Perhaps not everyone knows that the very first chapter of Diablo, the very successful series signed by Blizzard, released on the very distant December 31, 1996, has never been available in digital format. Yes, that’s right: until now without the CD it wouldn’t be possible to go back to the roots of a fundamental title in the history of hack and slash. It’s really hard to imagine this title missing, much more than winning in Pennsylvania online casinos on a virtual slot machine or at black jack.
Fortunately, however, the problem has finally been solved just in these days. Blizzard Entertainment and GOG.COM are in fact collaborating to republish in digital some classic titles of the software house founded by Michael Morhaime, and they started from Diablo, already available on the digital delivery website.
Players looking for the authentic Diablo experience will be able to play just like in 1996, with SVGA graphics at 20 frames per second and the possibility to find other players through the classic version of Battle.net, Blizzard’s online service.
Blizzard and GOG.COM have also created an updated version of the game, which includes native compatibility with Windows 10 and a number of bug fixes. Players can choose the desired version of the game very simply from the launcher.
“We were bummed that these iconic games weren’t available to our players, so we‘re very happy to work with the crew at GOG.com to rectify that,” Blizzard Entertainment’s vice president and executive producer Rob Bridenbecker said. “This has been a long time coming and we hope our players will be excited to jump back into these classic titles.”
Something that came as a little surprising (in a negative way) is the retail price of this game, $ 9.99, certainly not a small amount for a 23-years-old game whose value is mainly historical, especially if we think about the third chapter of the series that is undoubtedly newer.
In addition to the first Diablo, Blizzard already has plans to republish also Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft II on GOG.COM, probably almost at the same time with the arrival of Warcraft 3’s remastering expected by the end of this year.
Returning to Diablo, for those who haven’t played it yet, we’ll briefly describe what awaits you. The game is set in the Kingdom of Khanduras, in the world of Sanctuary, an imaginary world of clearly medieval inspiration. The player goes through sixteen levels under the city of Tristram, the last level being Hell itself, where he will face the fearsome final boss. The levels are developed under a monastery built many years earlier to house the prison that would hold Diablo.
The character learns the long struggle between good and evil, an endless war. The fighters of the good forces, the Seraphim and the Angels, clashed against the demons of Hell that inhabit the Underworld. In the world of mortals, this Great Conflict is called the “War of Sin” and humans felt little of its effects, even if some enjoyed evoking spirits and demons and some others were even drawn into the Dark World. Diablo has thus started a new subgenre of action RPG, which used the mouse as its main control device: this and other features have influenced several subsequent titles.