GD Star Rating
If you’ve played Diablo, reading my review will simply be a confirmation of something you already know: this game rocks. We here at GameGoldies try to avoid such phrases because they tend to get overused and fail to convey real specifics. But in this case, I can’t avoid saying it: Diablo truly rocks. If you know this, your time is probably better spent playing Diablo than reading this … if you want to see what all the fuss is about, I’ll do my best to clue you in.
Diablo, in my opinion, is the first completely successful combination of role-playing and real-time action to hit the PC. There have been successful RPGs and great action games, but never a combination that played so easily and offered so much as the first Diablo. Until 1997, RPGs were basically a niche market, mostly bought and played by diehard Dungeons and Dragons types. Similarly, action games have traditionally been focused on inducing an adrenaline rush, with only the occasional half-hearted attempts to incorporate role-playing or character-building elements.
Unfortunately Diablo is no longer supported by Blizzard, the only information I could find on their websites about this ol’ game is on the legacy page.
As mentioned above, Blizzard is not supporting Diablo 1 any longer, and they are not selling it on the Blizzard Store eather. The only place where you could buy a copy of Diablo is Amazon. Beware of the Best Seller Series though, they are just shareware versions!
If you don’t mind being a pirate and probably breaking the laws in your country, you can download Diablo
- From ThePirateBay via the BitTorrent network:
- From the following RapidShare links:
http://rapidshare.com/files/130762458/diablo.part1.rar http://rapidshare.com/files/130773193/diablo.part2.rar http://rapidshare.com/files/130782249/diablo.part3.rar http://rapidshare.com/files/130790319/diablo.part4.rar http://rapidshare.com/files/130797816/diablo.part5.rar http://rapidshare.com/files/130806474/diablo.part6.rar http://rapidshare.com/files/130811999/diablo.part7.rar
- Or from the following HotFile.com links:
http://hotfile.com/dl/19118215/f8c4ee0/Diablo_Pc_Iso___1.09_Patch.part1.rar.html http://hotfile.com/dl/19117740/cc84889/Diablo_Pc_Iso___1.09_Patch.part2.rar.html http://hotfile.com/dl/19117407/35717a2/Diablo_Pc_Iso___1.09_Patch.part3.rar.html http://hotfile.com/dl/19118085/d4089e8/Diablo_Pc_Iso___1.09_Patch.part4.rar.html http://hotfile.com/dl/19118409/80434f0/Diablo_Pc_Iso___1.09_Patch.part5.rar.html http://hotfile.com/dl/19117765/e7e3427/Diablo_Pc_Iso___1.09_Patch.part6.rar.html
If the download sources above don’t work, please leave a comment…
So why did Diablo succeed where so many others have failed? There are several reasons. First, and maybe foremost, is the wonderful design and implementation of the game’s interface. The lower portion of your screen tells you what you need to know at a glance: most importantly, your health and mana levels. The upper portion of the screen is your window to the world of Diablo, where you perform all real-time actions in the game. Now, other games had at least accomplished this much (even Doom), but not the simplicity and ingenuity of your character’s pop-up screens.
Many types of information cannot be included on your main character screen, simply for lack of real estate. These include your inventory, spellbook, and character attributes. To solve this, other RPGs have usually made you visit a special room or (worse) taken you out of the action completely to enter an inventory or separate screen, do your business, then return to the game. Diablo ingeniously uses popup screens that cover only half of the action window at a time, which you can access by pressing the corresponding button on the lower portion of the main screen. Huh? Ok, picture this: you’re fighting a gang of skeletons, and you realize that you forgot to wear that new armor you just bought. It would help your cause considerably. What do you do, run away somewhere so you can get into your inventory? No. Just click the “Inv.” button to open the inventory on the right half of the action window, grab the armor, and drop it over the the chest of your inventory body. Bam. Now you’re protected, and the whole while you’ve been able to keep fighting on the other half of the screen!
Also wonderful is the map feature. You can turn the map on or off with the TAB key, and it will greatly improve your efficiency in searching and clearing levels. Unlike maps in other games, this one doesn’t replace your action window: it’s just a ghostly overlay that helps you get your bearings. You can quickly scan the map to see what areas of a level you have missed or to remember where the stairs were to the next level. Since map movement and character movement are independent, you can look quickly over the whole level while you are moving in a different direction.
But perhaps my favorite feature is the “belt,” a series of instant use slots on screen where you can keep scrolls and potions, then simply right-click on one to use it. This is a savior in tough battles, because it allows you to drink health potions without even a hitch in the action. You can also have a spell prepared for use and simply right-click in the action window to use it. There are so many different things you can do in Diablo, but doing them in combination or sequence is so easy and intuitive because of the outstanding interface design.
One reason Diablo is such a great value is its replayability. Every time you start a new game, single- or multiplayer, the maps of the dungeons are drawn differently than they were in the last game. You’ll probably have different quests as well, because the 5-8 quests in a given game are pulled randomly from a set of around 40 different quests. Finally, the items and monsters found in each game will vary. Combine these variations with the choice of three character classes, and you can play single-player Diablo for quite a while.
But single-player was a small training session for Blizzard’s free online service, Battle.net. You could play endlessly if you wanted to … playing in teams or hunting down other players. And talk about replayability! There were hundreds of games going on at once, so if the dungeon was picked clean on one, you could just hop to another game; if the Smith didn’t have any good weapons to sell in a given game, you’d try another and another: each online game had not only different players, but also different map layouts and different items to be found.
I remember very well the Player Killers — dastardly souls who will killed you for sport or to get half your gold and an ear for a trophy! Most players on the Battle.net service were helpful to new players, including most of the higher-level characters. But in any such environment, there were and will always be a few loose cannons. Whatever the case, back in the day if you didn’t have an unlimited-access account with your ISP when starting a game on Battle.net, hours drifted on by and you had to extend the mortgage credit.
Diablo is played from an isometric perpective, like Origin’s Crusader: No Remorse. One of Blizzard’s nice touches is the partial transparency of walls downscreen from your character. This allows you to easily scan for objects or doors, and you never “lose” your character behind a wall as in some games (Total Mayhem, for instance). This means that no matter what nook or cranny you crawl into, you’ll always be able to see where you are. In a game where you fight by clicking the mouse on your opponents, this is vital. The graphics themselves are gorgeously rendered in SVGA, and you have the option to zoom in on the action if you like or stay back for a wider view of your surroundings. Many, many different types of monsters will be found, most being offshoots of a basic type (e.g., there are skeletons with axes, some with swords, some with bows, some that glow red, some that glow yellow, etc.) These are all technically different monster types, each with its own damage and vulnerability levels.
There are too many nice graphic touches in the game for me to mention them all, but they include: when you use a spell and a swirling cloud of magic momentarily envelops you; when you break open a barrel and a skeleton doesn’t just appear, but actually rises up out of the barrel as if he were crouching in it; when you get better armor and your on-screen character actually appears different because of it. (This allows you to tell which characters in a multiplayer game might be the most helpful — the most dangerous.) The list goes on and on. Suffice it to say that the development team and the artists involved not only knew what they were doing technically, but had some inspiration and imagination to go along with it.
The music in Diablo is enchanting, and complements the graphics and gameplay perfectly. It was composed by Matt Uelmen. Real acoustic guitars are featured, along with other stringed instruments and flutes, combining to provide a mostly soft, mysterious, and fairly authentic medieval feel. In times of combat, the pace often quickens and drums or horn sounds may be introduced.
You’ll also find different music depending on where you are physically in the game. In the town, for instance, you’ll hear mostly the guitar and flute playing a soft, open theme called -guess- Tristram – Download the MP3; while in the catacombs, you’ll often hear more drums and silence, mixed with wonderful creaking, crackling and groaning effects.
The sound effects were every bit as impressive and customized as the music, many monsters died with their own “song,” and some of them are quite gruesome — ah, the sound of liquefied brain matter sloshing on the dungeon floor. Gross, yes, but usually in an almost comic way, and nevertheless consistently realistic.
Blizzard’s docs are always a pleasure. They never simply give you the system requirements, game options, and troubleshooting guide. Instead, they go beyond the call of duty by adding in all sorts of wonderful illustrations of game characters and thorough storylines. The only sadness is that most players briefly glance at the book and then toss it in a drawer because the games are so good and so intuitive that people just start playing them.
The Diablo download (CD image) takes about 600 MegaBytes but when installed it requires only about ten MegaBytes on your HDD!
(From the manual) Windows: P-60, 8 MB RAM, Win 95, SVGA capable video card, Microsoft compatible mouse, 2X CD-ROM drive. Note: you may need to buy extra copies of the game to play over a LAN.
Reviewed on: My high-end Pentium I @120Mhz, 16 MB of RAM, Diamond Stealth 64 video-card.
Diablo is, hands-down, the best RPG I’ve played in my life. Blizzard’s formula of fantastic design, intuitive gameplay, spectacular graphics, inspired music and sound effects, sheer number of monsters and unique items, and the multiplayer put Diablo and StarCraft (which by the way you can download for free too) at a high level of excellence that future releases never reached – well maybe they did but I’m a nostalgic retro gamer…
Continued on page 2 with Diablo screenshots…
Diablo by Blizzard Entertainment,