I remember the first time I played the original Diablo. The scene opens in the foreboding town of Tristram with the sounds of cawing ravens pecking at a decaying corpse. A window shutter on an abandoned house creaks open in the wind and a landscape of hellish desolation is revealed. Diablo’s opening hours were perfect and may have even set the tone for every other dungeon crawling experience I would have over the next ten years. Diablo II often gets credit for being the best game of the beloved franchise and it certainly took the series to new heights with its larger world and online multiplayer. However, is was the first Diablo that captured the dark essence that the series would become known for.
Return to Tristram in Style
With the 20th anniversary of the Diablo franchise upon us, Blizzard has cooked up some amazing “new” content for fans of the classic that started it all. The soon-to-be-released Patch 2.4.3 will feature an entire reworking of the original Diablo game in the Diablo III engine as well as other events throughout the Diablo III world.
If you are one of the many players who has always felt that Diablo III was too bright and didn’t fit the tone of the series, you are in luck. In addition to having dark cultists begin to show up in familiar areas of Diablo III, the “Darkening of Tristram” event is the real show stopper. During the month of January, players will be able to travel to the town of Tristram and enter a portal where they will be transported to the original version of the town from the first game. Once there, all sixteen levels of the original Diablo will be available to play for the duration of the event.
In addition to having access to a revamped version of Diablo I, the team at Blizzard has gone above-and-beyond in an attempt to make this anniversary dungeon crawl as close to the original as possible. Here is a short list of ways they are trying to capture the essence of the game that started it all:
- Characters will walk instead of run
- A pixelated filter even at high resolutions
- Different animations
- Sound changes
- New character models
- Retro user interface
- Eight-degree camera rotation
If you are as nostalgic a gamer as I am, this event is surely one you will not want to miss. Still no word on the exact release date of the new Patch and the new content, but as the event will only last the month of January, expect it to drop in the next couple of days.