Diablo II: Lord of Destruction Review

Diablo II, one of the most eagerly anticipated and best selling games of last year has gotten an expansion game - and it packs plenty of punch.

The most apparent additions to Diablo 2 are the inclusion of two new character classes (the druid and the assassin) and a new fifth act. The druid has power over natural forces, with elemental, shape shifting, and summoning skills. Elemental skills damage enemies with the power of wind and fire, shape shifting allows the druid to assume powerful animal forms, and summoning calls creatures to come and fight at the druid's side. Assassins are skilled in martial arts, shadow disciplines, and traps. Martial art skills feature charge-up skills and finishing moves - charge-up skills build power on successive attacks which can be unleashed with a normal attack or a finishing move. Shadow disciplines serve to increase the assassin's stealth and effectiveness in combat. Finally, traps can be set to unleash damage on creatures that wander too closely to them.

The new fifth act is set around a village of barbarians under siege by evil forces. The forces emanate from a local mountain which you will have to penetrate to its core to find the source of the evil - Diablo's brother Baal.

Other new features include:

  • Improved hirelings - Hirelings can now be furnished with new equipment - weapons, armor, etc. - to improve their fighting and defensive capabilities. They also now accumulate experience and can advance in levels.
  • Item swapping - You can now have two-sets of weapons at the ready and switch between them with a single keystroke.
  • New automap - There is now an option to have the automap appear as a minimap in one of the corners of the game's screen.
  • New jewels and runes to insert in socketed weapons.
  • More Horadric Cube recipes.
  • Higher resolution - The game can now be played at 800x600.
  • Convenience changes - You can now repair all items and fill tomes with a single click and set more skill hotkeys. The size of the stash has also been increased.