Diablo 2: 10 Reasons Why I Hate It (But It Never Stops Amusing Me)

Diablo 2 ranks among the most famous computer games in history. The legendary action RPG first arrived on store shelves at the end of June 2000 and immediately turned out to be a global superhit. As if that wasn’t enough, the quality of the adored game was properly polished by subsequent patches. The majestic Lord of Destruction data disk then pays for perhaps the most famous expansion ever.

Although loyal fans practically knew the game by heart, they bombarded Blizzard for years with requests to release a modernized version. And last year they finally got it. Unfortunately, the Vicarious Visions studio fell victim to the remaster, which at the same time had a promising foothold on the revival of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater skateboarding brand. But the result came, and Diablo 2: Resurrected did not end in a mess like Warcraft 3: Reforged. Last year’s series of unflattering cases surrounding Blizzard, however, ensured that the successful return of Diablo 2 was dampened to some extent.

I’ve only just gone through this remaster in its entirety myself. The Diablo brand is one that I grew up with and I’ve sunk a huge amount of time into each of the three games, so it was basically an obligation for me (even though nothing will force me to try Diablo Immortal in principle anymore).

After the remastered corpse of Baal fell at my druid’s feet for the first time, I can say two things for myself: First, Diablo 2 is still a damn fun game, and the remaster doesn’t put it to shame. Second, despite the fact that I still enjoy D2 immensely, of the entire trilogy I like the second part the least. Incomprehensible blasphemy? Here are my reasons.

1. Difficulty and spamming potions

Those who don’t really need the “devil” genre, usually argue in this style that it is a dull clicker, where the skills of coordination during the fight do not play as big a role as in other action games. Let’s face it, there will be something to it. As a single character, Diablo 2 is a fairly monotonous affair on normal difficulty, which, unlike Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls, the game forces you to complete from the start.

I’m one of those players who enjoys creating a new character more than playing through the subsequent difficulties, but you go through the game on normal difficulty like a knife through butter. If you don’t ignore the need to protect yourself against the elements, the only trouble spots can be the bosses. And when you’re in a bad mood, you just throw one potion after another. Diablo 3’s simplified system where there is a cooldown on healing and the player is motivated to run, jump and collect healing orbs is a step in the right direction in my opinion.

2. Baptism of Fire: Duriel

The showdown with one of the disgusting bosses represents the moments when some adrenaline finally arrives and when the player tries some kind of strategy. However, while playing the remaster, I have already verified several times that among the bosses in D2, boss number two is clearly the most annoying boss in the first playthrough. Duriel forces you to fight in a small space, is able to deal massive damage, and slows you down.

Mephisto, the boss of the third act, is a harmless brute compared to him. Baal and Diablo are harder again, but the fights with them are much more interesting. I vividly remember the frustration of playing D2 for the very first time and having the Lord of Pain put a stop on my paladin (bless him). I’ve been saying ever since: If you give Duriel, you give them all.

3. Kidney aka inventory and everything around

By far the most annoying part of D2 is the inventory. Of course, it would be understandable that your pockets are not bottomless. The problem is that the game works with several elements that unnecessarily fill the inventory and the resulting micromanagement constantly disrupts the pace of the game. Part of the space is occupied by bundles combining scrolls intended for identification and the city portal. In addition, you will constantly be overwhelmingly tempted to reserve some space for stat-boosting trinkets. The identification mechanic will also make sure that you occasionally carry things with you that you will throw away anyway after identification.

Auto-replenishment of potions in your belt and arrows in your quiver doesn’t work reliably here either, so sometimes these items take up extra valuable space. A separate chapter is the Horadric Cube, which has more room in it than it takes up in the inventory, which seems like an interesting idea, but in reality it makes juggling equipment even more difficult. In short, I spent an unnecessary amount of time optimizing the inventory in D2. Maybe part of the problem is my own fault, as I’ll pick up anything that has the hope of improving my character. I didn’t experience this problem nearly as much with Diablo 3.

4. Stupid, useless, annoying sprint

Another annoyance that slows down the pace in Diablo 2 is the sprinting mechanic. Let’s face it, one of the first things we all do after starting a game is turn on auto sprint. Walking makes absolutely no sense in this game. The forced stop that appears every time you run out of stamina just gets on your nerves. Due to the insufficient inventory, you certainly won’t want to carry jams intended to supplement it with you, so you have to accept that the game will hit the brakes unpleasantly here and there.

5. Scrap wherever you look

And then we have the loot itself. I found the character development in terms of equipment to be too gradual in D2. The vast majority of things that drop from enemies are kind of useless. Although the situation improves on higher difficulties, one cannot help but feel that your hero changes the pieces of his sweaty armor relatively rarely. Hundreds of fallen enemies rarely “gift” you with anything that will significantly advance you. The Loot 2.0 system in Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls, which traded the quantity of loot for quality, suited me much better.

6. Running back and forth with gold coins

I will not forgive a little digging on the side of gold storage. Before the fight with the bosses, it is definitely worth throwing all your savings into the chest, because it is quite possible that your until then sovereign fighter or fighter will go to the ground because of the relentless tentacles, teeth, claws or mandibles of the demon. And ideally, of course, you would stuff your money into a chest shared with other characters.

But if you have savings in a common chest, you cannot trade. You cannot buy potions or raise a helper. It is perhaps more realistic, but you will be annoyingly running around the base here and there, just when you want to get back to the battlefield as quickly as possible. But it is true that if you save money in your personal chest, you can pay merchants.

7. Uniform action directed by the skill tree

Many fans will probably not forgive me for this, but the style of Diablo 3’s progression suits me much better. As a definite positive of Diablo 2, I see that the characters can be more different within one class, on the other hand, the range of skills you use here within one build is rather stereotypical.

Trying to deal as much damage as possible to enemies results in you putting points into a few select skills. And then you watch the action for hours according to the same script and with the same animations. This is related to the previously criticized difficulty system, which makes the game too monotonous even by the standards of the genre.

8. Pygmy swamps in the third act

There are quite a few who criticize the play for the short fourth act, but I don’t mind its brevity at all. I’ve always looked at it as a finale, the half length of which underlines the overall gradation of the game. I see the swamps and forests in the third act as the weakest link.

Architecture and environments inspired by the Indian cultures of South America are an untapped source of inspiration in games after sin, and tropical forests and swamps act as an ideal diversion after desert dunes. The context is also interesting, when you meet Asheara and her Iron Wolves mercenary group in the Kurast docks, which you also encounter in the second act of Diablo 3.

The problem is that until you get to Kurast itself, you’re constantly fighting on narrow strips of land bordered by a river or impenetrable trees. Nothing much. The plot also has the least memorable quests, which feel like the developers were just thinking them up at the last minute.

9. Couch fun with a friend doesn’t happen

The authors of the original Diablo are not responsible for this criticism and it is not related to the design of the original game. But Diablo 3 on consoles was among the popular games recommended, among other things, for the possibility of playing on the same screen with a friend. This option is inexplicably absent from Diablo 2: Resurrected.

10. We’re bringing back your beloved classic, but forget about the box

Another incomprehensible thing about the remaster has to do with its distribution. While others in a similar situation would think about how many limited and collector’s editions of this beloved gaming classic to prepare for fans, Activision Blizzard completely ditched traditional distribution and released the game purely in digital form. No wonder there are so many voices that the company no longer understands its own fans.

Is number one worse? Primarily, it is simply different

Diablo 2 is deservedly a cult game. In the final sum, the aforementioned drawbacks do not have a decisive influence on the experience. They pale in comparison to the fantastic design, unforgettable music, diverse heroes, colorful bestiary, famous atmosphere and damn addictive gameplay. None of what I’ve mentioned means that I’m going to rage and bemoan the stupidity of the game during the game. On the contrary, I was surprised at how easily D2 is still played today despite all this.

Perhaps all the mentioned problems were also somehow addressed by the third part, which, admittedly, somewhat “zwarcrafted” the visual style, but it is definitely impossible to say that I would resent the brand because of it. A logical question arises – if all the mentioned aspects of the second part bother me, what about the original part? Why do I prefer him?

The reason is simple and not entirely fair: Personal nostalgia. There’s no doubt that Diablo 2 is better than the original Diablo from 1996 in almost every way. What’s more, most of the ills that plague Diablo 2 apply double or triple to the original. But at the same time, it is also true that Diablo 1 is simply played otherwise.

The technical limits put shackles on the game design here, as with many other legendary games of old. In addition, the whole concept was just being created at the time and there was not much to build on. But the aforementioned restrictions are also rules that can be learned and respected with a little willpower. In the case of retro games, it simply pays to grit your teeth for a while and spend some time acclimatizing. After that, one can focus on what the game does well. And the resulting experience can be surprisingly powerful.

The first Diablo had me wrapped around its finger because it still feels like the embodiment of a primitive form of DnD. After all, even the map looks like someone drew it with a pencil! The game’s mysterious atmosphere and the way it interacts with the player through sketchy lore will remind you of FromSoftware’s Dark Souls series. Fans of these games know the feeling well: Where am I? Who is Leoric and who is Lazarus? I don’t understand but I love it!

It was a very powerful experience, especially for a child. I still remember how this way of telling, all kinds of names and nomenclature made me think how much the game relies on real folklore and legends unknown to me. I had a sacred respect for the game. Admittedly, this enchantment hasn’t completely left me, so apart from a wonderful trio of Diablo backstory volumes, I’ve been stocking my home library for years with really pretty mediocre fiction from the game world. I also don’t intend to get rid of the original massive box from 1996.

And the gameplay itself? Although you will kill hundreds of enemies in the first Diablo, the chances are a bit more balanced here. Diablo 1 has a noticeably more sultry, horror atmosphere. Yes, you still have the upper hand, but demolishing demons in musty dungeons, catacombs and caves is more like a fight for survival, and sometimes there is that “survival” feeling known from a completely different type of game.

The restrictions that the game imposes on you are annoying, but at the same time, they make you approach the game with more respect and plan everything more. This also breaks up the monotony because you never turn off your brain like you do with a two. Diablo is definitely a slower game than D2 and many blame it, but its pace is surprisingly consistent because of that.

So there you have it. As I mentioned before, the purpose of the article was not to throw dirt on one of the best games of all time, but its fame should not overshadow the achievements and merits of the other two games in the series. After all, what is attractive about the brand is how different the individual parts actually are from each other.

Source: Games by games.tiscali.cz.

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