If I was to sum up Diablo 2 in just one word it would be this: astounding. It is one of those games that has aged well with time and is in my opinion among one of Blizzard’s best games. By itself it is brilliant, but with the expansion its is a truly phenomenal RPG.
The story follows that after the defeat of Diablo the hero from the first game becomes possessed by him and starts on a quest to release his two brothers Baal and Mephisto. As in the first game a group of heroes arrive and go on a journey to stop the three brothers from uniting and becoming unstoppable. After going through large deserts, Creepy jungles, and Hell itself they finally face Diablo, The Lord of Terror himself. With his and Mephisto’s defeat it seems Sanctuary is safe. Or is it? In the expansion, Baal has taken his army to the Barbarian homelands and it is down to the heroes to stop him from corrupting The Worldstone.
The five acts of the game are excellent and each comes with its own specific music and cinematic. The music was all perfectly composed and fits well with each of the acts adding an eerie charm in the darkest of moments. The structure follows that each of the acts, with the exception of act four, has six quests to do. After going through each of the quests the player goes up against the act’s final boss. It’s a shame that the fourth act has only three quests, but considering how tough they are I can’t really complain. The expansion’s fifth act though is by far the best. Presenting larger maps, tougher enemies, six challenging quests, and to top it off a very satisfying ending.
The new character classes are all quite impressive and a lot better than the ones from the first game. Even without the expansion’s extra two there is still a wider range of characters to choose from and all of them are extremely fun to play as. The NPC’s, (non playable characters), all serve their purpose well, whether by selling items or simply giving a bit of dialogue on each quest they help add to the separate acts that they appear in. The various monsters encountered in the game all have creative names and designs even when they just fall back on the appearance of an enemy from a previous act. The bosses like Diablo, Mephisto and Baal are some of the best and most dangerous enemies that appear in the game and it is obvious that a lot of effort was put into their designs, especially Baal.
Without the expansion Diablo 2 is simply outstanding. However, with the expansion it is a hands down magnificent Role Playing Game of epic proportions. Looking back it was a great game to have been able to play and the expansion beats a lot of the DLC that gets stuck onto many recent games.