When identifying as a lifelong game enthusiast, I believe it is important to acknowledge the foundations that developed our critical appreciation of this entertainment medium. In particular, Diablo allowed me to embrace the nostalgic memories of my teenage years, when I dabbled in the real-time strategy releases of Blizzard’s other major franchise, Warcraft. At the time I remember my longing to learn more about the stories of the night elves, taking the delegated “heroes” and leading them on their own quests through Azeroth. I wanted them to explore the world – make their own adventures, not just wait around for the next peasant to construct a farm for them or for the next knight to fall into line.
Looking back, I have to be kind to that naive, teenage Sarah. I didn’t know any better. I just wanted my games to tell stories that was beyond those 16-bit cartridges and CDs that predefined their environment. It seemed as if games could not move beyond three distinct categories: “run”, “explore”, and “build inordinate amounts of shit and wreck havoc”.
At the time, I did not know much about Diablo, and I think that was my biggest failing. Because, while Diablo 3 is the sequel that has been a decade in the making, it is also the game I wish Blizzard had created when I was a young gamer. It would have been a melding of all of the above categories, in a genre that I could appreciate. It would have rocked my world.
Maybe that is why it rocked my world now.