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Diablo 2

"The original Diablo was a phenomenal success..."

If there ever was an award for delivering games months or even years after the intended release date the company most likely to win each and every time would have to be Blizzard. Sure we have close contenders like Ion Storm with Diakatana, 3D Realms with Duke Nukem: Forever (Whenever), but Blizzard has done this time and again with practically with every game they ever made, I mean anyone remember how long it took Star Craft to appear on game store shelves? Enough said. Following the tradition is Blizzard's latest, Diablo 2, which has been in a development hell ever since it was conceived after the enormous success of it's original back in 1996.

The original Diablo was a phenomenal success according to standards for PC games. Despite the non-existent story, and simple and repetitive gamplay it managed to sell over a million copies and bring games into the media spotlight. People loved it, due to it's simplicity of gameplay along with the otherworldly obsession of getting higher stats, items, weapons, and of course its online playability. But its critics were many, complaining that the game was shallow, with the fact of the story being non-existent. The single player story told of (more like implied) that a demon named Diablo brought doom and gloom to the lands, and you (the player) have to take on the role of either the warrior, archer or wizard and banish Diablo by going to his liar, a church (in the town of Tristram) filled with dungeons and catacombs leading downwards all the way to Hell. So in the next 4 or 5 days that you played Diablo all you would do is travel downwards, catacomb after catacomb, progressing with the increase of your stats and weapons and so on, occasionally returning to the village of Tristram to get more supplies or new weapons, after a while it is becomes more of a routine then a game. Wanting to impress the critics and players alike, Blizzard has just added more of the same while expanding the single player story to offer a more full filling single player game while leaving the core gameplay unchanged.

Diablo 2's single player game is bigger and better then the first outing and also boosts a much better story. It seems that at the end of Diablo I, Diablo the Demon possessed the hero who came to kill him, and once again the Player has to take role of tracking down Diablo and banishing him once and for all (unless of course there is Diablo 3, hmmm). The player will have play through several 'Acts' of the game until the end, each act covering a different region for example the first act covers the common or garden variety medieval forest while the second act is a desert region and the third well now that's for you to find out. Progression is handled through completing quests for in game characters, in each act, these quests are mainly the search and retrieve items or killing/cleansing enemies or areas routines, they are not all that innovative but add a lot of flow to the game presenting a clear path of progression for newbies (but I doubt many people will be).

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