Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction
Genre Adventure -> RPG
Today's Rank 0
Date 2001-06-25
Publisher V.U.G.
Date N/A
Publisher N/A
North America Retail Box ArtNot content to merely add additional levels, the creators of the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction expansion have improved the entire Diablo II game experience while concluding the story. The expansion has been described as both an add-in and an add-on, and it truly is a must-have for Diablo II players. The add-on is the new act, which finally concludes the epic tale of Diablo. The end of the fourth act of Diablo II saw Baal, brother of Diablo and last of the Prime Evils, reclaim his soulstone from the deceived mortal Marius. Lord of Destruction tells the story of Baal's destructive trek through the Barbarian Highlands of the north. The player must stop Baal before he corrupts the magical Worldstone and opens hell to the mortal world. An ancient barbarian tribe guards the holy mountain that houses the stone, and is the only thing that stands between Baal and Armageddon. The player must use a character who has completed the fourth act to access the fifth act (the expansion) and help the besieged barbarians. The add-in is all the improvements to the core game. The most obvious is the graphics. Lord of Destruction lets gamers ratchet up Diablo II's graphics resolution to 800 x 600. This means both prettier graphics and the ability to see more of the battlefield at once, which effectively increases the range of spells and missile weapons. Best part: the graphics boost applies to all of the original game as well as the expansion's new act. The graphics boost is nice, but hard-core players will most likely better appreciate the gameplay enhancements. It's hard to pick the single best element from the long list of substantial improvements: a larger character stash, more socketable items, more unique items, new classes of weapons for high-difficulty levels, and new Horadric Cube recipes. Entirely new features include the ability to craft unique magic items, runes (which function like gems but can be combined to form powerful runeword combinations), totems (which add ability, combat, or resistance bonuses, but take up space in inventory), and hireling inventory (you'll hand down your old equipment to your hireling). All these improvements are applied to both the new act and the four earlier acts in Diablo II. After playing with all these tweaks, you'll wonder how you ever managed to play with the tiny stash, blurry graphics, and weak hirelings of the original. Even experienced Diablo II players get to appreciate the improvements to the first through fourth acts because the two new character classes (Assassin and Druid) must complete all four acts in Diablo II before you can use them in the expansion. The Assassin is a stealthy warrior and wizard slayer who uses martial arts, traps, and mental discipline to defeat hell's minions. The Druid is a feral whose spells, animal summoning, and shape-shifting abilities suit a wide range of playing styles. Both are cool enough to warrant playing through all of Diablo II once again. And the conclusion to one of the best-loved and most-played games of all time is satisfying--well worth the hours of sleepless nights and blurry-eyed mornings. --Mike Fehlauer

- Two new character classes (the Assassin and the Druid) each with 30 unique skills/spells
- One new Act set in the Barbarian Highlands
- Many new monster types, including bosses and uniques
- Interactive environments such as siege towers and fortified battlements
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