THE Devil COMETH
DIABLO3, THE THIRD OF A MASSIVELY POPULAR FRANCHISE AND ONE OF THE MOST AWAITED TITLES EVER, FINALLY ARRIVES AFTER ELEVEN LONG YEARS.
So, it’s almost here. If it’s May 15 when you read this, Diablo3 would have hit, and possibly flown off, the shelves worldwide. Productivity worldwide will take a hit, undoubtedly, as millions of frenzied gaming fans will be too busy killing monsters in spectacular ways to get any work done. This is important. It’s important because
Diablo3 ends an eleven-year wait. This makes it arguably the most anticipated game of all time. Also, Diablo has always been the single best reason to click on things.
It all began way back in 1996. That’s when gamers worldwide descended into the depths of hell, from where they did not want to return. Diablo, released by Blizzard Entertainment on an unsuspecting public that year, became an instant classic—igniting a whole genre, spawning tons of clones which never surpassed the original, and gave birth to one of gaming’s most powerful franchises.
Diablo was a breath of fresh air for the actionRPG genre, which was at the time rife with overwhelming complexity and geeky design.
Diablo was simple—all you needed to play the game was to know how to click a mouse. That was it. With this super simple control scheme, Blizzard’s designers created a compelling game with great depth and an unmatched fun factor that made it one of the most addictive games ever made. You could be a warrior, rogue or spellcaster. You wandered random dungeons and killed all sorts of terrifying monsters using combinations of interesting weapons and spells. The production values— music, art, animation—were off the scale. People simply could not stop playing Diablo.
The designers of the game perfected what is known as the ‘loot cycle’—you get cool loot, use it to become more powerful, kill bigger baddies, get better loot, repeat. Diablo was certainly not the first game to use a loot cycle, but no game implemented it better. You were never more than a few minutes of play away from some amazing reward—so there was always something cool around the corner to keep you playing. It’s a formula for addictive gameplay. Millions of players with twitchy click fingers were proof of its effectiveness.
And then, in 2001, Blizzard hit us with a bigger, better sequel. You had five classes (Barbarian, Amazon, Sorceress, Necromancer, Paladin) which played completely differently from each other—with completely different skills and abilities. The game also now featured a wider range of locales and better graphics, which made killing things even more fun. Diablo2 also had animated cinematic sequences that advanced the storytelling art in games to unprecedented levels; the animated sequences were on a par with feature films of the time (a craft that Blizzard would continue to hone to perfection with
Warcraft2, world of warcraft and Starcraft 2— all of which feature some of the best cinematics ever seen.)
Diablo2 was also specifically designed for online multiplayer—blizzard’s Battle.net