Genre: Dungeon Crawler
We are now entering the “not kidding around” part of my top 25. I’ve sunk more time than I care to admit into all but two of my remaining top 25. I’m talking YEARS of actual game time, all combined. Coming in at number 11 is Diablo 2.
This game was released in June of 2000 and I think I started playing it about a year or so later. I was immediately sucked in. This was a very revolutionary game as it really created the genre of dungeon crawlers, which are often called “Diablo clones”. There was a first Diablo, which was a good game in its own right. There was also a Diablo 3, which is another great game, and there are rumors of a Diablo 4. Blizzard, the developer, takes so long on their games, however, that we’ll likely not see it for a good five years, if it even exists.
I loved Diablo 2 for many reasons. The game play is just fun. You are constantly clicking on things on the screen. There is quite a bit of strategy in this game as well as you have a lot of different spells and abilities you can pick from, but can really only have two active at any given time. You also have to keep a close eye on your mana pool and your health. This game has a robust tech tree, which makes every play through unique and every character fresh.
The writing is really good. I have a tendency to ignore a lot of the lore in games, but I read every bit of this that I could. It’s a story of good vs evil and keeping balance in the world. Heaven vs Hell. One of the oldest stories there is. But let’s not kid ourselves here. This game is really about the loot. It’s so satisfying to see gold and items spew from the body of dead foes. And when you see a really rare piece drop, you really get excited. However, my biggest issue with this game was a seemingly arbitrarily limited inventory space. You could not carry much and your bank wasn’t that large, either. That made for some difficult decisions when seeing that phat lootz drop on the play field.
To make inventory matters worse, the game had charms that had to stay in your inventory to have an effect. Some of them only took up one inventory slot, but some took up three! This may have been an annoyance, but it also really added to the depth of the game. The result was keeping different sets of gear for different types of mobs.
This game features some awesome battles, great environments and graphics that are a bit out-dated now, but the game is still wildly popular and fun. The soundtrack really adds to the tension in some areas. The maps are different every time you play, too, so it feels different every time you play it. If by some chance you’ve never played it, DO!