Estimated Price: $59.99
It seems hard to believe, but it was way back in August 1998 when last I reviewed Diablo. I loved the first Diablo, and eagerly looked forward to the continuation of both the story and game play. In both, Diablo II does not disappoint.
Game play is pretty much identical to the first game. Point and click to move your character, point and click to kill the bad guys, point and click to pick up items, point and… you get the idea. But I have always maintained that the best games are easy to control. While it may help to learn some keyboard shortcuts for a game (very true for Diablo II) it should not be a requirement. I have a mouse and a mouse button, what else should I really need? Blizzard excels at making terrific games easy to play, and they did not disappoint again.
In Diablo II, you can choose to be one of five different characters: an Amazon, Sorceress, Barbarian, Necromancer, and Paladin. To be honest, I have yet to try any of the other characters besides the Paladin, as I have been having simply too much fun with him. (Look for me as iMacTim on BattleNet.) Each character has his/her own unique strength’s and abilities, and you will find tricks of using each during game play.
The cinematic sequences are almost worth the price of admission alone. They really draw you into the story, making you pant for more, more, MORE. Oh, sorry…
Game play is fun and addictive. After playing the first Diablo, Diablo II took no time at all to learn, and I played for hours the first night I unboxed my review copy from Blizzard. Don’t take that lightly, I have hours of work to do almost every night, and cannot usually spare a few hours in one sitting to play a game, no matter how good the game is. Diablo II sucked me in, and made me scared to play again for fear of losing hours of work. Yes, it is THAT DAMN GOOD. Fun game.
I read how some people were having problems running Diablo II on older Macs. I can sympathize, but Blizzard clearly states that a 300MHz G3 machine is needed to play the game right on the box and website, so if you have an older Mac, don’t bother. The game will not play correctly, and you will not be a happy gamer. If, however, you do have an older Mac, perhaps this will convince you to buy a new machine? You can pick up a good used iMac for under $600 now, and new iMacs start at only $799 from Apple. If you have an older iMac, consider upgrading it to a G4. (See reviews this issue)
In Diablo II, you objective is pretty much what you would expect: Kill all the “little” bad guys to work yourself up (Or down, as the case may be) to the “Big” bad guy, in this case (duh) Diablo. Once there, kill him to win the game. (And play again as a different character again! Yee-haw!)
To start the game, you have a lowly weapon and no money. During your battles, the bad guys will drop gold pieces once you kill them. You can also find it hidden in rooms, houses, and caskets during game play as well. You collect the gold (and anything else of value you can find) to pay for new weapons and armor, new magic potions, spells, and the like. Really, this is no different than the first Diablo.
All in all, Diablo II is a fun, addictive game. There are a few problems, most notably the ability to save games only works by quitting the game. I can’t save unless I quit the game? How much sense does that make? Also, once you HAVE saved you game, it seems all the bad guys are back alive once you start again. (Which I later confirmed after reading Bill Stiteler review over at AppleLinks, http://www.applelinks.com/reviews/diablo2.shtml. A great review, go check it out.)
MacMice Rating: 4.0