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Retro Games: Diablo

by: Eric Christiansen ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 5/2/2012 • Leave a comment

With Blizzard's announcement of Diablo 3, it's time for players, old and new alike, to get back to their gaming roots. Diablo is known for its unique action-RPG style in a fantasy world where battles rage between the forces of good and evil. To win the game, the warriors must engage in combat against Diablo's demons and minions while enduring sixteen levels of a sinister and enigmatic labyrinth. It further stretches its replay value by allowing players to play in a local network or on and offers a classic PC game experience for those who have never played it before.

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    Story & Appearance

    Players are brought into the medieval world of Sanctuary, where an unholy attack of demons from another realm has reined death and destruction upon the town of Tristram. It is unknown as to where these demons have come from, but it seems to have something to do with the archbishop Lazarus. After players select their class, they begin in the town immediately following the release of the demons from the cathedral. As the hero character explores this labyrinth, they continue to uncover more information about the origins of the demons, the kidnapping of the king's son, and Diablo's ultimate goal of destruction on the mortal world.

    It's easy to say, looking back more than ten years from the release that Diablo is very limited in graphical prowess and range of classes, while having a very basic hack-and-slash style of gameplay. With that in mind, Diablo still retains a classic PC appeal by showing that it doesn't take high-end graphics to make a game appealing. Much of Diablo's strength comes from its gothic theme and detailed dungeons. There is also enough back story and depth to draw RPG fans to Diablo's story, which continues further in the sequel, while still keeping the attention of other gamers with continuous action.


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    Gameplay, Multiplayer, & the Left Mouse Button

    At the start of the game, players choose their character class, which are warrior, sorcerer, and rogue. Each type has their own strengths and weaknesses, although each class can still use most of the same techniques and weapons. The RPG setup is very simple; all units have a hit point system, defeating enemies yields experience points, each level gained gives points to increase stats, and weapons and armor can be upgraded as the game progresses. The action element means that battles are not random and enemies will attack the moment they see the player. It would be nice to have some type of energy bar for the enemy to see the health, but it's only a minor inconvenience. If players do not want to go the quest alone, they can team up with a friend over a local network or on Having teammates not only makes the game more interesting, but can make for better strategy by having different classes in the same battle.

    One aspect of Diablo that may tire players quickly is the constant clicking of the left mouse button. Basically all games use the left mouse button for some purpose, but Diablo uses it for virtually every command, action, or movement in the game. Movement, of course, is the reason players will be doing most of the mouse clicking. Unlike typical movement keys (i.e. WSAD or arrows), characters are moved about the map by clicking on the spot where players want their hero to go, which means that you'll be clicking a whole lot just move around. This action can get repetitive especially in areas where all the enemies have been defeated. In addition, attacks can only be performed by constantly clicking on your opponent, which is random hit and miss chance.

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    Diablo is vintage gaming at its finest and is a must-play for any true PC and RPG players out there. One of the conveniences of playing a retro PC game is that any computer less than eight years old will be able to run Diablo with no problems and practically no load times. The multiplayer is an added plus to Diablo and the plot will attract gamers to the second installment, along with the eventual third.

    In Diablo, Blizzard have succeeded in making a classic series that will be remembered by players and game developers for a long time.

Diablo Reviews

This article series takes us back to review some retro Diablo games and other games like it.
  1. Retro Games: Diablo
  2. The Ultimate Diablo Battle Chest Review
  3. Best Diablo Clones Series