Diablo II

Diablo II
Diablo II Cover
Platforms Windows, Mac, OSX
Genre Endless Clicks Hack and Slash
MtAMinutes to Action 9
Score 8  Clock score of 8Gameplay: 8
Fun Factor: 9
Gfx/Sound: 8
Story: 7
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Diablo II is the super popular hack and slash released on the PC in 2000. It has probably broken more computer mouses than any other game because of the excessive clicking involved in its hacking and slashing. I'm personally a Diablo II virgin and have barely played the original, so this was admittedly, quite the experience! At least I can say I've played it with Diablo III announced and looking amazing.

A few notes, I also have Lord of Destruction installed so I can capture higher resolution screenshots (800x600 vs. 640x480), but I'll try to treat it as I'm just playing the regular game. And if you're interested, as I guess it really matters, I'll be playing version 1.07. Oh yeah, if you're a big fan of Blizzard, check out my Lost Vikings review after you read about Diablo II's first hour.

Minute by Minute

(minutes are in bold)
00 - I select Single Player and the first hour of Diablo II begins. First thing up is to select my character class and name them. My options are Amazon, Assassin, Necromancer, Barbarian, Paladin, Sorceress, and Druid. I believe a melee class is always a safe choice when first starting out, so I select the Barbarian. I name him Greg, a very barbarous name, and click OK. After a bit of loading the game starts right off. Some guy yells at me but I ignore him while I get acquainted with the controls.

Diablo 2 Character Select Barbarian

01 - I click on Warriv to speak with him and he tells me about how Lord Diablo just caused a bunch of trouble at the town of Tristram, and that recently some guys came through the town and went east. He suggests I also talk to Akara.

02 - I can continue talking to Warriv by clicking on him, he tells me some gossip about Akara. She's the Rogues' High Priestess.

03 - I speak with Kashya, who seems to be a commander of these Rogues. Pressing the tab key brings up a map overlay and shows me where Akara is, time to get this show on the road.

Diablo 2 Game Start Rogue Encampment

05 - Akara asks me to help them lift a curse put on the Rogues. Seems like my first mission. I have to find the dark labyrinth and destroy the beasts within.

06 - I can trade with Akara but I don't have any money. I bring up the quest log, my first quest is called Den of Evil.

08 - Holding the control key runs, that will be ever useful. Time to leave town and kill some baddies.

Diablo 2 Rogue Encampment Overlay Map

09 - I killed my first zombie! In one blow from my axe! I kill another one and pick up a minor health potion.

10 - Just killed a Quill Rat, easy enough.

11 - Crap! I tried to open a chest but it caught on fire and injured me. Bastards! That was the game's first chest!

Diablo 2 Barbarian Chest On Fire

12 - So far, so good, but there's a woman shooting arrows at me from the distance, her name is Flavie. Can I talk to her? Ah yes, she warns me I'm too weak to go on. I guess that was friendly.

13 - Level up! Now I can mess with my stats... I up my Strength and Dexterity by two each, and my Vitality by one.

15 - I find some experience totem and it allows me to learn a new skill I believe... I select the only one available: Bash! I also found the Den of Evil... am I powerful enough? Let's try it.

Diablo 2 Barbarian Stat Sheet Level Up

17 - Pretty evil in this here den! A gargantuan beast approached me and it took about three hits to take him down. I also found a dead rogue.

18 - My quest log has been updated, I have to kill all the enemies in the Den. Just killed a couple pipsqueak demons called Fallen. One of them was even a shaman.

20 - Just fought a small horde of fallen, picked up a key in the process too. Everything pretty much goes down in one hit. Advantage of being a barbarian in the first level I suppose.

Diablo 2 Den Of Evil Demon Fallen Fireball

21 - Just noticed when fighting another gargantuan beast that their health bar appears behind their name. Very useful on enemies I don't kill in one hit!

24 - Crap, I'm fighting a Corpsefire and I can't seem to hit him! Retreat! I drink some minor healing potions to refill, looks like I did get him down to half health. Time to bash his head in.

25 - Leveled up on him! And I only have a few monsters left according to my log.

Diablo 2 Den Of Evil Corpsefire Barbarian

27 - I kill the final enemy in the Den and some harmonious music plays while light streams into the previous dark cave. I have to return to Akara... "The road is safe, for the moment," my character mutters. (I looked it up and he actually says "The Rogues are safe, for the moment.")

28 - I'm back out into the grassy fields of the Blood Moor outside of town. The rain picks up again. Nice effect.

31 - My reward is to train in the skill of my choice? Huh? Ah, free skill upgrade. Bash to level 3!

Diablo 2 Barbarian Skill Tree

33 - With some money in my pocket I talk to Charsi, the blacksmith to see if she can fashion me something. Well, she has plenty to sell, but I don't have enough money nor I do I know what I can actually equip.

34 - I also have a chat with Gheed, who is a trader, also out of my price range at the moment. Though I could sell my javelins for over 200 gold, what if I want to use them?

35 - I'm heading towards that exit that I was blocked from before.

Diablo 2 Cold Plains Gargantuan Beast Bloody

37 - Though I still see it as my social responsibility to take out any zombies, rats, or demons I see along the way!

38 - Flavie let's me through this time, thanks! I'm entering the Cold Plains. I step on a Cold Plains waypoint and activate it, probably for traveling here quick later on.

39 - I quickly get attacked my three human looking demons as I approach a dead rogue. They go down easily enough though. Ah, they're called Dark Hunters.

Diablo 2 Barbarian Stamina Shrine

41 - I pick up a Cap from a Dark Hunter and the game equips it for me, thanks! There are a lot more enemies out here in larger packs. Have to keep a closer eye on my health.

42 - My inventory is nearly maxed out, I'm carrying a bunch of junk I don't need, like arrows.

44 - I'm perilously close to dying but I'm also almost level four... ah, there we go. Once you level up, your health refills. I love games that do that.

Diablo 2 House On Fire Bloody Dead Demons

46 - Just found a burning building that's overrun with demons, I knock them down one by one into bloody messes.

48 - I raid another house, this one was not on fire. Wish I had some direction on what to do and where to go, though hacking and slashing is still fun.

49 - The demon shamans can bring dead demons back to life, I wonder if I get double experience points for that?

Diablo 2 Barbarian Wave Of Destruction

52 - I'm leaving waves of dead in my wake. Now give me a mission!

53 - Woah, a new enemy, a crow! Maybe I'm on the right track. Oh... I'm entering the Stony Field.

55 - Holy cow, some of these enemies are a lot tougher! I just fought two "Champion" Dark Rangers, they took a lot of hits, but I got about 300 gold from them! I think I'll head back into the Cold Plains... Nah, never mind. I'm going to keep fighting here.

Diablo 2 Tons Of Bad Guys Run Away

57 - Run away! Just had about 20 blue demons chasing me, I lost a few then took out the stragglers. Fun stuff. Also found some kind of Call Stone that prompted my character say something about how old they were.

58 - Crap, now I'm really running away from some demon named Rakanishu! He won't stop chasing me! What is this? Final Fantasy XI? Lose interest, get out of here!

59 - I turn to fight one more time and he kills me. I dropped 447 gold! Also lost my weapons and armor? Wow... can I do a corpse run? And look at this, Kashya is giving me a mission! Have to go to the monastary graveyard to stop someone from raising the dead into zombies. It's next to the Cold Plains, well that's where I was!

60 - Okay, one minute left... I warp to the Cold Plains from the encampment and my dead body is about 20 feet away. I loot myself and instantly equip everything I had! Nice! Now I'm running away again back into the portal as my friend Rakanishu is still interested in dealing death. That's the end of the first hour of Diablo II!

Time for some scores out of 10.

Diablo 2 You Are Dead Gregs Corpse

First Hour Scores

Minutes to Action: 9

Gameplay: 8
Diablo II's first hour gameplay is as about as simple as you can get. Point and click (click click click). This doesn't mean it is simple or easy though, I was surprised and satisfied that I was actually close to dying at times. Well, I did die once! The game had no fear when it tossed really strong enemies at me, I was impressed. I wish the first dungeon would have had a boss though, then the game would have been encroaching on a 10 in this category.

Fun Factor: 9
There's really nothing more satisfying that killing zombies or Nazis, and Diablo II's first hour takes the high road and only features one of them. I've only played a couple of hack and slash games similar to this and Diablo II was one of the most fun I've ever had. It features a healthy mix of blood, gore, steel, and death at the tip of my mouse clicking finger.

Graphics and Sound: 8
Amazing textures and sprites, great art direction, voice acting, and decent music, not a bad first hour for Diablo II. I wish I could have upped the resolution from 800x600 (only available using the expansion, otherwise only 640x480) to something a bit higher, but it was 2000, so I can't really complain. There were some really great looking effects on the various characters, and the death animations were sweet too.

Story: 7
Diablo II's story in its first hour kind of confused me. Why was a God of War-esque barbarian in the middle of a rogue encampment? Seriously though, for a hack and slash, Diablo II does a pretty good job establishing itself and the world around it. What more does someone need to know other than someone is in trouble and you're the only one that can stop them?

Overall: 8
I've said this before, but games that most impress me the most in their first hour are the games I want to keep playing. Diablo II definitely qualifies for this, so hopefully you'll be seeing a Beyond the First Hour Review in the coming months. This was a fun experience, but do we expect anything less from Blizzard?

Diablo 2 Barbarian Official Art