Diablo II Lord of Destruction Review
Sean W. Gibson / Sep 3rd, 2001 No Comments
Diablo 2 was released in the summer of 2000 as one of the most eagerly anticipated games of all time. What was Blizzard able to accomplish? Only creating one of the best selling and playing games of all time. What could Blizzard possibly do for an encore? Expansion Pack! At the end of Diablo 2, the cinematics show that one of the three prime evils, Baal the Lord of Destruction, had gone unkilled and roamed the world freely with his soulstone (the object that allows his existance in the mortal world). The expansion pack, named Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction picks up here, where your character follows Baal to the Barbarian Highlands.
The epic battle of Good vs. Evil climaxes in this final “5th Act” of Diablo 2. The Expansion Set actually starts out as Baal is close to completing his goal. Inside a large mountain in the Barbarian Highlands, lies the Worldstone. This stone protects Sanctuary (the continent that Diablo II takes place on), by seperating the realms of Heaven and Hell from it. Baal hopes to corrupt the worldstone, so the three realms would collide and allow the inhabitants of Hell to to be freed; this would also disturb the balance of Heaven, throwing its inhabitants into Sanctuary as well. The Worldstone is protected by heavy fortification by Barbarian defenders. The Expansion starts off with Baal about halfway up the mountain, with you starting off in the fortress of Harrogath in Act V. Two new character classes are available to play – the Druid and the Assassin. Perhaps the most notable power of the Druid is their ability to change their form into that of an animal. The Assassin uses martial arts to unleash her directed fury in a variety of modes. This reviewer decided to start from scratch from the beginning with the Assassin, and we’ve heard around the internet that the Assassin is the much more fun character to play with, but we can’t fully confirm this (as I’ve only played through the game as the Assassin and not the Druid).
The new features that ‘Lord of Destruction’ employ are:
Two new character classes (the Assassin and the Druid) each with 30 unique skills/spells
One new Act set in the Barbarian Highlands. It seems to be about the size of Act III, so it’s a decent sized act with a lot of things to do.
Many new monster types, including bosses and uniques. The unique monsters were great, but the amount of new monsters throughout the game, however, is the only disappointing thing about the expansion pack, we had hoped there to be more. To be fair, 500 more monsters wouldn’t have been enough…
Interactive environments, such as siege towers and fortified battlements. This was a fantastic feature, as monsters will fortify themselves in order to defend themselves.
Thousands of new weapons, armor, and magical items, including class-specific quest items. We can’t tell you how many Barbarian, Necromancer, and Druid unique armor and weapons we found throughout the game. New magic items include Charms (items that raise your attributes by simply having them in your possession) and Runes (work similar to the stones).
New recipes for the Horadric Cube.
- Increased Stash Size – thank the GODS!
- Supports 800×600 Resolution – finally. This was a much needed feature, it’s not revolutionizing or groundbreaking, but it makes the screen size bigger and the map easier to see.
- A new “repair all” button allows you to get all your stuff fixed very easily
- Socketed Items can now have up to 6 Sockets.
- Hired NPCs become much more interactive in the expansion. Rather than the ‘moving pieces of meat’ they were before, they gain levels at their own pace, and can also be equipped with various items to improve their effectiveness!
- New soundtrack files that sounds absolutely fantastic – very ‘Indiana Jones-ish’ , which adds a new level of ambiance to the game
The various quests involved with the 5th act won’t be divulged here – we don’t want to spoil anything for you when it comes to the story. Just know the storyline involved with the 5th act is very well written, and the quests are very pertinent to what the ultimate goal (saving the world) is. You’ll find playing the quests out to be a rewarding and fun experience.
The Assassin is a combination theif, martial-arts expert. Her abilities include shadow skills, traps, and finishing moves/charge up skills. The abilities of her skill tree are more linear than any other skill tree of the six other character classes. She has six “charge-up” skills and four finishing moves that allow you to take significant damange off an opponent (or group). There’s no “People’s Elbow” here, but you’ll find the charge up skills can be built up and combined in a variety of ways that makes killing various unique monsters really fun. The devistating finishing moves are great to strike in with, and add a new dimension in animation (just plain better than anyone else’s unique moves). Again, not to ruin anything, you’ll find her skills to be fun to play around with. The “Wake of Fire” and “Wake of Inferno” skills turned out to be the most rewarding for us.
The Druid seems to be a between the Necromancer (abilities) and the Paladin (skills), and comes to do more than just fight a group of monsters on his own. With an arsenal ranging from Ravens to Bears and magical missle weapons (fireballs, etc), and shape shifting abilities, the Druid’s ability over the environment makes him a lethal opponent for Diablo’s buddies.
For an indepth look at the Druid, we once again suggest checking out our friends at PlanetDiablo.com.
Overall, ‘Lord of Destruction’ is a very satisfying expansion pack to one of the best selling games of all time. Fans of the Diablo series will find the new characters (especially the Assassin) extremely fun to play with, and the new Act very rewarding and challenging. Blizzard once again lives up to it’s standards of unparralleled excellence.
Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction Rating
Graphics 4.8 / 5
Artificial Intelligence 5 / 5
Gameplay 5 / 5
Fun 4.8 / 5
Overall Score: 4.9 / 5
Diablo II Lord of Destruction has received a very illustrious score of 4.9 / 5. Lord of Destruction will appeal to anyone that enjoyed Diablo 2. There are moments where the game truly sucks you in, and the hours seem to just fly by. Highly Recommended!
tags: blizzard , diablo , expansion , lord of destruction , review