Argument taken from "How to get a marketing degree in any of the major Mongolian universities":
1. Ultima 8 and Doom are very cool games that don't, however, seem to fulfill their potential.
2. Wouldn't it be a great idea to make a cross between these two games that would fulfill the potential of each and become greater than the sum of its parts in the process?
3. Yes it would.
4. So let's: a) borrow from Doom the highly-appealing braindead no-plot gameplay of kill a bunch of slightly different no-particular-reason-to-be-there monsters on a bunch of nonsensical maze-like no-particular-reason-to-be-there levels, for no particular reason;
b) borrow from Ultima 8 the isometric perspective where you can't see stuff if you drop it too close to a wall or a box;
c) drop all the shitty, unoriginal crap that kept people from fully enjoying the above two games, most particularly the jaw-dropping gorgeous state-of-the-art 3d graphics of Doom and the dark atmospheric background and sophisticated artistic world-creation of Ultima 8;
d) oh yeah, and since Origin forgot to copyright it, put Pyros from Pagan on the cover.
Voila, she is done! Two great games made to suck in one single package! Therefore, "dia-" (German for "two" or something) "-blo" (Old English for "not so good")!
(*plays the game non-stop for 3 days*)
*grunt* -no you dont- *grunt* *grunt* -not with these 40 health potions I have with me- *grunt* *grunt* *grunt* *SPLASH*
My finger hurts.
Walking around the village takes forever, the stupid legless kid only offers stuff that I either can't afford or don't need (and where does he get the stuff from ANYWAY), the barmaid is TOTALLY useless, the barrels blow up all the time, the controls aren't very responsive, the teleporting mages are annoying as HELL, the grunts sound like somebody's having sex next door and the graphics SUCK. The color palette is the same muddy Doom-ish brown-dull-green all over, and, stunningly, most of the time you can't actually tell where you are! Walls fade out on you, there's some sort of a fog all over the place and everything's drawn by a bunch of light-hating moles. And that's not to mention the fact that due to the perspective you can only see things 3 meters ahead of you, even if the "things" are a group of brightly glowing fireball-casting sorcerors.
The Bottom Line
No idea, fantastic implementation. The gameplay here is absolutely perfect! Thanks to the (brilliant) random generator, there is no "look I'm so smart" level design in the form of hidden rooms, switch puzzles, jumping puzzles, running puzzles, invisible sadistic bosses, fireball generators, scary monsters jumping out of the ground when you pick up your first health potion in years, mines, holes, kamikaze explosive-carrying rabbits, mazes, locked doors, keys, keyholes and the clicking sound you get when "the door is locked". And the wonderful (and to some perhaps surprising) thing is that even without all of these annoyances the gameplay never ceases to be challenging and totally involving, as the hunt for the better armour and weapons and the better stats is firmly grounded in excellently-calibrated experience point and gold gathering - rather than throwing at you monsters that are too hard to fight at your current level, the game arranges things thus that you actively seek out these monsters! Pussy careful micro-management cowards might as well look elsewhere in the Blizzard catalogue - this game is about throwing caution to the wind and going into hell and back in the form of a level where you have to fight and gulp down bottle after bottle of health potions to survive just for 15 seconds - but enough to gain the priceless experience points and maybe a 10 000-worth shield.
The addictiveness of this game comes from the fact that it is one of those rare game where you have to show INITIATIVE - where you have to push your character to the limit not because the game makes you to, but - uhm, because the lonely wind is howling over the innumerable bloodied bones strewn throughout the now-empty hallways, and you have to go on. Ah, Diablo - poetry in full motion video.
And not to make too fine a point of this, but I can't exactly say that the lack of a plotline, characters and a "moral" is a huge drawback. Because, well, most RPG plotlines, characters and morals suck. Diablo replaces them with something intangible, with a feeling in the air, with something critics can't readily put in the "pros" section as "movie-like", "complex" and "philosophical" - with a nothingness. Nada. No meaning, no guidance, no sense of accomplishment, no one to pour your soul out to except the man who sells the life-giving potions - nothing. Empty endless hallways, death, desolation, depression, a bunch of cowardly scared people on the surface who wouldn't raise a finger to help you unless you pour out the gold - and your only kicks are in the frantic, chaotic, strategy-less fighting, the knot in your stomach as the health-bar goes down and you know there's no way out, the screeches and the screams, the killing. Because there's nothing else there.