The Diablo series is the most important series in my life. While I missed Diablo, I caught its sequel by the throat on release day and was hooked for a good…well, I’m still off-and-on addicted. So sue me. Diablo II was everything I wanted. It was fast paced, exciting, the gathering of objects was awesome, leveling was fun, playing through the game more than once was fun.
I love the Diablo series so much, that when Diablo III was announced, I called every friend I knew that ever played it and told them to check the website so they could experience the surprise. I was SO happy.
I waited 12 years for Diablo III. I got it at the midnight prerelease and tried playing the game, and we all know of the infamous Error 37. I thought about writing a first hour review of just “error 37” every minute for an hour. But anyway…
But I expected servers to be destroyed…I mean, it IS battle.net. But you know what? Despite being more than happy to wait for the servers to be available to me: I wish I had never bought it.
The truth is, this game disappointed me in almost every way possible. Let’s talk about why and what.
The original Diablo was introduced to me by a friend probably no more than 3 years after its release, before my highschool years. Diablo would eventually see some of the most unforgettable and impactful gaming moments of our childhoods, and those of our closest friends—largely due to how much it scared the crap out of us. The first time I laid eyes on The Butcher and heard that deep, grating voice—"Ah... Fresh meat"—I slammed the door to his lair in his face and ran all the way out of the dungeon (a little excessive since enemies can't use doors). I can distictly recall at least two other moments that caused me to toss my mouse or phone (I was talking to said friend while playing once) in suprise and fear. Ah, the good old days.
Diablo II and its expansion would demand exponentially larger amounts of our attention due to its improved graphics, presentation, story, and gameplay (both online and off). It was a staple in our gaming repertoires, and inspired many discussions and stories of our own. I spent a good deal of my time every night reading through Brady Games' strategy guide.
When all was said and done, standing in the wake of the Worldstone's destruction, Diablo fans were sure we would someday see a sequel. It was just a question of when. The answer came at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Paris on June 28, 2008, though it would be many years more before an official release date was announced. On March 15, 2012, Blizzard finally announced that the release date was only two short months away.
And now, 11 years in the making, Diablo III couldn't have come at a more awkward time for me... I'm currently in the middle of two jobs, one of which takes up the entirety of my weekends. Throw in a small spat of the flu and new member of the family (a stray cat my girlfriend decided to bring home one night), and I'm left which much less time to play, let alone write, as I would've liked...but I finally found the time, and you didn't come hear to read my whining, so let's jump into the first hour of Diablo III.
On November 30th, 1996 the world was rocked by the release of what is quite possibly the start of the isometric hack’n’slash genre: Diablo. It was renowned for its remarkably dark atmosphere, creative character customization, easy control scheme and extremely in-depth storytelling.
Not only did it have all of this, it also had online multiplayer via a free service called Battle.net that is also host to virtually all of Blizzard's games.
After a few years of garnering international success, it was announced that a sequel was in the works. Diablo II was released on June 29th, 2000. For me, educationally, it was all downhill from there.
This is part one of a multi-part review and historical remembrance of Diablo II. We also played the first hour of Diablo II a few years ago.
When selecting my next magazine to read with rose-colored glasses, I decided to go with PC Gamer, a magazine that was hugely influential over my middle and high school years. I never actually had a subscription to PC Gamer, I instead bought single issues of it in preparation for long vacations in the car as my family drove to Florida or New Jersey. PC Gamer was always more "adult" for me. I didn't have a lot of experience to base this on besides Nintendo Power and Game Players, but PC gaming was always inherently edgier and PC Gamer was written for a slightly older crowd.
So of the 13 issues of PC Gamer I apparently still own, my first was the June 1996 featuring X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter on the cover. The moment I saw this issue at the local Shopko, I undoubtedly became a man. Not only was I a huge Star Wars fan, but I had loved the original TIE Fighter and the magazine came with a CD. My very own compact disc filled with game demos and an AOL installation!
Hopefully I won't go as in depth with this issue as I did with my first issue of Nintendo Power (I did, whoops). I couldn't find this magazine scanned already online, so I did the scans myself, I apologize that they suck. Let's dive into PC Gamer 14 years ago.
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.