By JesterPC238 1 Comments
So last night I rectified one of the biggest travesties in my gaming repertoire. I finished Diablo II. It took a sequel twelve years in the making to get me to finish what is considered by many to be one of the greatest PC games of all time. Why? I wasn't very interested. I played the first Diablo many years ago, and I really enjoyed it. I think it was the atmosphere and the lack of an explanation for why things were the way they were. Upon completing it, I booted up D2. My response? Yuck. I hated the look of the game, hated the feel of the combat, and hated the skill system. I was not hooked, so I put it back on my shelf and decided maybe I'd enjoy it someday.
Turns out, that day was last Thursday. The trailers and gameplay for Diablo III looked great, and I decided to run out and buy a copy. The issue is that I have this nagging OCD issue, and that is that I can't play sequels out of sequence. I had to play Diablo II before Diablo III, and boy am I glad that I did. After clearing act I, I felt like an idiot for never giving the game a fair shake. I still am not the biggest fan of the skill system, but the atmosphere, story (yea that's right story), and combat had me hooked. I played every free moment I had over the last week, and managed to finish act V last night at around 2 AM.
So what exactly is the point of all this? A lot of people tell me they don't like Diablo style games because they are "loot treadmills" or "hamster wheels." I always figured this was because no matter what you did, you didn't feel a sense of progression. I don't understand what they are talking about now. I rolled a Demon Hunter this morning as my first foray into Diablo III, and within an hour of playing I had heard a bunch of journal entries, met several characters, had a couple of exciting fights, unlocked a few skills, and starting gearing out my character. It certainly didn't feel like a treadmill. "But that's one hour!" You say. Yes, it is, but after 20 hours of Diablo 2's campaign I was still feeling progression, and did not feel like I was on a treadmill.
There was a point at the end of act V, when you have to "fight Baal's minions," where I almost gave up and watched the final cutscene on YouTube. I could not, no matter what I did, kill the final wave of minions. Granted, I was under leveled, but I had always been able to manipulate followers and town portals to make my way past sticky spots in the past. Not so here. So what did I do? Hit up the optional dungeons I skipped. Within one hour I had gained a level and picked up a new piece of gear. I went back to where I was stuck, and while it was no cake-walk, I did in fact manage to clear the area. In this example I felt real, significant progression that had an impact on my play experience.
If Diablo 2 is a treadmill, I just went over the top.
P.S. Check back Monday for #10 on my list of personal favorite games. I'll post a blog, as well as start a list.