On the surface, Diablo looks to be your typical hack-’n'-slash dungeon crawl. You take your character into a dungeon to kill the evil things within and come back out with loot. However the apparent simplicity is belied by the increasingly complicated story, which you slowly unravel as you plumb the depths of the dungeon.

I’m not going to pretend to fully understand the story of this game, but here are some highlights, which I’ll probably get completely wrong: Demon gets trapped in crystal → Demon wants out and manages to telepathically control priest → Priest kidnaps king’s son → king goes mad with grief → Possessed priest says that demons did it → Grief-addled king sends troops to find kidnapped son → Troops get slaughtered → One of the handful that survives realized that the king is off his nut, and kills him → king turns undead and enslaves the souls of the troops → king’s son becomes new vessel for spirit of lead deamon → then the game starts.

Now I’ll grant you that the bulk of the story happens before the game starts, but you don’t really know about it until you play through it, talk to the townsfolk, and read the books that are scattered about. You start out with the goal of exterminating the evil from the church.

You essentially just walk around the dungeons and look for stuff to kill. Along the way the things you bludgeon to death will drop money, armor, weapons, and miscellaneous items that you collect to use or to take back to town to sell. It’s all pretty straightforward. The only problem you’ll come across is this: about halfway through the game you’ll encounter some enemies that will hit you with a ranged attack (think bow and arrow). You walk toward them to put them in a world of pain, and they walk away from you to get away. Since you can’t speed up to come up with them, and if you’ve picked a melee class (no ranged attacks) like I did my first time through, you end up with a series of incredibly tedious low-speed chases.

Beyond that significant annoyance this game is pretty solid, and the almost completely nonsensical ending sets the stage for the sequel, which we’ll get into another day.

One Response to “Diablo”

  1. [...] really liked the original Diablo game, but found it to be a little repetitive after a while. So I was kind of interested in the [...]

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