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Game Review: Diablo 2

http://www.blizzard.com/diablo2/

Never ever before this game had I lost any amount of sleep to an RPG. Oh sure, I played the demo, even Diablo as well. But Diablo was too scary for a 7 year old, and so, many years later, I pick up its sequel to finally figure out what the hype was all about once and for all. And let me tell you, this review has been in the works for over a year now.

Diablo 2's story picks up after the original game has long ended. This time, you start as one of 5 (or 7 if you got the expansion pack) preselectable characters in a camp filled with Rogues (the ranger girls of the last game). Apparently, they were driven from their monastery by Andariel, and it's up to you to drive her and various other demons out of this world.

Let's face it, the story's just an excuse to kill things. In fact, much of the story (and quests) seems recycled from another game. It doesn't feel inventive, but it gets you through. The plot really picks up at act 5 in the expansion, with a sort of Hollywood movie feel, but enough about it.

Gameplay is what really matters, and Diablo 2 almost gets it perfect. The basic action boils down to click on something repeatedly until it dies. There are variations on how you can do this, but for the most part, it's point and click. This would be fine, if some of the creatures weren't so small it's easy to try and click on them, but accidentally end up running right past them. This caused me a lot of deaths early on, but as the creatures got larger, this appeared to be less of a problem.

Your character, although predefined in looks, can be heavily customized in anything from armor to weapons to jewellery to skills. The skills part is extremely well done, as each character's 30 skills allow you to experiment with different combinations for years.

My one gripe is graphics. Granted, the game is getting old in the years, but that doesn't mean it's highest resolution should be 800x600. And I saw little difference between the 3d and 2d modes, except for cases where I got huge amounts of slowdown in 3d. (This shouldn't happen to you, as my PC sucks.)

Nonetheless, Diablo 2 is a worthy experience. If you're a Blizzard fan or just like RPGs in general, pick up this game, especially since now it's only $40 with the original Diablo, 2's expansion pack, and 2 strategy guide. This is a must of any gamer's collection.

Rating: 8/10

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