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Diablo II

Developer: Blizzard North | Publisher: Blizzard
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 06/29/00 | Genre: Action/RPG

Well, needless to say, a lot of people have been waiting for this game for a long time. The original Diablo was a great game that was sadly destroyed by all the hackers and cheaters out there, but Blizzard promised that Diablo 2 would be different, so I kept my hopes high. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Diablo 2 is everything that I hoped it would be. Lots of character classes, a much longer story, new spells, as well as no cheating! (Well, so far.)

The first thing that caught my attention was the great opening movie. It updated the story as needed and gave a great perspective of things to come. It is quite possibly one of, if not the best, FMV sequence I have seen. Following this was the character selection screen and then the game itself, which I must say, looks great. The characters and enemies are crisp and clear and the lighting effects are great. Shadows bend depending on where the light source is moving and the transition from night to day, along with lightning and rain, truly give the gamer a spectacular show.

The sound effects are great as well. Fire crackles and monsters roar, thunder crashes and necromantic spells surge with evil and dark sounds. Speaking of spells, you no longer learn them from books. Diablo 2 uses a great new skill tree feature in which you learn new spells, depending on level, or upgrade old ones. There are endless possibilities to what the gamer can choose his or her character to know. Will it have every spell in the game, but not be very powerful in them, or specialize in a type of magic and wreak terror with a few spells? The choice is up to the gamer.

As I mentioned before the game has had major overhauls since the original, the one that sticks out most in my mind is no more duping or hacked characters, at least so far =). Multiplayer games can now host eight people instead of four, and instead of one town and dungeon, there are many different areas to explore. Modem games are gone, along with direct connect games, but Battle.net is still there as well as a new feature called Open Battle.net. This allows a game to be hosted on a player's computer, but the best part is that single-player characters are now able to play multi with this feature. Weapons have also been changed and can now rely on use depending on a character's level instead of stats. This is a gain to stop new character becoming godlike and fearing nothing. Socketed weapons and armor allow the gamer to ad gems you find enhancing the weapons capabilities or the armors defenses.

If you liked the first Diablo, you will love this one. If you thought the idea of the first game was good, but the duping and hacking made it un-enjoyable, try out Diablo 2, you will be pleasantly surprised. A word of caution however, this game requires a LOT of memory and RAM. Many people I have talked to cannot run this game on their computer and cannot find out why. Some people have just needed to add RAM to make it run, even though they already had the recommended 64MB. So if possible, see if you can borrow your friends to see if it will run before you purchase it.

By Jonathan Hull - 02/22/02
ESRB Details: Animated Blood and Gore, Animated Violence
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Screenshots for Diablo II

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