“Mmmmmmm, Fresh MEAT!!!” Review

Diablo Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 2

Publisher

  • Blizzard
  • Blizzard Entertainment

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC
  • PS

rating

“Mmmmmmm, Fresh MEAT!!!”

As I walked through the dark, foul-smelling ruins of an underground

labyrinth, my first thought was “Gee, this is some town, with a massive

network of tunnels underneath its cathedral. And so many Satanic

creatures too! Why, the priest must get a huge following if he can

emphasize every sermon about Hell with a live representative.” My

second thought was to stop thinking, and concentrate on the task at

hand – the slaying of a repulsive, bloodthirsty demon named “The

Butcher.”

Unfortunately, or fortunately (if you are up for a challenge), this

assassination mission is only one of the quests that will be presented

to you in Diablo. As a Warrior, Rogue, or Sorcerer, you will have the

opportunity to prove your worth. Each of the quests takes place in the

one giant labyrinth underneath the town where you start. As you progress

through the endless tunnels, you will advance

in combat levels while slaughtering tons of demons and gaining thousands

of gold pieces. The ultimate goal is to fight your way down to the

nethermost hall, where the ultimate challenge awaits. This is the

Diablo itself, some sort of minor functionary to Satan.

What really sets the tone for this game is the ambiance. The music is

fairly haunting, while the atmosphere of the game is dark and

foreboding, even in the town. But hey, if your city was sitting atop a

gateway to the underworld, it wouldn’t be very cheerful either. You

can even hear the wind rustling through the trees.

Overall, the feeling is that this world is bleak and threatening, with

something far more terrifying down below. This is reinforced by the

bloody corpses that you’ll see once you get close to the labyrinth’s

entrance. Otherwise, the town itself is the character’s haven. It is

the only place where there are no enemies and where there are weapons

and spells to be bought. Townspeople will also provide information, for

a price.

The gameplay is fairly simple, and this is what makes the game so

addicting. You simply journey across the level, in an attempt to clean out the creatures

that inhabit each floor. As you turn to face a creature, you

simply press the fire button repeatedly, and the character will either

cast spells, fire unlimited arrows, or begin slicing with a blade. You can use spells even as a Warrior or Rogue, and these come in handy. One such magic art restores health, another raises Manna (the

ability to cast spells), and others are simply used for their

offensive capabilities. These can come in handy during those sticky

times when you either run into a whole nest of little devils or one

large opponent like the Butcher, who happens to be a fairly tough

customer.

As this game is a translation

from the PC

version
, where it made its grand, award-winning debut, the graphics are

not quite as good. When playing Diablo on the computer, I get the feeling

that the characters are almost claymation models; they look so detailed and

lifelike. The background scenery itself seems real, and there is real contrast

between ground and the large pools of lava later in the game. On the Playstation,

the graphics are still very good, but they seem to have a more cartoonish aspect.

Additionally, the PC version has much higher resolution, the sound is slightly

better, and the controls are much easier because of the keyboard/mouse interface.

Nevertheless, the game’s designers have programmed certain functions

into the controller that make for easier play. One of these is a button

for the spell that raises health, as well as one that raises Manna.

This works well, because when you are in the middle of a battle, you do

not have time to fumble through numerous menus (it may slow down your

concentration even if the game pauses) or press some random pattern of

keys.

The only major drawback is an incredible amount of loading time between floors

and between the labyrinth and the outside world. Furthermore, all the action

takes place in the same old labyrinth. This was solved in the PC

version
by the randomly generated levels. Every time you’d play, the layout

would differ. This is not the case in the Playstation version – what you see

is what you get, each and every time. Far more interesting would have been the

appearance of different surface towns, other labyrinths, perhaps a copse of

woods or a dark mountain pass.

Then again, there is something to be said for one area of sheer

horror, if it is done well, from graphics to sound to gameplay. This one

is. Diablo is well worth your money, particularly if you are a fan of

adventure games but do not want a total roleplaying experience. Sequels, anybody?

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Rating8
+ Very nice graphics
+ Impressive sounds, haunting music
+ Simple gameplay, extremely addicting
- Not as good as PC version
- Slow loading time
- Only one labyrinth, only one town