Gameplay of the Diablo Battle Chest (4 out of 5)
While the gameplay remains the same at the core of all games included (move by clicking, click enemies to attack them) the most recent of these games will outshine the original. While the classic feel of Diablo cannot be over-shadowed within the Diablo Battle Chest, gameplay has come a long way since the first of the series. Note that this does not make the original bad in any way as it is still an excellent game and a masterpiece of its time, but objectively comparing these games side-by-side the sequel surpasses the original in this aspect. This is wholly a win for the player though, as several current generation games still have difficulty being as rewarding to play as the original Diablo was.
The sequel built upon the original’s strengths and the expansion to the sequel added even more. The developers knew what gamers enjoyed (killing bad guys) and in turn rewarded their fans by continually increasing the combinations of how to come to that same satisfying conclusion.
In Layman’s terms: Diablo was great. Diablo 2 was awesome.
Diablo Battle Chest: Graphics (4 out of 5)
This is another section where the sequel will trump the original, but to fans this is to be expected. As stated above, the fans like destroying the bad guys. Other than new skills and abilities, how else can they make it more entertaining? By making it more shiny. Explosions look like explosions and lightning looks like lightning. The varied and detailed settings of each act of the latter game and it’s expansion remain impressive to this day, and the original just cannot compete directly in this regard.
But this topic sports a caveat! While the sequel is unquestionably more advanced in terms of graphics, many fans like the atmosphere of the original. Though animations were stilted and the images crude and unpolished as they can be today, be it enjoyment of ‘the good ol’ days’ or just the preference to old-school gaming (perhaps part of the reasoning behind the popularity of Minecraft) many fans love the style and aesthetics of the original.
Layman’s Terms: Everybody wins.
The Sounds of Battle (5 out of 5)
While staying in town in Diablo the game played a haunting and deep song that nailed the medieval setting while hinting at something dark at work just beyond the horizon. When you ventured into battle all music stopped completely and you were left with distant shrieks and grunts, generally repeating the same sound over and over again. In Diablo 2 the superb music returned, this time accompanying you from the moment you loaded the game to the second you shut it down, much to the player’s delight. Also the sound effects were much more varied, rarely would you hear a repeat in a single battle unless it ran long or you only used one skill constantly. In both games the towns folk spoke to the player both in text and audio, each with their own distinct personality shining through.
Controlling the Carnage (4 out of 5)
The controls across all games within the Diablo Battle Chest were simple: mouse clicking can get you everywhere and do anything, but keeping your hands on the keys to drink potions or swap skills is the most efficient way to play. Diablo 2 offered more options in this area, but there was not enough commotion in the original to warrant more than what it had, especially for the time it was released. All games offered exceptional controls and a tactical interface the requires the gamer to choose what loot they would carry, and what must be left behind.
The Diablo Battle Chest: Overall (5 out of 5)
It is rather interesting to see how the Diablo series has evolved from its roots and what this implies for the upcoming Diablo 3. Fans of these games will no doubt be overly thankful for this Diablo Battle Chest, even if they already own the games included. To get brand new copies of the installation CDs, the cases that hold them, and even the booklets provided within the Diablo Battle Chest can be a godsend for many long-time fans. With damaged disks the game cannot be played, and some gamers like to sport their gaming collection proudly upon a shelf. While many things can get damaged over the years, their love for this series cannot. If you know of anyone without this collection and happen to see a Diablo Battle Chest sale going on, you could hardly go wrong with getting it for that special someone this year.
This post is part of the series: Diablo Reviews
This article series takes us back to review some retro Diablo games and other games like it.