aka: Diablo (Game of the Year)
Moby ID: 339

[ All ] [ Macintosh ] [ PlayStation ] [ Windows ]

Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 88% (based on 67 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 381 ratings with 21 reviews)

...A veritable Clickfest

The Good
The combination of a gritty, dark visual presentation along with a terrific understated soundtrack and immense re playability makes for an addictive hack and slash. The gory backgrounds (downright nasty sometimes: check out the impaled guys in the later stages!) and dark ambiance (almost too dark: you'll need to crank the gamma a bit here) really suck you in, the simple but engaging game play does the rest as the hours will literally fly as you go deeper underground and butcher tons of baddies in order to kick Diablo's ass.

The Bad
The game play is really repetitive: Kill, Kill, Kill, down some potions, grab some loot, Kill some more, go back to Tristram and sell the stuff you've looted, buy some new gear, go back to the dungeon(s) to kick some more baddies in the ass, rinse and repeat dozens of times until you get to Diablo and kick his ass too! How's that for repetitive? The palette is a little bit on the garish side (think Quake I: lots of browns and blues, here it's gray/red/blue and the other colors are used sparingly). The NPCs are really only source of quests and stuff to buy so the whole RPG thing is nonexistent and some of these placeholders will piss you off more times than not with weird dialogue and endless requests for items. Some of the enemies are really annoying especially if you're a warrior and can't deal ranged damage as your character can't run so in the later stages you'll chase them through corridors trying to kill them, attracting even more baddies and getting kicked in the butt.

The Bottom Line
Addictive Hack and slash that has aged surprisingly well, more than 10 years old but still fun and with lots of gore, plenty of stuff to kill here and it gives you a tangible feeling of becoming more badass as you progress in the game.

Windows · by Paolo Cumin (11) · 2008

Excellent ARPG !

The Good
Presque un sans faute que ce soit le gameplay, l'ambiance, la music, le style graphique, architecture aléatoire des niveaux... c'est une réussite !

The Bad
Un manque d'équilibrage est à noter. La Rogue parcours assez facilement la plupart du jeu et ne rencontrera de réel problème qu'une fin les derniers niveaux atteint alors que le Sorcier peine dès le départ et demande une certaine connaissance du jeu approfondi (et un peu de chance !) pour qu'il s'en sorte un peu mieux. Le Guerrier se débrouille bien mais sera fortement handicapé par les attaques de certaines créatures (les sorciers qui se téléporte sont les pires !). Seulement quelques axes de profiles pour le personnages ce qui demande un peu d'adaptation pour les nouveaux pour qui le style graphique effectivement vieillot peux rebuter. La rejouabilité est surtout intéressante en multijoueurs mais il est possible de créer une partie multijoueurs modem sans la moindre connexion internet pour bénéficier des 2 autres niveaux de difficulté avec un nouveau personnage. :) Un coffre de stockage aurait été le bienvenu, merci aux moddeurs qui se sont permis d'en rajouter un. ;)

The Bottom Line
Malgré les quelques défauts cité ci-dessus, ce jeu est une perle des années 90 et tout joueurs appréciant les jeux de cette époque se doit de le découvrir !

Windows · by Saig Omaristos (138) · 2023

1 part RPG + 2 parts real-time action + 1 random generator = Ongoing fun

The Good
Diablo kind of remonds me of an old ASCII based game called Rogue. You were a little hero that went tramping into a randomly generated dungeon that went on for 30 - 40 levels. You killed monsters and gathered treasure. That was a lot of fun then, and Diablo is a lot of fun now.

At first, Diablo seemed a little unassuming. Just another hero going to save the day. Then I kept needing to get to the next level. Then I needed to complete the next quest. I need money for that new weapon! Just one more level to the catacombs! -the caves! -hell! I was addicted. Plain and simple. And if you died, and chose a new game... all new dungeon layouts. Every time you play, its a new experience.

Those graphices were something else. I started getting a little cluastrophobic down there sometimes. I had to go back to town just to see some light. They definitely added to the whole experience without seeming too dark.

The Bad
The sounds for the game were fairly good, but they could have been a little better.

The Bottom Line
This game can be played forever! Well, maybe not, but with a different experience every time you play, plus three different characters to play as, the replay value is pretty high.

Windows · by Narf! (132) · 2000

Simple, repetitive, yet addictive

The Good
Simple to learn (click to walk, click to attack), wide variety of artifacts and weapons and such, extremely simple internet connectivity through battle.net

The Bad
Rampant cheating online, bit too repetitive as the monsters are just slightly different, level advance too slow (making repetitiveness even worse)

The Bottom Line
Diablo can be best described as a real-time version of Rogue/Telegard/DnD derivatives with isometric viewpoint and updated graphics, with a system of unique weapons and artifacts. You are the lone hero (though in multiplayer you can have up to three fellow adventurers) prowling the dungeon of the town of Tristam, hoping the slay the evil that is Diablo... Start with simple weapons and light armor, you can find gold and such in the dungeon. Defeated monsters will drop weapons and gold. Gather them to further outfit your hero. Learn spells to augment your power. Play as Rogue, Fighter, or Sorcerer (each with very different styles of play).

While the premise is simple enough, the dungeon is randomly generated and is different each and every time you play. The monsters have several different types, each with different attack styles and different immunities. You can collect various types of armor that can enhance your protection and resistance, as well as enhance your attributes. There are unique items you may be able to find that have special powers and thus be very valuable. You can wield a wide variety of weapons, from two-handed swords to one-hand sword to axe to shields to even bows and staffs. As you gain levels by winning experience points, you can allocate points gained into your attributes.

Online play couldn't be simpler. Just connect to battle.net (built-in chat and lobby) and you can join games easy enough. Unfortunately, being client-based, Diablo is soon plagued with cheaters, who yields impossible weapons and utterly unrealistic exp. levels. For a while you can even buy Diablo cheat programs in game stores!

All in all, Diablo is a re-invention of a genre. By combining the action elements with the traditional computer RPG's attribute system and simply online game, Diablo was able to pave the path of online multiplayer gaming. It's recommended, even if just for nostalgia's sake.

Windows · by Kasey Chang (4599) · 2001

A graphical NetHack for the 90's

The Good
Many years ago, there was a game called 'Rogue', where you were in a dungeon and romped about it collecting gold and fighting monsters. It was immensely addicting. From it descended the famous 'NetHack', which followed suit, allowing one to enter town and upgrade. It, too, was immensely addicting. Down through the ages (and mixed with the blood of the arcade game 'Gauntlet') comes their spiritual descendant: Diablo. And, yes, it is immensely addicting. There is something inherently appealing to most people in constantly improving something and a character in constant danger of death in the dungeon seems to be a perfect choice. Whether they're having outright fun, or are even frustrate a bit, people will find themselves returning to the game. Most people who sit down for one session of Diablo want to play it again and again, just to improve their character. It's almost scary.

Diablo's isometric graphics were beautiful for when it came out, and if people were not so used to 3-D graphics these days, it would still be considered good today. Low resolution aside, even today the graphics are pretty to look at and provide the perfect combination of atmosphere and storytelling qualities. The backgrounds are detailed and dark, the characters scary, gruesome, or heroic when needed to be, and the magic spells quite interesting to watch.

The learning curve is nearly perfect and one only gets overwhelmed early on when it is intended (such as the first mini-boss or the second mini-boss's skeletal hordes). There are enough spells, weapons, and armor to keep making people come back to see them all and as you play you learn the easier methods of performing actions (such as the wonderful quick-use tool belt).

The addition of a multiplayer cooperative mode makes for many an enjoyable dungeon romp if one can find compatriots who aren't out for your gold and your life (all too frequent when playing on Battle.net). While adventuring alone in the single player mode is fun, nothing compares to having a party of two or three playing as a team.

The actionis often intense as your character opens a door and is nearly surrounded by the angry hordes of Diablo, all bent on destroying you. The pace of the game under normal circumstances (when no going through a cleared dungeon looking for an item you left behind) is usually fast and can provide enough entertainment for fans of first person shooters.

Eerily beautiful music is the perfect accompaniment in your travels, and the sound effectively tells you what is happening.

The more-or-less random dungeons provide a new challenge each time you restart the game, making each crawl seem like new.

The Bad
Sometimes the action is too intense. Rests are recommended between trips to the dungeon, as you can easily develope repetitive stress syndrome from the hundreds of times you will be clicking your mouse in any particular excursion.

There is only a bare bones story and your true interactivty with it aside from performing quests is negligible. You basically talk to someone and listen to what they say and move on. The townsfolk give hints for the quests, but there's little personality or life in them. They're basically living billboards. One can play the whole game without ever doing more than talking to those people required for any given function.

There is many arguments over the validity of the ending. Whether or not one likes it, however, everyone must admit that it's not worth the time going through the entire game again just to see the final sequence with one or two slight (and I do mean slight) variations.

Much like the lack of story, there is also a lack of true role-playing. Most Diablo players don't care about their characters and their personalities as much as they care about their character's numbers. They seek to constantly upgrade their stats and equipment and little else. Anyone expecting a true role-playing game should steer clear. There's also little logic between the stats and what they represent. If a rogue can only have 'x' amount of strength, that's understandable for one of her light build, but explain to me how heavy an object must be for its strength requirement to be three times the maximum a rogue can carry normally? You can't...in the end, the stats aren't a way to describe your character's abilities...it's merely another 'score' to keep adding to.

Some items, like rings, are depicted so small that it's hard to find them if you drop them. While realistic, it makes for frustrating searches.

The Bottom Line
An addictive action game with role-playing game undertones, Diablo is a game that anyone who doesn't mind a lot of mouse clicking can get into. Take a warrior, a rogue with a flair for archery, or a mage into the bowels of the earth in order to put an end to an evil that threatens a town. Like many a vice, it is addictive and will draw you away from your normal activities, though you may walk away with a shallow feeling when all is said and done.

Windows · by Ray Soderlund (3501) · 2000

Truly another classic from Blizzard

The Good
Set up for some hack and slash, this game offers some real balance. The end enemies don't have outrageous HPs, and the stores actually offer decent weapons and armor.

The graphics were acceptable (640x480) for the era of game, and the price is right nowadays (I keep seeing it for $10 and less). There was a good story line for a hack and slash game, though you didn't need it to keep playing. The atmosphere was pretty good, too.

The Bad
It was pretty much down to hack and slash. There really wasn't any other aspect of the game (not a bad thing if it's what you like). Better PCs can't take advantage of any special graphics or enhancements.

The interface was not the easiest I've ever seen, but it worked. If you've played Diablo 2, you'll find this interface very limited.

The Bottom Line
A classic game that if you can find on the store shelves, you won't be sorry you bought. You might be sorry about the amount of time you wasted, but ... :)

Windows · by Cyric (50) · 2001

The most interesting and addicting game I have ever played!

The Good
I like the story line throughout the entire game. From obtaining quests from local townsfolk, to destroying menacing bosses like the Butcher or King Leoric. Also, the game becomes incredibly addicting when you begin to get deeper in the dungeon. With hundreds of weapons, spells, books and enemies this game never lets you breathe while your playing. When you gain enough experience, you can add attributes to your character, making them stronger or more magical. Bottom line, the best game ever!

The Bad
One thing I have to mention is the game's difficulty once you reach a certain level in the game. I have noticed that once you reach level 9 or lower the game is incredibly hard and often times I die at the same points over and over. Also, remembering to save is crucial because sometimes you will get cornered and death is imminent and then you didn't save so you wasted two or maybe even three hours playing and have nothing to show for it.

The Bottom Line
An action-packed rpg with a great storyline. In a class like gauntlet, if you liked gauntlet like i did, you will love this game. With two player co-op available, it makes the game even better.

PlayStation · by Troy Leisten (3) · 2005

Pure Hack and Slash

The Good
At first Diablo seems like an excellent and addictive game, the music is very cool, the graphics are great, and the sound effects are great.

The game's intro is excellent, if not confusing, but manages to give a creepy environment about the surroundings of Tristram. You create a character from 3 classes each with their own advantages and disadvantages, the interface is easy to use and very clean, people new to the RPG gaming scene will find it very easy to create their own character.

You begin the game in Tristram with very little equipment and barely enough gold to buy anything. You wander around for a while then begin pick up on quests from talking to the NPCs, soon enough you enter the cathedral and start bashing down level after level of skeletons, demons, and other evil monsters.

The Bad
I didn't like many things about Diablo, instead of going into a large amount of detail about each of them, I will just list them off.

  • Lack of a feature to make your character run (you have to walk away from monsters, and walking around Tristram gets annoying)

  • Battle.net is full of PKs, cheaters and liars (this does not make multiplayer very fun)

  • The game is pure hack and slash and is considered an RPG by almost everyone

  • Besides getting quests for new things to kill, and purchasing from, the NPCs have very little importance.

  • The hack and slash gets redundant and tedious after you reach level 4 of the dungeon.

    The Bottom Line
    For it's time Diablo was pretty good, a lot of other gaming companies tried to clone Blizzard's success with a hack and slash adventure game, but failed. Today Diablo can't compete with real RPGs that offer everything it didn't.

If you've never played an RPG before, and want to start with something easy with simple RPG elements try Diablo. If you want something with a great plot line, memorable characters, and more.... try something else.

Windows · by ZombieDepot (40) · 2001

Hack n' Slash Heaven

The Good
You get a sword. You go down a dungeon. You chop anything that moves. Any questions?

Very fine graphics. Very cool music. Very easy interface (yes, go ahead and leave home without your keyboard).

After Blizzard stunned the world with Warcraft II, I wasn't sure they could do it again in another genre. Diablo convinced me they could.

The Bad
Nothing really. Replay value is limited but that is part of the attraction. It's simple, but it's fun. Beat the game with three different classes and move on to the next good one on the shelf.

The Bottom Line
Let's say its 2 am in the morning. You want to play a game, but you don't want to think. You just want to click away with your mouse in a game with cool sound and graphics. You just want to be entertained without doing too much. Diablo will be your friend...

Windows · by Yeah Right (50) · 2000

Rogue-like Game

The Good
Back in the early 80's, an ASCII-graphic game called Rogue was introduced to the world. It started on mainframes and by the mid-80's found its way to the PC. The concept was to take an adventurer on a simple quest down into randomly-drawn dungeon levels. This meant that every time you played a new game, it was different.

Now fast-forward to 1997. Diablo took the basic concept of Rogue and expounded upon it using nice graphics, sound, and an interesting storyline. I loved the fact that I could create my character, take him into the dungeon for a while, and if the dungeon level I was on was to tough, I could start over with the same character (keeping all his/her experience and equipment). Not only that, but the dungeons were all redrawn from scratch making the game "new" and different and used different monsters (from a set of monsters based upon the dungeon level).

I loved the fact that I could play this game forever if I liked (and I played it all the way until Diablo II had been out for 6 months).

The Bad
I didn't like the fact that you had no place to store gold and equipment. So you had to leave piles of gold, potions, and equipment lying around the town square.

The Bottom Line
Bottom line, this is a simple yet addictive game that is designed to give plenty of repeat play (and in this day of games that can go for nearly $60, who doesn't want to get the max out of their buck). Kill everything that moves, collect magical items (for selling or for keeping) and gold is the name of the game.

Windows · by AstroNerdBoy (35) · 2001

A decent hack'n'slash that stole every bit of gameplay idea from roguelikes.

The Good
Diablo is, in and of itself, an okay game.

The graphics are pretty nice. The town feels morbid and hopeless, which annoys me, but then again, so does the rest of the game; still, the town graphics work well, for what they are. The dungeon graphics are very nice and the random dungeons fit together well.

Enemies come in many different varieties, but you really won't notice until half way through; until then, the whole game is a cakewalk. Go down to a level, smash monsters to bits, sell loot. Perhaps it's just because I've played games like this for a long time, but I didn't even drink a health potion until halfway through. As I was saying, enemies, once you need to notice, have different resistances as you get lower. Fire for cold bad guys, cold for burning bad guys.

Items have very nice graphics and the inventory system is excellent. I think the whole item system is just about the highest point in the game. There are item 'prefixes' and 'suffixes'; imagine getting a "Burning Plate Mail of Fire Resistance." The possibilities are many. This might not seem too neat, but Diablo was the first commercial game to use the prefix/suffix system.

That's basically it. You can waste days of your life on this game (playing games is a waste of time in general, albiet a fun one, I know; my point is, looking back, you won't understand why you wasted this time). Once you're done, you can play as a different class, or online.

The Bad
Okay, minor gripes first.

For one thing, the whole game atmosphere is dark, oppresive, and hopeless. This annoys the hellfire out of me. Not only that, but in the sequel you find out that all you did by winning the game was doom the world even more. Just great-- I really want to finish now.

The game is also pretty unbalanced. Sorcerers can happily blast away with spells and Fighters can use all sorts of weapons and armor, but poor, hapless Rogues are stuck halfway inbetween, wondering what in the world they shoul do. The only good reason to play them is because they are the only class that looks good no matter what they're wearing...

Now the major problem.

Diablo stole all these ideas from roguelikes. The idea of a town above a big dungeon filled with monsters. The idea of random dungeon generation. Even the word of recall scrolls and the prefix/suffix system was grabbed! Nothing in this game is original, and yet absolutely no credit whatsoever is given to the brilliant masterminds who developed the roguelikes. I'm saying 'roguelikes' here, but it's mainly Angband that these ideas are taken from. Go ahead and play the game. It's the exact same darn thing.

Another major gripe is that the game is really darn short. You can finish it in a day of full playing if you don't spend time clearing everything out of levels anyways. Playing online ads to the fun, but not much-- teamplay just dosen't work in Diablo, because there is no teamplay element. Get some heroes, get some evil corrupting malicious essenses of utter destruction and primal gore, and toss them in a big, dark dungeon. That's it.

The Bottom Line
You may have noticed that this review is very down on the game, although I said it was an okay game in itself. That's because it is an okay game, but only because it stole ideas. It's a 2.5/5.

I actually do recommend buying the game at the price it is at right now. If you add on the Hellfire expansion, you've got 3 new classes and about a day more of play time. The game does have its high points. But all the acclaim it got for being a breakthrough, brilliant game should have gone to Angband-- a free game that started decades ago, and hardly anyone knows about it.

Windows · by ShadowShrike (277) · 2004

The Star Wars of internet games

The Good
There is no doubt that when Diablo came out in 1996, that it was destined to be one of the top video-internet games ever. Strangely enough, though, I feel what most have said to be it's biggest downfall, that of hacks, cheats, and dupes, are one of the things that makes the game even more interesting from a sociological standpoint. With chatting available while playing or in a chat room provided by Battlenet, one can taunt, challenge, or trick an opponent into going on a dungeon crawl. The number of different and unusual people I met, while being enhanced by the gameplay, was to numerous to mention. Pk's or player killers, were perhaps the most interesting ... as I often found new ways to torture these little devils without the use of hacks by simply utilizing plain old fashioned guile. The monsters are good, but the people involved made the game a creative bonanza. Also, being a health nut, I never once had high blood pressure in my life ... until the pk's and bounty hunters were on my heels. Praise goes to those who created Diablo with such an open ended strategy ... though it might not have been intended! By the way, the shrines comments of wisdom and the vast array of fantastic and slightly spooky equipment and maps, didn't hurt.

The Bad
Ummm well, in town was kinda drab and eventually boring with the same old NPCs around. It would have been nice to have more character types like in AD&D games as well as, say, 2 or 4 more people capable of playing in the game.

The Bottom Line
Diablo is a haunting, (accidently?) open-ended, dungeon crawl you can play online with friends. But watch out for the occasional Player Killer (PK) who might ruin your game by destroying you with hacked characters. Otherwise, the graphics interlaced with conversation (you can type messages to those in the Diablo game) can help you and your team conquer the numerous quests and mysteries of the Diablo world.

Windows · by Bryan Bryan (2) · 2002

Simple but addicting.

The Good
Magic stuff, cool spells, and easy to play. I would say that these spells actually help you. In most RPG's it's a bit of work to get your spell out, and by that time your'e dead. This is a fast paced, simple game, the storyline isn't elaborate, but there isn't any difficult puzzles to do with it, either! This game is great for your brain if you've just finished an RPG of many puzzles.

The Bad
Combat is simple. For once it doesn't take a week to master killing minor enemies. However, combat seems to be the main point of this game, and you will get bored! You can't get past parts of the game sometimes, or so it seems. In these parts battle strategy can be quite useful. I want to add that battle strategy is the only strategy I can associate with this game.

The Bottom Line
I liked it! I dunno about you, but I'm gonna play the sequel.

Windows · by Meg C (6) · 2004

Really Addictive... and SAVE OFTEN!

The Good
Diablo is the closest I've seen to a graphical Rogue/NetHack. Ultimatelly much better than SSI's Dungeon Hack, Diablo combines Isometric 3D action with some cool effects.

Graphics (for 1996) are astounding. Spells, weapons, gold, and items are produced very well. I can't tell if any of the action was motion captured, but it looks like it. Either that or the animators study humans walking for hours. The sprites used in fighting and walking are very realistic.

The sound is great. The clash of steel against steel, the creaking of doors, the phhhooooomp of the arrows, and especially the creepy "Bad guy" voice. Ambient sounds make or break a game, and this one does nicely. The voice-acting suprised me. Blizzard was smart to make the people you interact with in the village staionary sprites. Syncing Graphics and voice-overs is probably one of the biggest pitfalls of games. Blizzard's use of scrolling text/voice overs give you a chance to either listen to or read conversations. No japanese dubbed actors here. :)

The gameplay is addictive. Period. I played NetHack and Rogue for hours on end just because it was different EVERY time you played. The same goes for Diablo. The game is never the same twice. The goals will be the same (find Odgen Sign, defeat King Olrec, etc.) but the actual dungeon gameplay will be different. The replay value alone is worth it.

The Bad
The Control is mainly mouse based. This is great if you have the new IntelliEye mouses with no moving parts. But for those stuck with "old reliable" the controls can get frustrating. Left click to move, left-click to attack (when stationary), right-click to cast spells, and right click to use items off the main screen. So needless to say when you are in the middle of a HUGE group of skeletal warriors (as I was a few nights ago), if you twitch at the wrong time, you can kiss your armor goodbye.

A minor complaint are the dungeon walls. It's very difficult to maneuver around with the "partial" walls that allow you to see in corners. You almost ALWAYS have to play with the automap feature on, and even that becomes distracting in a melee round.

The Bottom Line
Overall, Diablo is a fun, addictive dungeon hack. If you liked Rogue or NetHack, this '90s version is right down your alley.

Windows · by Chris Martin (1158) · 2000

From the Darkness of my Heart

The Good
When you won't care of being beheaded, won't fear of raging horde of skeletons. When you're okay with being alone in the dark, surounded by the glowing eyes of memories. When you're sure you'll become what you kill, and feel no regret, then you can enter this realm of undead. It's time for you to reveal your dark side to youreself, or let be killed instead.

Now, I agreed to these terms, and came out in one piece, victorious. But I only got acquainted with dark side of my victory. I became everything I used to hate, everything I used to fight; slice and dice without mercy. I became diablo. A creature without emotions, the one to hate the light, and fear the goodness. I knew nothing but what the crystal told me. I changed. I changed a lot. I was unrecognizable to everyone, but to my minions. Aaah, am I gonna be a bad guy now, waiting for someone like me to come and release me this fate, hoping to destroy the crystal mistake I made. Noo..., my thoughts can serve me still, but my power is way out of my control. I fear something horrible will happen, I can feel it, but I'm hopeless to help, 'cuz I'll be doing these fatal menaces.

... three months later...

My minions are obeying me, and my power serves me well now, but my thoughts have been released, and new ones came. The dark visions crystal implanted in me. I'm beginning to like them, to worship them. They're growing a part of me, and I let them enter. I'll rule upon this kingdom, and crush whoever oppose me. Only one thing can stop me from doing that - Blizzard. Their only hope is to release "Diablo II" before time, and save theirselves from the hand of fate.

So much of a story telling, but that's how it all was, is, and will be if you start this game up. First to mention the music. The village theme is such a nice and lovely gitare tune that I don't believe it could be made better then it already is. When you enter the dungeons, you won't pay much attention to music anymore, 'cuz if you do, hack you'll be dead before you know it. Characters are very well made as well as other creatures, and voice talent is really great, at least for the time being, but let's make it real - you can't improve voice talent, games you can, but not the people :)

Game controls are great and easy to use. You have two potions all the time, red one (for the health and energy) and blue one (for your mana) as it usually always is, with more or less the same colors. Only way back to the village/small town is through the church where all the demonish things started to happen, or using teleports like gates into the city and back. This game made the well impression and I hardly believe that Diablo II will get more points. Blizzard also made "Diablo: Hellfire", add on for this game, where you start in the same town, only another passage is discovered, and you get one more extra character to choose. As much as I prefer "Revenant" or "Nox", this is the first game that used good engine and show us fast performance wandering through the 3d mazes, and will always be a part of classics, at least in couple of decades if you think it's still rather fresh now.

The Bad
Only places in this game are the town where you do the communications and shopping, and belove the church dungeons and crypts where the main fight is. Walls in the game changes after every 5th or 6th level, and there's about 15 in total, and that's about it. It's okay that you after each 5th level get new way into town, so you can directly approach to that level from up the town.

Aaaaaaah!!!! They made such a huge mistake not giving us the option to save our position more than once. I came about level or two before the endgame, and since I was close to stairs, and running from bunch of creatures, whenever I got down, I couldn't get to swing my sword, and since my position was saved, my only way to finish the game was from the bottom of the start, so I did the only reasonable thing - uninstaled it. Thery really shoud've done more saving positions than one... sigh

The Bottom Line
RPG classic that will show you the dark side of your mind. Everything is great, from atmosphere up to gameplay and controls. Graphic, audio, music, everything's great, except one thing - you don't get to save more than once. That thing really sucks! I can only hope they'll consider (or already did) that option in the sequel.

Windows · by MAT (240188) · 2012

Fantastic action-based roleplaying game surely ahead if its time

The Good
You can never be totally objective when it comes to rating a game, book, movie, whatever you can think of… there is always that subjective notion of whether you liked something or not. And let’s face it – tastes differ in oh so many ways. Which is quite alright, different tastes bring different demands, which results in diversity rather then boredom. But when I was reading various reviews of Diablo written by different people I found that some people who didn’t like Diablo unfoundedly criticized the game, but also (which hit me even more) other people who really liked it praised the game to high heavens also unfoundedly. Tastes differ, opinions differ, which I said – is quite alright (I for one am not the most objective person in the world), but still I was compelled to write this review to set some things right, and to try to correct some misleading about it. And in a way, I think this is my way of personal reaction to all those people who tried a game (not just Diablo, any other game in generally) for a little time - didn’t like it and stopped playing or liked it but played it a very small amount of time – and then went on writing a review thinking they understand it enough. For that kind of gamers – I dedicate my review.

What could be said about Diablo that hasn’t already been said a thousand times? As everyone - except the people who lived in a cave for last ten years - knows it is action based hack’n’slash RPG. And from today’s point of view it is a classic game, almost cult game in many things it did and changed at that time, revered by many and hated by some. As it always is with this kind of games.

The game has a classic, if not unoriginal, fantasy story which includes mythical land Khanduras, precisely small village of Tristram where action takes place and it all revolves around maddened king Leoric, his missing son, treacherous archbishop Lazarus and of course the lord of terror himself – Diablo. This is a story in a nutshell, and as it is it reminds to any other RPG there is. But Blizzard took a great length to produce a deeper, background story for those players who want to know more. This tale deals with the Great conflict, or war between the forces of High Heavens and Burning Hells, which ultimately becomes the Sin War on earth. What is great is that this entire story is used (and preconceived) for the sequel. All the notes and information we get about for example the Horadrim order, the three prime evils (or lesser ones) even the Vizjerei sorcerers – all of that is hinted in Diablo and then effectively used in Diablo 2. So here we get to face Diablo, and then in the sequel and its expansion we meet finally the Lord of Hatred and the Lord Destruction – Mephisto and Baal. Also lesser known adversaries like Andariel or Duriel appear in the sequel. So to anyone who would say that Diablo has a lame story, I say it is much deeper then they think and it connects in such a fine way with its sequel Diablo 2 making it broader and more involving. Not very original I agree, but worthy of what the game represents. Very common misconception that I get irritated about is that Blizzard made the Diablo expansion Hellfire (but it didn’t, license was given to Sierra and it’s entirely their work which is obvious from the lack of Battlenet support), where there is no real connection to the story between Diablo and Diablo 2. Well, fact of the matter is – Hellfire is add-on which would function fine like a separate game (and a good game also) if it weren’t for the upgrades of Diablo. But story wise – it all starts from Diablo then continues in Diablo 2 and finishes in Lord of Destruction.

Let’s go on. You can choose three characters: Warrior, Rogue and Sorcerer. Everyone can presume what every “vocation” brings to the gameplay so I won’t go into details. Just to point out that playing with warrior is probably the easiest, rouge is very balanced also, and playing with sorcerer is the hardest at the beginning (you can die very quick) but as sorcerers become very powerful at high levels (30+), which especially reflects on PVP combat over Battlenet where sorcerer can kill everyone and everything very fast, I say it is worth of effort to try to play with sorcerer foremost when playing Diablo online.

The intro cut scene was amazing for that time, and I used to watch it a couple of times amazed at how good Blizzard managed to make it. Without a single spoken word, its is self-explanatory, haunting, gloomy… and that last shriek of Diablo brings chill to the bones. Well, Blizzard was always known for brilliant cut-scenes. And great games.

As I’ve said, the main setting is town of Tristram with its darkly and pestering mood, where you can meet (if I counted correctly) only seven NPC’s which isn’t as much as we would hope for, but I guess Blizzard concentrated more on the action part and less on creating a life-like world. Most important characters you will meet (or the ones whose services you will need the most) are Griswold, Adria, Pepin and of course Cain, who will reveal most of the plot for you. The town of Tristram is the ONLY place you can visit, but you will spend most of your time exploring and fighting in the dungeons below the haunted Cathedral. The game itself has sixteen levels divided into four main sections, each section being very different and meticulously designed. Positive thing is that when you finish each section, another way to town opens up, so you don’t have to rely on town portal spells so much (and its easier to go back when you die in a multiplayer game)

The action part is simply flawless. When you go down in the dungeon, you are thrown straight into the action, and you can manage it without a problem because the game has very fast learning curve and almost everything can be done (attacking, using magic, drinking potions) with a click of the mouse. Diablo is about action, action and guess again – action; and everything is subdued to the factor of action in a positive way: easy way of playing, no complex roleplaying statistics to be mindful about (just simple four character attributes here), and the interface… The interface is so simple and at the same time effective (8 potion slots, all spells are one click away) that many other games shamelessly copied this in the years after. The greatest criticism pointed out towards Diablo could be – there is no real roleplaying. Diablo is not hardcore RPG (nor does it pretend to), so don’t compare it to the likes. Diablo is a simple hack’n’slash, and great at it and that’s all.

Another great thing Blizzard programmers implemented are random dungeons. So every time you start new game, the dungeons and monsters in them get randomly reorganized so you’ll never know what lurks behind the wall. But not only dungeons – some quest are also randomized to increase the uncertainty and replayability of the game; sure those important ones always stay in (like Griswold’s edge or Lazarus) but lots of other smaller ones may or may not appear. What was great for me – all weapons, armors, helmets, shields, rings and amulets have randomly calculated characteristics (if they are magical of course), which is great and gives indefinite numbers of possible combinations. Naturally, there is also quite a number of unique items which can be found a lot harder (based on quality level and monster level calculations), but some of them are certainly worth of it.

Magic… spells are standard and common to most every RPG there is, but they work perfect nonetheless. From the simple charged bolt or town portal spell to the feared fireball and extremely helpful golem and stone curse spell - all spells are very well balanced especially for online playing, and graphically very beautiful to look at. Well, design of almost everything in the game shows great effort and imagination of Blizzard programmers. The graphics (considering the year 1997) was groundbreaking at that time, and Diablo, although outdated, even today looks good. Sound and music also meet the high demands – voice casting is very good, and sounds of monster are very life-like; while music is masterpiece in its own way: town theme is beautifully haunting and disturbing at the same time, and more ominous scores featured in the dungeons are also captivating. AI – although virtually non-existent for today’s standards, still offered great diversity of monsters and behaviors (we all hated those vanishing advocates or long distance running succubus) that the final effect was “wow this is great”. Technically, it was a superior game in every sense.

Gameplay is very addictive, and when you start to play it you get hooked on it very fast. I’ve heard people say it is too easy, well true, the game is easy when you play it in single player because you only have normal mode of playing, but it gets very, very challenging in multiplayer where you also have nightmare and, especially, hell difficulty. And the truth is that Diablo has so called limited replayability (as does any other game I guess); you will cross it once, maybe two or three times more and of course it gets bored then, especially if you continue to play with the same character that becomes god-like on high levels. But here is the wrong angle to the whole approach: most people think of it only in terms of a singleplayer game, while I look at it mostly as a multiplayer game. Only does the greatness and addictive gameplay of Diablo truly shine when you are playing it over Battlenet.

I have a lot of experience about that since I have played Diablo about a year and a half over Battlenet (and I’ve also crossed the singleplayer game several times with all characters) and I can say it is remarkable experience. I was in a diablo clan for a long time, formed a lot of friendships, and generally had a lot of fun. In multiplayer you can play together, enter duels, finding rare stuffs (like Royal Circlet or King Sword of haste) or simply hang around. And this is what has made Diablo such a great game – its community. Three weeks after Battlenet was operational and working – about 117000 game accounts were made. And that number says it all. There just isn’t any comparable feeling like when you are a warrior fighting in hell backed up by rogue’s bow, and by sorcerer’s healing while he is stone cursing your enemies. Teamplay has its brilliant moments and for co-op playing Diablo was really a revolution at that time. And I really must agree – the multiplayer had its dark sides but I will explain that when we (finally) proceed to the bad sides.

The Bad
Something most apparently bad about Diablo that everyone notices is that it is downright linear game. In every sense of the word. So you enter first dungeon and you go down level by level, solving some quests along the way, until you finally finish the game. Straight and narrow, no side stuff and that’s it. But as I’ve noticed that people like to compare Diablo to Nox and Revenant (truth to be told both games got out significantly later), I will do the same since I’ve finish them both: they are just as linear as Diablo – more contents, more quests true – but linear nonetheless, you go from point A to point B. And that’s OK since when you play it online, linearity looses its meaning.

For me the biggest problem in Diablo is that it is too short: if you play it constantly you can finish the game within two days without a problem. But again, playing it over Battlenet (as it was intended to), makes that fact also loose some weight. I always thought the Blizzard should have added more content into it (only one town to play in), but after I’ve played Diablo 2, where gamers wishes were fulfilled and the game is about four times bigger than its predecessor; I’m not to sure… Diablo 2 has lost some of the coherence that original Diablo possessed, but still it would be nice to see more larger surroundings.

I would hardly agree with claims that Diablo is a one-pass only game. Far from it. It was actually one of the first games (I’m not 100% sure about this so correct me if I’m wrong) that offered fully functional MODs for the game. MODs are something gaining popularity in recent years (almost every “important” title has one), but back then it was something very rare. And there were some great MODs (like middle earth mod for Diablo) where everything from statistics to weapons, armors and monsters in the game was changed, adding new spice and longevity to the game. Not to mention playing over Battlenet which is a world for itself.

As far as the game appearances, I must admit some of the graphics were just to dark (you often found yourself wearing light radius increasing equipment on purpose, or tempering with gamma of your monitor), and there are too many gray tones in the game. Some NPC’s are useless, as are some spells (like Flash) but these are just a minor things.

There were some great bugs not visible in singleplayer game, but rather painfully apparent in the multiplayer. Players would abuse well known bug of duping items, and there were also people who would use macro cheats for incredible strong characters or the infamous town-kill spell. PK-ing is certainly a problem of almost every online game. All of that would certainly take a lot of fun from the online gaming but the game still survived. If you had friends whom you trusted, you could play in a closed session (protected by password) and still enjoy the game. And from my experience there were a lot of player who were “pure” (didn’t cheat whatsoever), who were actually fighting PK’s and makro users, and that polarization made people bind even more. Biggest problem for me was that only four players can play at the same time, but then again it was the beginning of Battlenet and looking at it today, I’m glad it now grew to encompass such enormous worlds like in the World of Warcraft. Speaking of that, I’ve heard that some people say Diablo cannot be compared to the experience of some other online RPG’s like Everquest or Asheron’s Call. That’s true – it cannot. Firstly it’s not a MMORPG, and secondly, the Battlenet for Diablo is entirely free unlike the previous mentioned, the only cost you have to pay is dictated by your internet provider.

One of the most obvious problems that could be found both in single and multiplayer game was character building. Sadly, for some people, it all came down to building your character’s statistics, getting the best items, pursuing all your spells to magic level 15… I think about that more and more recently and it’s not just Diablo; powergaming has become a serious problem in almost every online game there is, and I’ve played a few by now to see. Such is the way of human competitiveness I guess… but still this is nothing that can diminish the qualities of a good game.

Granted, Diablo took some elements from previous roleplays like Rogue or much acclaimed Nethack. Originality as I’ve already pointed out is something that Diablo lacks, but then again evolution in the right direction can sometimes cause revolution like Diablo surely has done.

I could probably write like a dozen pages or more about Diablo, but that would be torture not a review so I’ll cut it short. I already went overboard with the length, so I tank all readers for patience. In the end I can only say that I have tried to be objective as much as I could, but it’s hard to be objective with something that you like, and if I’ve failed utterly – then at least some comfort would be if the people manage to read this review and just think about it. For me – that is success also.

If you ask me what is the greatest RPG of all time - without a second thought I would say Daggerfall. This game offered such an unbelievable freedom and the scope of the game combined with complex roleplaying that by far deserves that title for me. But if you ask me what RPG I’ve played the most – than the answer would be only one – Diablo. And there you have it.

The Bottom Line
As tastes differ – you can like this game or not. The choice is yours. But none can deny the fact that Blizzard made a small revolution by reinventing by that time very hermetic roleplaying genre, and presenting it to the masses. Diablo offered addictive gameplay, great action, innovative technical solutions (fantastic graphics and user friendly interface) but most important of all – made extremely positive push forward in the field of online gaming (it became one of the most played online games ever). Although not a perfect game (what is anyway?), Diablo became a legend among many players, and this is no small accomplishment. And for that –hats down for Blizzard.

Windows · by Darrabban (31) · 2005

The action rpg for those of us who hate dice rolling.

The Good
Diablo is simplicity itself to play. There is no need to fiddle with your characters stats at the beginning of the game or anything like that, just choose your class and boom, you're off. Combat is real time action based and is simple to play yet challenging. There are numerous quests to embark on throughout the game as well as loads of different weapons and armour etc to obtain. The music is very atmospheric and well done and the story is nicely put together. A real bonus is that each time you start a new game the dungeons are randomly generated. Meaning that on top of the different characters you can go through the game as, the layout of the maps is different each time so the replay value is pretty huge. As a multiplayer game Diablo really shines but this is often hampered by all the people who cheat online.

The Bad
The only thing I really hated about Diablo is that you never really go anywhere. You start in a town and descend into the catacombs then come back up to the town, go further into the catacombs etc etc etc until you finish the game. The scenery does change the further down you go, but not an awful lot.

The Bottom Line
If you're the kind of gamer who loves the idea of the more complex role playing games, but hates all the insane number of stats and moves and the randomness of turn based dice roll battles then Diablo is probably the game for you.

Windows · by Sycada (177) · 2001

A rich and satisfying stew

The Good
Just about everything.

The Bad
The only thing I came across that I didn't like was that character names are too short - I couldn't be as expressive as I would have liked.

The Bottom Line
A favorite recipe, executed almost to perfection.

Having read most of the other reviews, I have to say I agree with almost everything they have to say, both good and bad. It's both addictive and repetitive. So? As long as one gets pleasure from repeating the same basic actions, what's the problem? When you no longer get pleasure, then you stop.

The basic game concept certainly isn't original. The town on top, dungeon below arrangement isn't original. Getting quests from those you come across isn't original. Even the online component isn't original - the 'Avatar' and 'Moria' graphical dungeon games on the old Control Data PLATO system drew dozens of people from across the country every night in the early 80's (Robert Woodhead and Andrew Greenberg saw them while in college and created a single-player microcomputer version called 'Wizardry').

But again, so what? The proper question isn't 'Is it original?' - after all, original concepts aren't all that common - but 'Is it enjoyable?'. And in this case the answer is 'YES!'

Windows · by anton treuenfels (34) · 2002


The Good
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.

The Bad
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.

Windows · by Alex Man (31) · 2003

Click, click, click, clickity-click, click - BORRRING!

The Good
I think the only reason I played this game as long as I did was that the graphics are very well done. They have a quality about them that I really felt at home with, notably in the town.

The Bad
Ok, here's the entire game: click your mouse a lot. That's it. There's no real mystery, plotline, skill, nothing really. You click a lot and you die or you don't. The end. I got to one level and suddenly I kept getting killed. So I stopped playing it.

There were any number of ways the game annoyed me. Perhaps most annoying was the complete lack of change in the village. When I first started the game I ran about talking to everyone, but later learned that they would say the same things over and over. Meanwhile I found that I could simply leave my piles of treasure sitting out in the open in the middle of town and that was fine. After about the 6th level I had a teleport device and found that the whole town became tiring, they couldn't do anything for me except recharge stuff, their goods were nowhere near as good as things I had found in the dungeon, and I could heal myself much better than they could. The town, in a nutshell, was inert.

And the same for the entire game really. There was nothing "going on". You cleared the dungeon level by level and that was that. The entire game seemed empty.

The Bottom Line
When I go to a movie I want a plot, not just moving images. Same for my games.

Windows · by Maury Markowitz (266) · 2001

a whole bunch of wasted hype.

The Good
there was blood and some spell effects were cool.

The Bad
boring, slow, monotonous gameplay.

The Bottom Line
what is everybody thinking?

Windows · by Herschel Hoffman (5) · 2000

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Alsy, Scaryfun, Wizo, Flapco, Parf, Havoc Crow, Crawly, chirinea, Apogee IV, Jeanne, mikewwm8, nyccrg, Emmanuel de Chezelles, Patrick Bregger, ti00rki, Lain Crowley, Tim Janssen, lights out party, Marko Poutiainen, Gonchi, Alaka, coenak, BurningStickMan, Hipolito Pichardo, Kabushi, Big John WV, Skitchy, Mr Creosote.