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took Blizzard years to make this game, this probably having been their
longest game in development yet. After being delayed several times from
it's original release date, originally set for Christmas 1998, we finally
have the game, even though it's now Summer 2000. During it's long duration
of development, Diablo II received more hype than probably any other game
ever has, and why not, as the original Diablo was a major hit, selling
more than two million copies worldwide. But the big question that's on
every fan's mind is... can Blizzard pull it off again, and deliver us
a fun and unique RPG, that is an instant classic?
Welcome to (the new) Diablo
case you've never heard of Diablo before, (if you haven't, than you might
want to go get checked for memory loss) it is an action game blended in
with role-playing elements. The original Diablo, released back in 1996,
was one of the very first games to do this, and it did it beautifully.
Diablo had great new features that made it stand out, like randomizing
levels and quests, a large array of weapons and armor that could be found,
a nice collection of interactive NPC's to talk to, and a huge list of
different enemies that you had to battle against in your journey through
the depths of Hell to kill Diablo. Sounds pretty cool, eh... well it was.
Well, since Diablo, clones of the game have flown on and off the shelves.
Some standing out, and some being just plain trash. Yet this left Blizzard
with a problem, in order to stand out yet once again, they would have
to revamp the entire Diablo game, to make it once again the best thing
we've ever seen on the RPG-action market. To do this, every feature in
the original Diablo would have to be spiced-up, with more new features,
and most importantly of all, the game itself would have to be larger.
This meant larger levels, more enemies, more character classes, more weapons,
more armor, and basically, just more of everything.
II follows the story of the strange being known as the Wanderer, who is
in actual fact, the hero you played in the original Diablo game. But it
looks like Diablo has possessed the hero's body, and the powers of Diablo
have been unleashed upon the world once again. When the hero (Wanderer)
left the town from the original game, Tristram, all hell breaks lose (again).
And as the Wanderer passes through the Monastery and Rogue Encampment,
all forms of havoc is unleashed as well. In Diablo II you are a new character,
who begins the game at the Rogue Encampment, which is one of the four
towns (one per act) throughout the game.
original Diablo had only three different hero characters to choose from.
They were the Warrior, Rogue, and the Sorcerer, all three being very basic
classes. Diablo II boasts five hero character classes to choose from,
all very unique and special in their own way. You can play as the Amazon,
a talented women warrior skilled at the bow and spear (similar to the
Rogue from the first game). You can also play as the Sorceress, a magic
dependent character, who really has no skill at combat with weapons (similar
to the Sorcerer from the first game). And then there is the trusty Barbarian,
your gung-ho everyday super warrior, who is skilled at using any kind
of weapons he can get his hands on, but has no magical ability whatsoever
(similar to the Warrior from the first game). We also have the Paladin,
a very spiritual warrior, who has a bit of talent in both combat and magic
(a mixture of skills between all three characters from the first game).
And, last but not least, there is the Necromancer, the most unique character
to be seen in any Diablo game yet. He has the ability to conjure up creatures
from the ground, raise skeleton's from the dead, and when you get far
enough in the game, he can actually recreate any dead creature, and restore
it to it's original form to aid him in his journey. All five characters
will have to play the game differently, and for each character you will
have to devise different strategies. The question is, which one will you
Also, the character customization doesn't stop there. As with the original
Diablo, everytime you level up one level, you receive five experience
points to distribute amongst the four primary attributes, (Strength, Dexterity,
Vitality, and Energy) as you choose fit . Each character class also features
30 unique skills to choose from and to develop. Every time you level up,
you get one more skill point to add to a particular skill. The more skill
points in one skill, the stronger that skill becomes. Also, you won't
be able to add skill points to all of your thirty different skills at
once, as all of the skills are divided into separate categories with each
character. Each category of skills has one, two, or three base skills,
with better skills branching off from these base skills. The more advanced
skills aren't activated until the base skills reach a certain level (number
of skill points placed toward that skill). Different kinds of skills also
vary from character to character.
we are on the subject of characters, why don't we talk about Diablo II's
new character rendering system. Remember in the original Diablo how your
character always looked the same, and would only change it's look about
twice in the game? Well, that really is okay, but you may be forgetting
that when your character looks like it has on raggedy clothes, he is actually
really wearing some big huge piece of leather armor. This sort of really
bugged me, and lots of other Diablo gamers as well. So Blizzard addressed
this issue with the fans by featuring a new way the characters were rendered
within the game. Now, the character's game look changes with the type
of armor/weapons he is wearing/carrying. This not only looks cool, but
in multiplayer games, this can give you an advantage of being able to
see what the other player has on for equipment.
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