard. In the realms of MMORPG's, this is one I essentially cut my teeth on. Today we're looking at the monster hit, Diablo 2 and its expansion, Lord of Destruction.

Diablo 2 takes off after the events of the original 1996 game, Diablo. Tristram is destroyed. A mysterious wanderer, the unnamed warrior who defeated Diablo previously, has attempted to contain the demonic Lord of Terror's essence within his own body, but unfortunately has become corrupted. Now, demons and monsters are able to enter the world of Sanctuary and wreak havoc.

Diablo 2 is a point-and-click hand and slash action rpg that is still after all this time addictive and fun. The storyline itself honestly is almost negligible, save for the fact that you get 6 specific quests per act to complete to be able to move on to the next area. Not all quests need to be finished, just the main story plot quests. The additional quests simply provide various benefits like extra stat points and skill points. At the very least, though, if you are one to listen to the few townspeople that populate each act, there is a pretty good story that plays out with a decent amount of lore to be had. Also, there are the occasional cutscenes that still look great and add a good amount of flavor to the game.

In the basic game, there are four acts to complete: The Rogues' Camp, The Eastern Desert, The Jungles of Kurast and finally Hell, where you do battle with the Lord of Terror, Diablo. The expansion adds the fifth and final act, Harrogoth, where you take on Baal and his minions.

To complete these Acts, there are five basic character classes to choose from: The Amazon, Sorceress, Necromancer, Paladin and Barbarian. The expansion adds the Druid and Assassin to the mix. Each class has a certain set of weapons it is more proficient with (e.g.: Paladins are great with maces, Necromancers are great with wands and daggers, etc), but at the cost of some attack speed, you can use any weapon type as any class.

Much like games such as Borderlands, there are a ridiculous amount of mods that can spawn on weapons and armor, making drops plentiful. Also, much like Borderlands, based on your character class, you'll be ignoring about 95% of those item drops in lieu of specific mods that fit your play style. This has lead to some very interesting builds that have worked way better than one could expect. Take this Enchantress (a Sorceress specialized in the Enchant skill) for instance.

That's just one of quite a few viable novelty builds one can specialize in in Diablo 2.

One thing I'll always love about Diablo 2 is the general setting of the game. The atmosphere is bleak and essentially desolate.  Bodies literally litter the lands for you to search and hope to find useful items. Aside from that, bodies can be seen just laying around in general, evidence of the chaos and destruction caused by Diablo and his brothers.

Graphically, Diablo 2 hasn't aged the best, but still looks damn good in my opinion. The game plays in a 3/4 overhead isometric view. It can be played in both a 2D and 3D setting. I won't say there isn't really a difference between the two, but if you were to pick it up in this age and day, I can say there's really no reason to play it in the 2D setting.

Personally, I say if you haven't played Diablo 2 and you're a Blizzard fan, check it out. It's cheap, and when you purchase the battle chest, it comes with the expansion. As classic games stand, this one is easy to pick up, fun to master and easy to go back to when you're done going gaga over modern graphics.





Overall Rating: Devilishly Good

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