Ah, Diablo. A game that I came to quite late – after it’s own sequel came out. In case you are a young punk, or simply have lived under the gaming equivalent of a rock, Diablo tells the story of a town under assault by the forces of Hell itself. Unbeknownst to the towns folk, the town’s cathedral was built upon the site where one of the three Prime Evils of their world, Diablo the Lord of Terror, was imprisoned. The King and his son are corrupted, and the town the town quakes in fear until a hero arrives. Guess who? Yep. Diablo basically originated most of the concepts of the ‘Action RPG’, where you still get to customize your character and their skills, but combat can be a frenzied click-click affair. There are 16 levels, which were randomized for each new playthrough. Character selection were the standard Warrior (smash-em up melee guy), Rogue (ranged weapon master), Sorcerer (magic user). Half of the fun for me (both in this game and it’s sequel) was the loot. Randomly generated items of various strengths could drop, and hours could go by with you killing dudes and frantically checking the ground for a sweet new bow or axe.
I actually played through all of Diablo at work – my old job (at the Pit of Despair, for those in the know) had let us know they no longer required our services, and so many of us started to find things to do that weren’t, shall we say, work related. A network of our own might’ve been involved, strung over the top of the cubicle walls. But between games of Unreal Tournament, I played Diablo while still doing approximately 5 times as good of a job as that place deserved. Fond memories, these.
One interesting note, with Diablo, is that it had an ending that would probably have cause just as much of an uproar as Mass Effect 3 did now, had social media existed in any meaningful way back then. If you don’t want it spoiled, LOOK AWAY. At the end of the game, with the Lord of Terror defeated, your character walks up to the Soul Stone that imprisoned his essence…and JAMS IT INTO HIS OWN HEAD. Yes, Diablo will live on in you, and hello sequel! I remember some really ticked off folks back then. Considering there are already people with their dander up over Diablo III, which isn’t even released yet, I can only imagine the meme pictures and Hitler videos and what not that would be created today. Anyway, if you’ve never played it, you’ve missed out on a bit of gaming history. If you want to try something newer, I recommend Torchlight. Or heck, Diablo II.