Diablo is a 3rd person hack and slash style action game series developed and released by Blizzard Entertainment. The first game, Diablo, was released on December 31, 1996. The franchise consists of the original Diablo, its expansion Diablo: Hellfire, Diablo II, its expansion Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, and Diablo III. In addition there are several novels and comics further detailing the story of Diablo. The series is set in a fictional word called Sanctuary, intended to be a sanctuary from the eternal war between angels and demon, and each game begins in or near the town of Tristram, a critical location in the series.
Diablo was released for the PC on December 31, 1996 by Blizzard Entertainment and was developed by Blizzard North. Following its success on the PC, Blizzard Entertainment released it on the Playstation in 1998. As the player investigates the town cathedral, clearing it of the demons that currently infest it, they start to descend into Hell, culminating in a final battle with Diablo.
The three classes offered follow the traditional archetype in role playing games. The warrior engages in close quarters combat and can take more punishment, the rogue engages with weapons at a distance and is more fragile, and the sorcerer can cast a vast array of spells but is extremely vulnerable.
Diablo: Hellfire was released as an expansion to Diablo in 1997. Development on Diablo: Hellfire began with Blizzard Entertainment, but was passed to Synergistic Software. It introduced the Monk as a new playable class, as well as the hidden Barbarian and Bard in the game files.
Diablo: Hellfire was largely unfinished, only adding a few new environments and enemies and failing to finish two of the three new classes. As such Blizzard Entertainment does not consider Diablo: Hellfire to be part of the lore in the franchise. In an interview with Bashiok, one of the developers, he stated "The monk from Hellfire, and in fact the story and content of Hellfire, doesn’t exist as far as game lore and story is concerned going into Diablo III."
See: Diablo II.
Diablo II is the second installment in the Diablo franchise, developed by Blizzard North and released on June 29, 2000.
Diablo II takes place after the events of Diablo, where the hero from the original game is now possessed by Diablo and is attempting to free his brother Baal and begin an invasion on Sanctuary. The player can choose to be either a Barbarian, Amazon, Necromancer, Paladin, or Sorceress and follows closely in the footsteps of the possessed hero from the first game, dubbed the Dark Wanderer. The player revists Tristram briefly in the first act and then pursues Diablo across a desert, through a jungle, and into Hell itself culminating in a final battle between the player and Diablo .
The three major video game archetypes are revisted again, with the Barbarian being a tough close quarters combat fighter, the Amazon being an agile ranged attacker, and the Sorceress being a powerful, vulnerable spellcaster. Additionally, it adds the Paladin, a party-based melee warrior, and the Necromancer, an undead-summoning manipulator of the battlefield.
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction was released on PC on June 27, 2001 developed by Blizzard North.
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction follows immediately where Diablo II ends after the death of Diablo. Diablo's brother Baal is attempting to gain access to the Worldstone to bestow great power on himself. The player fights through the armies of Baal to finish with a confrontation with Baal at the Worldstone. With all three brothers dead, the battle against Hell seems to be over. In addition to creating an epilogue to Diablo II, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction added two new classes, the Assassin and Druid, as well as many gameplay changes, additional items, and functionality .
See: Diablo III.
Diablo III was developed and released May 15, 2012 by Blizzard Entertainment.
Diablo III takes place 20 years after the events of Diablo II, and the player arrives in the settlement of New Tristram. After 20 years of calm and rebuilding, demons have began to reappear around the Tristram countryside again. Belial and Azmodan, generals of Hell, have begun an invasion of Sanctuary and the player works to defeat them while uncovering secrets about a Black Soulstone to attempt to permanently seal the demons away. After the player defeats Azmodan it is revealed that they have been manipulated to bring back Diablo as the Prime Evil and must go to defeat him in Heaven .
Diablo III brings back the Barbarian from Diablo II and introduces the Wizard, Monk, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter. The roles these new classes fill are congruent with the Sorceress, Paladin, Necromancer, and Amazon of the previous game respectively.
Novels & Comics
There are several novels and comics published about the Diablo franchise since the release of Diablo. They primarily serve to elaborate on environments or histories the player encounters in the games. For instance, the Sin War trilogy chronicles the beginnings of the war between angels and demons spilling onto the world of Sanctuary, and the people of Sanctuary's fight for survival.
A list of the novels attributed to the Diablo franchise are :
- The Black Road
- The Kingdom of Shadow
- Legacy of Blood
- Moon of the Spider
- The Sin War
- Diablo III: Book of Cain
- Diablo III: The Order
A list of the comics attributed to the Diablo franchise are :
- The Hand of Naz
- Hatred's Bride