When Diablo II: Resurrected came out in September 2021, Mezha didn’t exist yet, so we don’t have a review of the remastered version of the classic game, but while flipping through old issues of Home PC recently, I found my own review of the original Diablo II, which was released on June 30, 2000. It’s amazing, but I talked about that game in almost the same words with which I recently praised the new Diablo IV. Either I have such a limited vocabulary, or Blizzard knows how to make games that you want to praise. Also, Blizzard took a lot of things for Diablo IV from Diablo II.

I found it interesting to compare the reviews of Diablo II and Diablo IV and generally remember how we felt about games 20+ years ago. So here is the author’s Diablo II review that was printed in Home PC #8-9 in 2000. With comments from 2023.

Game Diablo II
Genre action/RPG
Platforms Windows, Mac OS
Languages English
Developer Blizzard North
Publisher Blizzard Entertainment

Diablo II: Afterword for the Afterlife

The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.
Mark Twain

Only one company in the world can afford to make ugly and outdated games. Because everything that comes from the programmers of this company is doomed to success. After all, the main thing in the game is not graphic beauty (hello, Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption) (in 2000 it seems we thought Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption was a very graphically attractive game – comment from 2023), easy rules (hello Icewind Dale)) (what a year! What titles – comment from 2023), and only the gameplay is pure unclouded drive. Blizzard understands this perfectly. Meet… The upcoming “Best Game of 2000” in many nominations and so on, Diablo II.

Diablo II


Adept (The Initiate, Part II)

I have walked the paths; the shadowed roads
that led to terror’s breast.
I have plumbed the depths of Hatred’s womb,
and scaled Destruction’s crest.

For every secret left unveiled, for every power learned,
I’d sell the remnants of my soul, regardless of how it burned.
And still, I sought a higher wisdom few could have attained…
‘Though I found it, it would leave me – broken, damned, and drained.
Christopher Vincent Metzen

Diablo II


The first impression of getting acquainted with Diablo II is a feeling of deja-vu. You seem to have been thrown back a couple of years. The same Diablo – side view. And Blizzard were making this nightmare for three long years?! But during this time, at least a dozen role-playing games have been released that are an order of magnitude more beautiful than this Chinese fake! What’s the problem? We were deceived! At first, it even seems that the first version was more attractive. And these nightmarish “floating” objects in Direct3D, and the poor archaic resolution of 640 × 480 (horrible, just horrible, and that’s how we used to play – comment from 2023), which looks incredibly depressing on a 19-inch monitor (for 2000, 19 inches is hi-end for a home PC – comment from 2023)! Nightmare!

Overpowering yourself, you sit down to play. When the eyes begin to close, and the first morning cars can be heard outside the window, the main thing comes to an understanding. The graphics are great. The sound is amazing. Music is just perfect. Animation doesn’t get any better. The gameplay, damn it, just hurricane! After a couple of days of nightlife, when the eyes turn red, and the mouse begins to live its own life due to the tiredness of the owner, you realize that the three years of waiting are justified, and … you start the game as a new character. And so on until you try all five.

Diablo II


We have great devil fighters this time – every character is a hero. You can get acquainted with short biographies of all five warriors of Light and Half-Darkness on the next page (there are no pages on the website, so everything will be together, first the official description, then my text – a comment from 2023). I want to add just a little bit to these characteristics.

The system of special abilities of fighters, which has completely replaced the usual “book/scroll/ability” combination of the first part, allows you to create a character for your style of play. The thing is that the structure of these abilities is tree-like, besides, it is divided into three sections for all characters, and in addition to learning new skills, you can always develop old ones. In short, it is almost impossible to see all the special abilities of a character in one game. So if this is the first time you’ve mastered an Amazon with a spear, next time, watch how great she is with a bow. Or, let’s say you’re a hidden pyromancer and adore fire magic. Welcome! Your friend may like frozen opponents and will learn cold magic. So, what can our heroes do?

Diablo II: afterword for the afterlife


Amazon is a female warrior who wandered along with a band of nomads along the coast of the southern seas for a long time. Wandering and constant skirmishes taught her to fight, aggressively defend her independence, and endure any adversity during long journeys. The Amazon perfectly mastered the bow, crossbow, spear, and any projectile weapon. She can stand up for herself in close combat as well. An Amazon was a mercenary, but in this service, she remained loyal to the hireling only as long as her purpose coincided with that of her master.

Amazon – a vamp, previously (Diablo) – Rogue. My favorite from the previous series. Spear, bow, passive abilities. Fire arrows, ice arrows, homing arrows, freezing arrows, fire arrows, etc. Dual and boosted spear strikes, poison darts, electric and other darts. The ability to deal a more powerful blow, dodge a blow, summon a Valkyrie for help, and more.

Diablo II: afterword for the afterlife


A barbarian was born in one of the many tribes living on the fringes of civilization, and he considers any signs of progress to be a manifestation of softness and weakness. Continuous clan feuds and the struggle for survival in hostile terrain made the Barbarian a powerful warrior. Raised in a society of shamans, he feels his connection with the Great Animal Force and believes in the stories of werewolves, but at the same time, he understands people well. He can call upon the spirits of totem animals, which give him superhuman strength and abilities, which only enhances the Barbarian’s excellent fighting qualities.

A barbarian is a dashing guy, previously a Warrior. Double Swing, Stun, Leap, Frenzy, Leap Attack. Sword, axe, spear skills, steel skin, magic resistance, etc. Different types of battle cry that repel or attract monsters.

Diablo II: afterword for the afterlife


The Necromancer is a mysterious newcomer who appeared from the misty vapors of the southern swamps. As his name implies, the Necromancer works dark sorcery. He can raise the dead from the graves, summon various creatures, and subjugate them to his own will. Although his goals often coincide with those of the forces of Light, this does not justify the means he uses. Long training in dank mausoleums and burial grounds had left his skin deathly pale and his figure skeletal. People shun the Necromancer, frightened by his view of life and death, the path he follows, and his power woven from the stuff of nightmares.

Necromancer reminds me of Nik Perumov. Recommended for all fans of the aforementioned author’s series: Birth of a Mage, Travels of a Mage, and Loneliness of a Mage. An owl looks alive. Even the names and visualization of the spells are very reminiscent of Perumov’s (sorry for the Russian crap in the text, but you can’t throw a word out of the song, then we read it and didn’t even understand that it was crap – comment from 2023). Three classes of abilities: Curses, Poison and Bone Spells, and Summoning Spells. Creation of skeletons (warriors, magicians, etc.) and golems of various suits. Bone spears, walls, armor, poison blasts… Debilitating, blinding, deterring, and other curses.

Diablo II: afterword for the afterlife


Paladin is one of the knights of the west lands who fought against the armies of the mighty King Leoric. With a pure heart and good intentions, the knight followed Zakarum, the prophet of the Light religion, whom he learned from for a long time. A paladin is always ready for battle, his faith serving as his shield. He fights, being firmly convinced of his rightness and the sanctity of his cause. In addition, his spiritual stability gives him the strength to bless his friends and do justice to his enemies. Some call the Paladin a crazed fanatic (oops, that seems to be a Diablo IV spoiler – comment from 2023), but the rest understand that he embodies the power and goodness of the Light.

A doughty paladin is the most highly moral character in the game, a warrior-priest. Combat skills, defensive and combat auras. Holy lightning, blessed hammer, holy shield, right hand of heaven. Auras strengthen the hits of the character and his allies, protect, heal, increase magic resistance, and more.

Diablo II: afterword for the afterlife


The Sorceress is one of those rebellious women who managed to grasp the secrets of magic used mainly in the purely male magical clans of the East, a master of creating spells from the Great Nothing. She is not strong in martial arts but makes up for it with insane battle magic. Her recluse, motivation, and ethics are incomprehensible to those around her, and her unexpected capriciousness and refined causticness, alternating with each other, can alienate people. The Sorceress perfectly understands that the struggle between Order and Chaos is inevitable, and she is just one of the warriors in this battle.

The Sorceress is a hidden feminist, previously a Sorcerer. Perfectly masters the magic of the elements. Favorites (according to the first part) – the magic of fire, electricity, and cold. There’s everything from simple fireballs and ice arrows to meteors, fire hydras, chain lightning, thunder spells, and blizzards. The Sorceress is the “most colorful” character in the battle.

Diablo II

I won’t lie – I haven’t played with all the characters yet, but I tried everyone in battle. And there is no doubt that I will try to go through all of them (hell, I wrote almost the same word for word in the review Diablo IV – сomment from 2023).


Anyone who has previously accused Diablo of being said to be completely lacking in the story can breathe a sigh of relief. There is a plot, but what else! The transformation of the hero into Diablo, his journey through the Sanctuary, the burning of Tristram, the story of the capture of Baal and the sacrifice of Tal Rasha, the archangel Tyrael and the last stronghold of Light, the distortion of the teachings of Zakarum, the unification of the Lords of Darkness… The plot is good, just like Blizzard’s signature videos. I used to think that the best direction and cinematography was the “cartoon” for StarCraft: Brood War, but Diablo II made me change my mind. The artist who drew the archangel Tyrael deserves an award and an entry in the annals of the gaming industry. Of course, neither animated inserts nor plot twists in any way

Diablo II

All innovations and there are many of them, I must say, do not change the gameplay of the original game in the slightest. So, instead of Hellfire oil and runes, incendiary and poisonous “grenades” and precious stones appeared, which can be built into weapons, helmets, and shields. Yes, in Diablo II there are only two types of scrolls left – identification and portal (and in Diablo IV there are none at all and this is a valid decision – comment from 2023). And so what? This in no way affects the process of killing monsters and finding new weapons, armor, and decorations.

Diablo II

In general, despite their originality, all innovations in the game are no more than cosmetic. Something else is much more important – Blizzard thought everything through to the smallest detail. In this respect, Diablo II can be compared to Quake III Arena. Quakers know that nothing is random in their game – every turn of the corridor, every step, bridge, jump pad, location of weapons, boosters, ammo, spawn points, etc. – everything is thought out, calculated, and tested millions of times. Even those things, in the placement of which there is no logic at first glance, are subject to the strict laws of the game. So it is in Diablo: seemingly insignificant details serve one purpose – the perfect balancing of the game. Little things like reduced belt size, item lighting, monster description, ability hotkeys, mana recovery, stationary teleporters, full artifact description, chest, and more (especially for Igor – comment from 2023) make the game easier, faster, and more dynamic. The management is intuitive, the interface is not overloaded, the rules are simple to the point of incomparability – what else do you need for normal gaming happiness? Perhaps a full-fledged multiplayer!

Diablo II


Continuing the analogy with Quake III Arena, we can say that Diablo II’s single-player mode is nothing more than training before serious online battles… something like a game with bots. In this light, the save mode, where the player restarts the journey in the nearest city, and all monsters, including quest ones, are respawned (by the way, all dungeons are also generated anew), does not seem far-fetched. It’s just that Blizzard decided to bring the single-player version of the game as close as possible to multiplayer. It is worth adding the “immortality” of the character, and the ban on looting, and some special abilities of the same Barbarian and Paladin, which are fully revealed only in the network game. I’m referring to the Paladin’s party-wide auras and the Barbarian’s various warcries – they don’t make much sense in single-player.

Diablo II

So what has changed in online play? First, it should be noted the improved protection of both game servers and characters. Now that all information about heroes is stored on the Battle.net servers, the possibility of cheating, which made life difficult for honest gamers and led to the collapse of the network version of the first Diablo, is nullified. What’s more, I haven’t heard any reports of successful Battle.net hacks and cheats yet. Second, novice players can now fear the infamous PK (anyone else remembers this term? RK – Player Killer – comment from 2023) to start a character war, it is necessary to officially announce it on neutral territory (in the city), at the same time, all teleporters placed by opposing players disappear, and they can no longer use other people’s portals. In addition, the beginning of “combat” is possible only between characters who have reached “adulthood” – at least the 9th level. Third, a normal trade regime has appeared, which excludes fraud. Fourth, the already mentioned personal chest for storing gold and some things. Fifth, it became easier to collect unique artifacts. Sixth, improved communication between players, and interaction in parties. And so on.

Diablo II

For adrenaline lovers, in addition to the usual characters, there are so-called True Heroes, which, unlike normal ones, are mortal, that is, they die only once, but forever (Blizzard is not responsible for your True Heroes). Battle.net maintains separate rankings for regular characters and True Heroes.

In a word, try it yourself – you won’t regret it. There are already Russian-speaking (sorry! – comment from 2023) Diablo II clans on European game servers. Join us and… happy Diablo hunting.

Diablo II


“Since the beginning of time, the forces of Order and Chaos have waged an eternal war in which the fates of all the Living are decided. Now this war has come to the world of mortals. Neither Humans, Demons, nor Angels can stay away from the great battle.

After Diablo took possession of the body of the hero who had defeated him, he continued his evil plans to enslave people by joining forces with the other carriers of the Primal Evil, Mephisto and Baal. And only you can decide the outcome of this final clash.”

Everything is just beginning.

(A strange epilogue, it is more like the beginning of the article and is not needed at all, except that I did not have enough characters for 3 pages – a comment from 2023.)

Diablo II

Long road’s end
What fires burn within my heart and force me to contend
With the perils that await me at this tragic journey’s end?.
I have walked the roads that lead to Hell, I have challenged all but Fate.
I have fought and bled and carried on just to reach this final gate.
And now the task before me looms, this dire deed undone;
I shall make my stand against the Three until the battle’s won.
What fear or wound would ever still this last defiant cry,
As I stand against the Shadow ‘neath the endless burning sky?
Christopher Vincent Metzen

P.S. From 2023 At one time, in 2000, we didn’t give Diablo II an “Editor’s Choice” award simply because such an award did not exist in the Home PC at the time. Well, let’s right this injustice today!

P.P.S. From 2023 Many of Diablo II’s game mechanics seem redundant now, and some solutions are strange, such as the catastrophically small inventory. First Diablo III, and then Diablo IV discarded ID scrolls and portals, potions, and improved the interface and navigation. But despite all these archaic things, Diablo II is still quite playable, as evidenced by the reaction of players to the release of Diablo II: Resurrected. By the way, all the screenshots in the article are not the original Diablo II, but the Legacy mode of Diablo II: Resurrected, which can be switched with literally one button.

And about Diablo II: Resurrected. Until July 4, Battle.net has a sale with very good discounts. So it’s time to get acquainted with Diablo II / Diablo II: Resurrected if you missed those games. Now the remaster can be purchased with a 67% discount for only UAH 408.