I just replayed it this last week. I thought I'd absolutely hate it since I never really played it since D2 came out and I haven't really played D2 in like 15 years. D2 had me kinda struggling to go back a little, so I figured D1 would be impossible for me.
But using DevolutionX, a source port, alongside Fluffy's unlocked frame rate patch it was pretty good. Widescreen, a SLIGHT resolution zoom out so things weren't quite so blurry, but not so absurd you can see way more of the map.
The atmosphere is still masterclass. I didn't expect that. I love playing horror games and play pretty much all of them that come out. Horror movies, you name it. I love immersive sims.
Diablo I is still scary. The SFX, alongside the music and imagery is just wow. Unbelievable how it holds up.
Now to the meat of it – the gameplay, the part that most would struggle with. Well I won't lie – it's still a little rough and as a kid I think I used to pretty much cheat a ton so I never really got in depth with the system. This time around I decided to look at guides and well yeah I guess I didn't need to. It's pretty straight forward(for the most part).
One thing that sticks out is stunlocking. I don't remember it from when I was a kid – but it's bad in this. If you ever get more than two enemies attacking you and they aren't the type of enemies that you can kill very quickly, you're gonna have a bad time unless you have Fast Hit Recovery items. Like frustratingly bad times lol. 4+ enemies. So I used the old trick of leading enemies to bottlenecks(felt fun to do that, like an actual strategy), and using magic to create kill zones.
For the most part I didn't struggle until the lower floors where enemies started having resistances and my gear I was finding didn't keep up. I had to do a lot of kiting, chugging HP pots like mad. I got frustrated a lot because of the hitstun. It's so overpowering and I didn't remember that at all lol. Also your initial hit % is so low, like 59%, so you need to invest in Dex right away for melee / archer characters or else you're gonna have a bad time.
Then there's the loot. One interesting thing about Diablo 1, that Diablo 2 & 3 did away with is gear isn't level locked. Just stat locked. So because of that…any quality of gear can drop on any level it would appear.
Unique items that could completely change your strategy drop sometimes, that add huge boosts to stats like +30 to magic or something, enabling you to go for more of a hybrid build.
The randomly generated items are nice too. On level 14, I defeated this special enemy and was kind of a real pain to defeat. When he died he dropped a rare club. I was kind of let down lol. It was a plank with a nail in it. Not a special / unique item. Til I got it identified and used it the rest of the game.
It wasn't too good, base stat wise…but it had +50 to HP(Big in D1), and +125% total damage. Which made it stronger than anything else I found in my first playthrough. Made me laugh. It helped.
Then there's stuff like using blunt weapons on skeletons, and swords on flesh enemies. Magic in certain ones.
It was just super interesting to me. Like as a kid, I just equipped shit and killed stuff and didn't think about it, but there's all kinds of cool stuff in there.
Sadly not much of a reason to go onto higher difficulties though because XP / better loot doesn't drop. Oh well.
But I had fun and it's short too. Probably only took me 4-5 hours and I explored every inch of every floor. I can't believe I played this game for like, years as a kid every day after school and at night when I was supposed to be sleeping. It's so short. I thought there was 50 levels for some reason – but it turns out there is only 15+1 special level. My childhood memory has this image in my brain of "Go to Hell" crevice and saying (level 50) next to it, lol.
I know it will never happen, but I'd love for Diablo 1 to get the Resurrected treatment. I think it'd be easier too since it's so short – but it'd just be a wonderful experience. It's funny because D1 makes D2 look like D3's art style now that I look between all tree. D2 looks so toned down. But that makes sense since D2 takes place in more varied locations and not a dreary catacombs, crypts, caves and whatnot exclusively.
I think they might have some trouble with D1's imagery today though. Just imagine all the impaled corpses, burning crosses and stuff rendered more clearly. With DevolutionX you can "zoom in", and blurry or not you can see some stuff that was hard to make out back in the day and it's like holy shit lol.
Hell they could've included D1 on GOG as like a Pre-order bonus or something. It's just really cool to go back. I thought I'd totally hate it because of how dated it is, a lot of games I used to love back in the day can be hard to play, but glad to see D1 isn't one of them.
Lack of a stash is no problem. The entire WORLD IS YOUR STASH, haha.
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