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Reviewed: Diablo II
Author: Chris Kim       Date: July 30th, 2000
Page: 4


 
Final Breakdown

Gameplay:

Although the roots of the game remain same to the original and the gameplay is still extremely shallow, the addictive and fun nature of the game is simply undeniable. The hack and slash formula has been taken further by adding outdoor environments, lots of unique ways to play, tons of characters, and lots of game to play. Its longevity factor is excellent and the randomly generating dungeons adds to that.

Graphics:

While they aren't the worst graphics out there, they do little to advance or push the limits of technology. Since this game was slated to be released back in 1998, the graphics do seem to represent that time period... or even a tad older. That is pretty much a Blizzard trademark--their games never were graphically intense, just enough to get by. The same goes for Diablo II, indoor and cave environments along with special effects are spectacular, but outdoor environments and object sprites are simply ugly.

Sound and Music:

Wow, some of the most impressive sound effects and music seen in a game to date. While the sound might not be as impressive as System Shock 2 (because of inherit perspective differences), the sound is just as immersive and clean sounding. Musically, the tracks are mood setting making the player experience the real mood of what the game is about to encounter.

Multiplayer:

The cooperative portion of the multiplayer game is very good and allows for lots of fun adventuring together. The deathmatch portion is fun, but not nearly as involving and rewarding as the cooperative. Excellent internet support along with a revamped Battle.net model with the players on the servers instead of the client's computer removes any cheating--all players are legit. Still, the lag is so terrible at times that the game is unplayable. Thankfully, the random dungeons are included in the multiplayer game.

AI and Difficulty:

There isn't a whole lot in terms of AI, but one thing that is for sure about the difficulty of the game and that is that it is very balanced and well designed. None of the monsters are too overpowering and they grow in strength as the player gains abilities. That whole concept is something many game designers neglect to do--balance gameplay. Difficulty levels add a whole level of replay value along with challenge for the experienced gamer.

Controls and Interface:

As it goes with all Blizzard games, Diablo II has a very simple and intuitive interface. All buttons are easily accessible and clearly identified. Hotkeys make playing very simple and quick and all the nice little interface tweaks, such as the Alt button trick that displays all items on the floor, and the greatest inventory trade screen is a cinch to use.

Overall:

All Diablo fans will yell for joy as this is one of the best action role-playing games to be released in a long, long while. Its massively large gameplay world, various characters, interesting but simple gameplay, excellent sound, and terrific interface all sum up to one of the best games this year. While it isn't earth shatter, the sales it will generate and player base it will create will be astounding. Look for this game to get big... very big. Except on Battle.net with tons of lag...

Pluses (+)
  • Lots of New Stuff!
  • High Replay Value
  • Addictive, Addictive, Addictive
  • Stellar Sound/Music
  • Great Interface
  • Minuses (-)
  • Mediocre Graphics
  • Few Bugs Here and There
  • Excessive Lag on Battle.net
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    Added:  Sunday, July 30, 2000
    Reviewer:  Chris Kim
    Score:
    Page: 4/5

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