When Blizzard released the original Diablo it was a completely different time in gaming. Internet was just becoming a thing that everyday people had access to. Magazines still ruled so it was required to get early builds of the game out to publications. Gamers had a slightly lower expectation of games on PC but that did not stop Blizzard from kicking a tired old genre in the pants and rebuilding it. Rogue-likes are still a thing- these are games that have levels randomly generated each time you play. Diablo II took things to a new level, answered concerns of fans and improved on the few problems of the original.
First up, Diablo II features a special level for hardcore, longtime, fans. Second, the sequel was built from the ground up for multiplayer- either over the Internet or via a local area network (LAN). Next, Blizzard upped the graphics, audio, challenge, size of levels and fixed many little things that needed fixing.
Spread over five acts, the story of Diablo II is complex and twisting. I won’t spoil things for those that have not played Diablo II yet. Suffice to say, an old friend may make a re-appearance here- but in a bad way.
Multiplayer mode offers up to eight players at once in the game. Interestingly, they don’t have to be eight WORKING together players. While the idea is for the proceedings to be “player versus environment”, players can form groups of their own and even duel with each other as they play. This could be four on four, two on six or any combination thereof. Hell, some players could be dueling while others say “not my circus, not my monkeys” and just go off and do their own thing in the world of Diablo II. The choice is yours.
The cool thing is, Diablo II is still available at most retailers in a “Battle Chest” package. There are still a lot of people that play the game via the free Battle.net service that Blizzard offers too. Fans have even created an HD update to the game.
Then you add in the release of the sequel and it is a whole new ball game.