Hello gamers and a very, very happy Friday to you!
Clicking away in the #36 position…
Diablo is probably the greatest franchise that, in all honesty, really has no business being as good as it is. If there is anything that makes me believe in my heart of hearts that Blizzard is the best developer on the planet, it’s the fact that they made Diablo as enthralling, addictive and fun as they did. Let’s be real about this; every Diablo game adheres to the following sequence: click click click click death click loot click click click click death click loot. Yup. That’s it. Kill, loot, repeat. And somehow, it’s fucking awesome. I’m oversimplifying things a bit, I’ll grant you, but I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say the core gameplay of Diablo is as basic as things get. But, as much as it flies in the face of all logic, it makes the game better somehow. It’s not something I can explain; it just works. Now, specifically regarding Diablo II, Blizzard gave us more ways and more places to slaughter Hell’s endless hordes than we’d had in the original. The first Diablo game was purely a dungeoncrawler. You had the “town” of Tristram, (which consisted of Deckard Cain and, like, three other people), and the dungeon in which you fought Diablo and his minions, and that was it. In Diablo II, the world opened up. We got deserts, jungles, dungeons, Hell itself… yeah. Good times. The story broadened as well; like any good villain, Diablo refuses to stay dead, despite you murdering him with all the death in the first game. Not only is he back, he brings his buddies Mephisto and Baal along for the ride, and oh, by the way, they’re really pissed at you. Enjoy!
What I said at the beginning is really true; I have no idea how the fuck Diablo II is so much fun. Actually, you can say the same thing about its predecessor and it’s sequel. It makes zero sense. All you do is click the mouse or controller over and over again until whatever’s in front of you is all kinds of dead. There’s something that’s just really satisfying about the simple joy of it. Demons of every stripe come at you over and over again, and tearing them apart with blade and spell somehow never gets old. Its good, old-fashioned, fantasy-action carnage at it’s finest. It does help that Blizzard frames all of this within the confines of a pretty interesting story, if you have time to pay attention to it. I understand the urge to skip the story and go right to the monster-slaying, but it’s worth your time. I’m not religious, but if you have a yarn you want to spin me about a war between the Angels of the High Heavens and the Princes of Hell, holy shit do you ever have my attention. Any game where you have angels with wings made of light that wear kickass armor and own all kinds of face is okay by me. The Diablo lore and mythology is so good, it does make me wonder why the Christian community isn’t knocking down Blizzard’s door asking them for public relations assistance. I mean, what would you rather watch: a shitty Kirk Cameron movie about a bunch of people that disappear or Diablo: The Movie? That’s what I thought. If any religious group were to say “Hey, we’re all in with this Diablo thing. After the service, let’s kill some fucking demons”, I would be attending their church daily.
A SMALL SEED
The other main thing that set Diablo II apart from the original was the introduction of multiplayer. You had co-op, either over a LAN or via Battle.net, and PvP via the same. Blizzard is practically synonymous with online multiplayer these days thanks to a little game called World of Warcraft, but back in 2000 WoW was still four years away. Diablo II was Blizzard’s first meaningful foray into cooperative online play, (Starcraft still stands as their best outing for competitive play), and clearly they saw a little potential in it, because they’ve been milking the hell out of it for the last decade and change. Not that I blame them. When I review World of Warcraft in a few weeks, I’ll share with you how much time I’ve spent playing that game. Some of you will be aghast, and some of you will understand. If I added Diablo and Starcraft onto that number, I mean… holy fuck. Blizzard is so good at what they do it’s ridiculous. In a related story, holy crap, have you guys seen the gameplay trailer for Overwatch??? What do you mean “no?” GO WATCH IT!!! NOW!!!!
Obviously, I love me some Diablo. Every game in the series has been a huge joy to play, and I’m dearly hoping that Diablo III wasn’t the last time we’ll get to visit this world. As great as every game in the series is, I think Diablo II is still the best. At the time, there was nothing else like it. It broke every sales record for PC games there was, and it deserved every award it got and then some. Keep’em coming Blizzard, and I’ll keep playing them. We’ll leave Diablo II with a flawless 5 out of 5.