Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Sunday, 18 June 2006
We take a look at Blizzard’s best selling game, Diablo. Does it still hold the line? Read our review to find out.

Pure evil has swept the kingdom of Khandaras and you are the only one left to stop the
mayhem. Diablo has an ok story with very good twists and turns. Most of the story evolves above ground in the village where you can talk to people and hear gossip.

Diablo is mainly set underground where all the evil monsters live, including Diablo himself. The environments aren’t shifting much, basically dungeons built by grey bricks with some arches and pillars. As you advance you will encounter a number of enemies from skeletons to scary demons. You will earn gold during the quest, either by slashing enemies or finding chests. The gold can be used to buy weapons and scrolls in the village.

In the game there are three characters; warrior, rouge and sorcerer. Each of them has their own capabilities the rouge being a mixture of warrior and sorcerer using a bow.A nice feature in the game is the fact that you can improve your character by earning battle experience. The more experience points the less you have to work to put those demons in their proper place.

The game is however far from other RPG games in which you can evolve your character on a number of levels. In Diablo Blizzard has chosen to simply strip the usual RPG elements and go straight for the fighting, so I guess you could dub this game an action-RPG. Perhaps this game appeals more to action gamers than the usual RPG fans.

As Blizzard chose to put more focus on the fighting they really should have done the fighting more dynamic and interactive. Basically you just press the right mouse button and aim the mouse at the enemy. For faster slashing press the mouse buttons faster. Not really that dynamic or fun since you have little control of the outcome.

When this game was released it really had good graphics, and I still think that they are perfectly ok. Sure the environments are no way near later RPG games, such as Icewind Dale, Silver and others. But then this game was released two years earlier.

Diablo was among the first games that introduced the action-RPG concept combined with an isometric view. The isometric perspective was really cool back in 1996 but it also has its downsides. One of them is that it’s hard to see walls and sometimes enemies behind those walls. Blizzard solved the problem by outlines of the enemies behind the walls but the solution isn’t always that great. It can also be hard to control exactly where you want the character to go, especially when it comes to parking the character near a corner.

The game also features a nice and extensive multiplayer mode. Unfortunately we haven’t tested it fully but it was quite popular when the game came out. Diablo took full advantage of the Internet and Blizzard’s battle.net.

Blizzard made a nice soundtrack for the game which adds a lot. As always I would have wanted more tracks to create some variety, but all in all ok.

One have to take into account the huge success this game was in 1996 and that it presented a whole new branch of games. Time has taken its toll on the game but it’s still fun to play and really a true classic.

Related: Silver, Beyond Divinity
Developer: Blizzard
Website for Game: http://www.blizzard.com/diablo/
Publisher: Blizzard
O/S: Windows 95/98/MEXP
Cost of Full Game: N/A
Year of Release: 1996

Pentium 60 MHz, 8 MB RAM
Tested on:
AMD Athlon 64 2.2 GHz, 2x512 MB RAM, Geforce 4 64 MB

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