Tag Archives: GoG.com

Diablo Returns via GoG.com

While Valve was out making itself look bad in front of the world, Blizzard and GoG.com were conspiring to bring back a video game classic, the original Diablo.

Diablo at GoG.com

Seeing the news about this over at Ars Technica, I immediately went to GoG.com and bought a copy.

You actually get two versions of the game for your $10.

Diablo Launcher

There is Diablo (Classic), which is pretty much the original game, fixed up a bit to run, and able to get onto Battle.net.

Then there is the GoG.com Diablo, which has been jiggered to run better and scale to larger monitors.

Having tinkered with the original Diablo on Win7 a couple years back… you could get it to run, but there were some quirks to be sure… I was keen to try the GoG.com version.  And, just a ways in, I can say it sure feels like the real deal.

Wandering Tristram

I got in and went straight for the dungeon looking for an old friend.

Enter The Butcher!

The game looks and plays like it is 1997 again… which means the graphics are crap and the whole thing feels extremely primitive.  But it is true to the times.   After all, I think my phone has more processing power than every computer I owned during the 90s combined.  And it certainly has better graphical resolution than any monitor I owned.

And then there is the way the game plays.  A lot of what I think of when it comes to the Diablo series comes from Diablo II.  It took the original and lifted it, improving the game in many ways.  So I was reminded how things used to be… like there being one potion per hotbar slot.  Were there belts in the original Diablo?  Or was that a D2 thing?  And then there is the fact that when your gear runs out of durability it is destroyed.  I lost almost all of my gear fighting the Butcher, but I killed him in the end.  And a good thing too, I needed that weapon.

The Butcher Down and Me Disarmed

It is also hard to just find loot on the dark dungeon floors.  I don’t think that is just because my eyes are 20+ years older now.

Whacking skeletons with the Butcher’s axe

I doubt this is a game that will impress anybody not old enough to have played it when it came out.  Back then it was a revelation.  The Blizzard North team got a lot of stuff right.  It is sure more authentic than the Darkening of Tristram event that Blizzard put into Diablo III.

I suppose the real question is, “Why GoG.com?”

Blizzard goes on in that post I linked about not being able to put it into the Blizzard launcher because it doesn’t tie into the current back end architecture, but that begs the question.  Blizzard has the kind of resources to fix or update the code.  However, they let GoG.com do the improvements.

I mean, good for GoG.com and all.  They just had some layoffs so something that helps support them is probably a good thing.  Maybe they have the retro-restoration experience that Blizzard does not for this sort of thing.  And it sounds like they may get to do similar work with Warcraft and Warcraft II.

All of which is great, but I still want a full remaster of Diablo II.

I Would Buy Civ II Again… If I Could Find It…

One of the things stopping me from writing up what I think about Civilization V is that I cannot find my 1996 Civilization II disc.

Best Civ Ever... Maybe

Civ II is still my gold standard for Civ games.  I played the original Civilization back in the day, but once I picked up Civ II, I never went back.  Civ II was clearly superior in every way over its predecessor.

Not so the games that followed however.  Alpha Centauri was very good.  I played a lot of that.  But I never liked the fact it wanted to be played full screen rather than in a window and I was never big on the alien landscape.  So eventually I went back to playing Civ II.

Civilization III had merit, but it never really clicked with me.  There were features I liked about the game certainly, but I never found it as satisfying.  I went back to playing Civ II.

Likewise, Civilization IV.  Civ IV is probably the version I have played the least.  I went almost straight back to playing Civ II.

And then last year came Civilization V.  Civ V felt to me, after all these years, like it got back to some essence of what made Civ II such a good game.  But to really put my finger on what it is, I want to go back and play Civ II.

Only I cannot find my disc, which is where I started this post.

I did find my copy of the Mac version of the game.  But that doesn’t do me any good, as I would need to drag my old PowerMac 8500 (with the G3 processor upgrade card) out of the closet to play, and I am not that interested in playing.  (Plus I am not sure where the ADB keyboard and mouse have gotten to.  That keyboard turned 25 years old this year!)

Somewhere around the house there is at least one, possibly two, Windows copies of the game.  I can dig around in my office some more I suppose.

But ideally though, Civ II would just be available on Gog.com for $9.99.  That is where I got my current copy of Alpha Centauri. (Which is what reminded me of the whole “must run full screen” thing.)

My second choice would be to find it available on Steam.  As much as I still resent having to have internet access in order to play a single player game (so Steam has taken the sting out of that Diablo III reality), it is mighty damn convenient.  But while they have Civ III, IV, and V available, Civ II is nowhere to be seen.

This leaves me with physical means, finding another disc for sale somewhere.  Not an impossible task, but it means I cannot have it RIGHT NOW!

I guess this is a sign that I have accepted digital distribution.

And while I am thrashing around on this, maybe I should take a look at FreeCiv, which looks very Civ II-like.  And I can download it.