Diablo II

aka: D2, Diablo II: The Calling
Moby ID: 1878
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Knowing well that Diablo's spirit could never be truly destroyed, the hero of Tristram made the noblest sacrifice of all: he took the spirit of the Lord of Terror into himself, hoping that his strength of will could contain the demon within. He was wrong. Diablo's essence corrupted him, gradually taking over his human nature. He has turned into the Dark Wanderer, a mysterious being whose every step causes destruction and death. A nameless adventurer visits the Rogue Encampment and decides to help its inhabitants by slaying monsters surrounding the area, and eventually pursuing the Dark Wanderer himself.

Like its predecessor, Diablo II is an action role-playing game. The player may choose between five available characters classes: Amazon (a rogue-like class with ranged attacks), Necromancer (can summon undead and inflict status ailments), Barbarian (a powerful melee fighter who can dual-wield weapons), Sorceress (offensive spellcaster), and Paladin (fights with shields and can cast support spells). Much of the game takes place in randomized dungeon-like areas heavily populated by enemies. Unlike the previous game, the environments are not restricted to a single dungeon and include variously themed locations, each with its own town and quests.

The player character gains experience points from slaying monsters, and can be leveled up manually, increasing his or her primary attributes and acquiring abilities. Much of the customization relies on equipment and item combinations. Diablo's magic has been replaced with skills: class specific abilities that can be purchased with skill points as characters level up. For example, a Paladin's skills allow him to cover allies with a protective aura, while a Sorceress can learn to fire lightning bolts and frozen blasts from her hands. Skills can be purchased several times to level them up, and some skills, when purchased, will increase the effectiveness of other skills. A new item type, socketed, has been added as well. Socketed items can be modified permanently by adding magic gems to them, increasing their statistics or adding elemental properties.

Spellings

  • 暗黑破坏神II - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 暗黑破壞神 2 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

1,450 People (295 developers, 1,155 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 88% (based on 64 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 292 ratings with 19 reviews)

A much-improved version of the hack n' slash classic that was Diablo.

The Good
Although the graphics are somewhat dated, you quickly forget the slight blockiness of your Barbarian when you dive into a horde of monsters. Diablo 2 is at its heart a character building game, and the skill system allows you to really experiment with different playing styles, even when only playing one class. For example, the Amazon can be played as a jabbing melee goddess or a mistress of missile weapon mayhem. The classes are well balanced, especially after you patch the game up to v1.06.

Although the graphics aren't the best, the cinematics, voice acting, and sound effect are awesome, especially in several sections of Act 2.

This is one of the few games that I have that I can come back to in six months and still enjoy, whether playing single or multiplayer.

The Bad
The one problem with the skill system is that it rewards you for specializing in high level skills at the expense of developing low level skills. Some classes even have a few throw away skills that are only useful as a means to get to the better skills. For example, the Necromancer's Skeleton Warriors never get very powerful, and so it is useless to build this skill up at all since the golems, revived creatures, and skeleton mages are so much better. If I really wanted to be a master of a skeleton warrior army, I should be able to do it and survive at high levels.

Another thing I don't like is that you are penalized too much when you fight monsters that are 10-20 levels higher than you are. In an attempt to balance the multiplayer game so that a high level character couldn't join a party of low level characters, kill everything for them, and have them advance quickly, you are penalized in xp per kill if you are way above OR BELOW the level of the monster. So if you manage, like I did, to finish the game at Nightmare difficulty when you are level 38 or so, there is no way you can survive or even gain any xp in Hell difficulty until you gain 15-20 levels! The game just slows down too much after level 30 or so.

The Bottom Line
A great hack and slash game no matter how you play it. Despite what Nethack fans may tell you, this is not just "Rogue with nice graphics and sound". It is a different, more entertaining, and much less frustrating and obtuse gaming experience than its text-based predecessors.

Windows · by Droog (460) · 2001

The interest faded all too quickly.

The Good
There were a number of things to like about this game.

  • The number of items and skills was vast. With the random nature of the items, there were a seemingly endless number of ways to equip your character.

  • The different classes. Unlike the first Diablo, each class was quite different from the other classes. As well, Blizzard put enough time into this game to allow each class to have a wide range of different ways to develop.

  • The music and sound, overall, were of very high quality.

    The Bad
    Now to the bad part. In any game, after enough playing (say, a week or two of playing off and on), the merit of the game ultimately comes down to the basic gameplay elements. Does the gameplay intrigue you, and make you want to keep playing? In Diablo II, I found the answer was a definite no.

As even the game's champions say, the game is essentially clicking. With the vast range of skills, nearly all players eventually focus down on, at most, two or three skills that they use repeatedly. So, the combat becomes "Skill 1 Skill 1 Skill 1 Skill 2 Skill 3 Skill 1 Skill 1 Skill 3, etc, etc, etc....." This really did not keep me interested for long.

The other part of the gamplay, the "roleplaying", is where you decide how to best outfit your character. This kept me amused for a while, but eventually becomes tedious. After one gets a character to a fairly high level, there tend to be only one or two particular weapons or pieces of armor that one is looking for.

So, after a while, the game simply becomes, "Go out into this area, kill hundreds of little critters with repeated clicking, and hope you get the item you are looking for". Well, quite frankly, this did not sustain my interest.

The Bottom Line
As everyone says, it's a hack-and-slash game. So whether you like it or not comes down to what other hack-and-slash games you have played. Personally, I enjoyed the first Diablo; but that was before I started playing NetHack.

For those of you who don't know it, nethack is a hack-and-slash game with ASCII graphics. But it has such depth of gameplay that it keeps you interested. Unfortunately, three weeks after I started playing NetHack, I got Diablo II. Now, even though Diablo II was far better than the original Diablo, because I had played NetHack, and knew how good hack-and-slash gameplay could be, Diablo II was deathly boring by comparison.

So, if you played games like Nethack, ADOM, or Angband, don't bother with Diablo or Diablo II. If you haven't played these games, you'll probably enjoy Diablo II - until you see how good games like Nethack are.

Windows · by Geoff Cruttwell (7) · 2000

This game is a masterpiece of hack and slash

The Good
High replayability, with five different classes, three difficulty levels and a roleplaying like character advancement (including experiance points and randomally generated items, making you always look for a better combination). Excellent sound and music, with wonderful special effects and a special background tone for each area. Powerful multiplayer option, allowing you to play through the Internet with secured characters and no cheats, with up to eight players in the same game, sharing experiance, gold and quests. Amazing movies, from the assembly lines of Blizzard, which add a new element to the game, and are a pleasure to behold again and again.

The Bad
The core of the game is the multiplay option through Battle.Net, and unless you have a fast connection to the Internet (ADSL and Cables spring into mind) your connection will be very laggy, and playing through the Internet will be almost impossible.

The Bottom Line
Of course it's just hack and slash, but it's an excellent hack and slash. Blizzard did marvelous work of their sequel, and deserve full credit for their job.

Windows · by El-ad Amir (116) · 2000

[ View all 19 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Why am I addicted?.. Unicorn Lynx (181780) Jul 2, 2013

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Diablo II appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Dungeons & Dragons

Diablo II was adapted into a set of two D&D rulebooks: Diablo II: Diablerie, published in 2000, and Diablo II: To Hell and Back, published in 2001, in addition to which a Diablo II set for the Dungeons & Dragons boardgame was released by Wizards of the Coast in 2000.

Promotion

Blizzard itself produced an action figure line, with figures depicting the Barbarian, the Unraveler, and of course, Diablo. They also released a whole stack of merchandise, including Zippo lighters, wristwatches and mouse pads, all in limited edition.

References: Diablo

The much rumored and non-existent secret "Cow Level" from the original game was actually added to Diablo II. It is just a flat plain, populated by bipedal cows, which go "Moo! Moo!" in deadpan human voices. The level also features a boss, "The Cow King", who looks just like all the other cows.

In Act I, the player can enter a portal to the town of Tristram, now destroyed by demons. Some characters from Diablo can be seen there. Decard Cain and Griswold the Blacksmith are alive; the former will help the player with his quests while the latter is possessed by evil powers. The remains of Wirt the Peg-Legged Boy can also be spotted; his leg allows the player to enter the cow level.

References

Once in a great while, one of the zombies can be heard uttering "brainsss". This is a reference to the numerous Living Dead movies, in which zombies hunger for human brains.

Awards

  • Computer and Video Games
    • 2005 - #25 "101 Best PC Games Ever"
  • Destructoid
    • 2009 - #7 "Top Video Games of the Decade"
  • GamePro
    • 2008 - #11 "The 32 Best PC Games"
  • GameSpy
    • 2000 – Special Award for Cut-Scenes
    • 2011 – #7 Top PC Game of the 2000s
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 02/2001 - Best Game in 2000
    • Issue 02/2001 - Best Multiplayer Game in 2000
    • Issue 03/2001 - Best Game in 2000 (Readers' Choice)
    • Issue 12/2008 - Special mention in the "10 Coolest Levels" list (for the secret level "The Moo Moo Farm")
  • IGN
    • 2009 - Issue 12/2008 - One of "Gaming's Top 10 Easter Eggs" (for the secret level "The Moo Moo Farm")
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2005 - #16 "50 Best Games of All Time"
    • 2007 - #82 "Top 100 Games"* PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2001 - Best Online Game in 2000
  • VideoGamer.com
    • 2009 - #49 "Top 100 Games of the Noughties"

Information also contributed by Ajan, Kasey Chang, Patrick Bregger, PCGamer77, phlux, Tibes80, and Scott Monster.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

Macintosh added by Xoleras.

Additional contributors: Blackhandjr, Zovni, Unicorn Lynx, Indra was here, Brian Jordan, Vaelor, Ajan, Pseudo_Intellectual, SharkD, Paulus18950, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added July 4, 2000. Last modified April 13, 2024.