gog

GOG Welcomes the Lord of Terror with Diablo Rerelease

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Digital PC game store GOG added a seminal classic of PC gaming to its library: 1996’s Diablo. For the first time you can now purchase Diablo outside of Blizzard (or retail), for $9.99. It does not include the 1997 Hellfire expansion, which was released by a different company.

Like many of GOG’s rereleases, Diablo has been closely preserved to its original release, with 20 FPS SVGA graphics. Up to four players can journey beneath Tristram together through direct IP connection or the older version of Blizzard’s Battle.net multiplayer lobby. Note that playing online requires opening up ports and your firewall as Diablo predates modern online safeguards.

A few tweaks and updates have been included to support modern PCs, including Win 10 support and proper upscaling for higher resolutions.

While not the first dungeon crawling loot fest, Diablo is often considered the grandfather of the entire genre. Play a warrior, rogue, or sorcerer and explore randomly generated dungeons, fight monsters, and nab loot. Diablo was a huge success that begat an entire genre of co-op hack ‘n slash games that persists to this day.

Diablo was the most requested game on GOG. To this day it’s often voted as one of the best and most influential games of all time. Though its gameplay hasn’t aged quite as well, with clunky controls and muddy graphics. Diabl0 2, released in 2000, was a massive improvement in every way, and is even more highly regarded. Diablo 2 is currently available via Blizzard’s store.

Diablo represents the first of several classic Blizzard games that will make their way onto GOG. The partnership is due to the fact that these games’ older infrastructure prevent them from being sold and played via Blizzard’s modern Battle.net digital storefront. Blizzard’s solution is to remake them, such as with 2017’s StarCraft Remastered and WarCraft 3 Reforged, coming later this year. The original Warcraft 1 and 2 will be coming to GOG as well.

Diablo is rated M for Mature.

diablo III: eternal collection

Diablo 3 Switch Bundle Available Only at GameStop

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Many big blockbusters from the last few years are getting Switch ports, but not all of them are getting their own Switch bundles. November 2 sees the release of Diablo 3 on Switch, as well as the Diablo III: Eternal Collection Switch bundle. The bundle will be available exclusively at GameStop.

The Diablo III: Eternal Collection Switch bundle includes a download code for the game as well as Diablo-themed Switch, dock, and carrying case. Diablo III: Eternal Collection on Switch includes Diablo 3 as well as the Reaper of Souls and Rise of the Necromancer expansion packs for a total of seven character classes, five acts, and seasonal content.

Unique to the Switch version are several pieces of Zelda-related content: a Cucco pet, Triforce portrait, and a transmogrification armor set to don Gannondorf’s black steel armor.

Diablo 3 originally launched on PC in 2012, making the jump to current gen consoles in 2014. Despite a history of PC-only gameplay, the console version was very well received. The Reaper of Souls expansion also helped redefine the gameplay structure as Blizzard added the excellent Adventure Mode and seasonal content to increase replayability over the years.

Diablo 3 remains one of the go-to definitive cooperative games on the market, with both local and online multiplayer. Local players can join forces on a shared-screen with a single Switch, or with multiple Switch handhelds. Up to four people can battle the evil forces in Sanctuary together.

The Diablo III: Eternal Collection will launch on Nov. 2 along with the Switch bundle. It’s rated M for Mature for Blood and Gore, Partial Nudity, and Violence.

20th anniversary

Celebrate Diablo’s 20th Anniversary in Each Blizzard Game

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December 31 marks the 20th anniversary of the original Diablo. Blizzard Entertainment is hosting a minor celebration across all their games with special events, games, and loot.

“Blizzard Entertainment is thrilled to commemorate twenty years of Diablo,” states the news post. “We’re ready to celebrate our passion for the world of Sanctuary and the brave heroes who inhabit it! Here’s to twenty years of loot!”

Each of Blizzard’s ongoing series is celebrating:

  • Diablo III – The Darkening of Tristram tribute event. The Cathedral levels of Diablo 1 have been recreated in Diablo III, including some “familiar items.”
  • Heroes of the Storm – The weekly brawl will feature a Diablo theme. As with other brawls, playing three games nets you a unique portrait.
  • Hearthstone – A Diablo-themed Tavern Brawl, and a new Diablo card back.
  • Overwatch – Loot new sprays of the Diablo III classes, and a new Diablo player icon.
  • Starcraft II – A new Diablo-themed portrait.
  • World of Warcraft – “Strange things are afoot in the world of Azeroth as denizens of Sanctuary cross over into an unfamiliar world.”

No details on when the Diablo event ends.

As far as multi-game events go, this one is pretty weak. New retro content in Diablo III is nice, but the rest are lame. To be fair, Blizzard is also in the midst of their big Overwatch Winter Event, and other holiday events for various games.

Diablo is widely considered the grandfather of the entire Action-RPG genre. It wasn’t the first to define the genre, but it was the first to popularize its loot-driven, fast-paced gameplay. Decades of games have built upon that solid gameplay loop, from Borderlands to Destiny.

Blizzard’s own Diablo II remains one of their most beloved titles. The very long-awaited Diablo III had a rough launch. It was criticized for some jarring changes. After years of feedback, patches, and updates it has been embraced by fans, and become a worthy successor.

Kevin Kanai Griffith, Diablo III

Diablo Pays Tribute to Lost Employee

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Kevin Kanai Griffith passed away last year in October from a rare form of cancer. He was a long-time employee of Blizzard Entertainment, having started as an artist in 2005. He worked on several World of Warcraft expansions, the accompanying trading card game, and finally Diablo III in 2012, the same year as his diagnosis. Read More