In Diablo 2, players return to a world of dark fantasy. As one of five distinct character types, players explore the world of Diablo 2, journey across distant lands, fight new villains, discover new treasures, and uncover ancient mysteries. Since the beginning of time, the forces of order and chaos have been engaged in an eternal struggle to decide the fate of all creation. That struggle has now come to the mortal realm, and neither man, demon, nor angel will be left unscathed. Diablo, lord of terror and youngest of the three prime evils, awakes from his long sleep beneath the dark earth. Setting in motion a grand scheme to free his exiled brothers, Mephisto and Baal, Diablo takes control of the small western kingdom of Khanduras.
Working from deep within the ancient catacombs beneath the town of Tristram, Diablo grips the entire populace in a blanket of fear and paranoia. Ultimately, as even Khanduras's good King Leoric falls under Diablo's wicked power, a lone hero arises to challenge the darkness that engulfs the land. After plumbing the hellish depths of the labyrinth under Tristram, the nameless hero finally confronts the lord of terror himself. Knowing full well that Diablo's spirit can never be truly destroyed, the hero makes the noblest sacrifice of all--casting his soul and his very sanity aside, he takes the spirit of Diablo into himself, hoping that his own strength of will can contain the demon within. The hero doesn't realize that his selfless act will not only ensure Diablo's victory, but will also irrevocably damn his soul for all time.
Description (Lord of Destruction)
Lord of Destruction does what every good expansion should do: smoothing the rough edges of the original game while offering new content that improves what came before. With its two new character classes, the assassin and the druid, the expansion also gives you a reason to replay the entire game. It doesn't stop there, though. The new act, which has the player chasing down Diablo's brother Baal, is the best Diablo yet. It's superb gaming, the kind of enthralling experience that turned us into gamers in the first place.
The new character classes are the most interesting ones yet devised by Blizzard. The assassin has jumped straight out of Street Fighter II with her clever combinations of charge-up and finishing attacks. And her trap skills, which allow players to trap areas and lure monsters to their pyrotechnic deaths, add a new level of cleverness to playing the game.
The druid is an interesting mix of fighter and spellcaster. You can play him as a shape changer, turning him into a werewolf or werebear, or you can have him draw upon the forces of nature with his spells and summon forth tornadoes and volcanoes. It offers quite a contrast in play styles.
In fact, with the expansion, Diablo II takes on new tactical depth. Blizzard has beefed up the mercenaries you can hire: They now gain levels along with your character, and you can give them weapons, armor, and shields to help boost their effectiveness. At times, my mercenary was a better fighter than my main character.
To round out the experience, both new character classes can summon additional help. The druid can summon wolves or a powerful grizzly and the assassin can summon a shadow of herself, called a Shadow Warrior. Now, with the mercenary in tow, you're controlling an entire party.
Finally, the new resolution, bumped up to 800x600 from 640x480, displays more of the map. This gives you a better feel for what's coming and lets you exercise a bit more tactical control over combat situations.
The new act contains some of the most compelling Diablo action yet. You're thrust into the middle of a battle and tasked with killing the overseer laying siege to the barbarian town. You have to battle through enemy lines as catapults drop fire, ice, and poison on you from afar. You'll even see barbarians fighting to their last breath, terribly outnumbered; if you act quickly, you can save them and they'll fight alongside you. It really feels like an epic war instead of a dungeon crawl.
Diablo is in large part about getting that new and better item, and now there are more items than ever. Your stash is bigger to accommodate more magic items (runes and jewels), new matched sets, new class-specific items, and more.
Faults? The 800x600 resolution is still a bit dated and the game chugs a little now and then. It's pricey, too. But that's about it. This expansion has taken a game that didn't quite live up to sky-high expectations when it was released and made it one of the most satisfying gaming experiences I've had. I've played through the entire five acts with both a druid and assassin and I'm nearly done playing through them again with both characters in Nightmare mode. Now I can't wait to go to Hell.