Timeless Classics: Diablo
If I had to explain the word nostalgia to someone, I’d simply explain New Years night of 1996. An action role-playing game was released a month prior known as Diablo. My dad had received the game as a gift, and Diablo just so happened to have an install spawn for multiple computers. It was just a demo for multiplayer, but still better than nothing. A friend of mine brought his computer over and we all adventured through the dungeons, hacking and slashing our way to victory. Eventually, we made our way down to the quarters of the Butcher, the first boss of the game. This is how we welcomed 1997. A night of Coca-Cola breaks, cheese and pickles, and a good old fashion LAN party.
What’s the Beef?
If you’ve never played an ARPG, this is the game to start at. There’s been several clones throughout the years, but nothing really comes close to the world of Diablo I & II. However, if you have played a game like Torchlight, you may be interested to see it’s father in all it’s glory. Torchlight is a clone of all clones to the original, minus the lack of multiplayer. But for everyone else that has no idea what Torchlight is either, Diablo is a minimum story role-playing game based solely of action. There’s no pausing in the middle of gameplay like in Dungeon & Dragons titles. You just battle and continue to do so until you’re out of health potions. Everything is quick and keeps you on your toes. If you die, you lose your gear. There’s reward and punishment.
You choose between 3 different types of characters and battle your way through a dungeon that has so many lairs, it hits the very center of earth – hell. Throughout the game, you’ll battle several different types of enemies and bosses, including the big red guy himself. But the fun really comes from playing with another friend. Sure, the game stands alone, but the way the game feels it was meant to be played is on Battle.net or through LAN.
Why It Matters?
With more action role-playing games coming up, it’s always good to look at games in the past to see how well they did them. You can then compare the two and make a decision of whether the older title did things better or the newer game. Diablo still holds up today, if you can get past older graphics. There’s still usually a couple of people even still playing the game on Battle.net (which says a lot). It’s an overall great game and manages to stay fresh with random generating layouts and loot dropping. There’s really still nothing that has beaten the Diablo series. All of the clones manage to get parts of it spot on, or even better, but then manage to ignore the rest of the magic that’s included in this series. For instance, a terrific clone known as Titan Quest managed to get most of the feel of the game, but still was missing something dark that was found in the original game. It’s hard to explain unless you experience a great LAN party in the original universe.
Maybe it’s just the nostalgia of that first night. Or maybe it’s just quality craftsmanship shows after all of these years.