How Blizzard destroyed the atmosphere of the Diablo series

The old Blizzard became famous thanks to three games: Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo. Among them, the latter stood out due to the oppressive atmosphere of the dark dungeons. We achieved this with competent level design and an interesting story. Today, Blizzard has turned a dark and violent game into a colorful joke for the Fortnite audience. And this makes me want to cry.

Blizzard destroyed the atmosphere of the Diablo series

The gameplay of Diablo is simple: you are given the role of a hero who kills evil demons. The player is quickly introduced to the world, characters and sent to conquer dungeons. 

As a result, this began to attract two main types of players:

  1. Fans of going through dungeons over and over again to get the best equipment. They play for the feeling of their own omnipotence. 
  2. Those who enjoy the atmosphere. Such fans love to explore locations. They carefully read the dialogues and learn the history of what is happening. And having enjoyed the game, they close it because they got what they wanted. 

The atmosphere and history of Diablo will be discussed in this article. 

Diablo 1

The events of the first part take place in the city of Tristram. Even before the start of the game, this place became a victim of the intricacies of the Underworld. Most of the inhabitants were killed, and the rest could not fend for themselves. All hope fell on three heroes – a warrior, a robber and a magician. Gathering all their courage, they had to drive out the great evil.

Diablo 1

A situation like this already inspires heroic deeds. But the atmosphere of cruelty, a place abandoned by the gods and insane melancholy is also captivating. Players will always remember the first boss of Diablo – the Butcher.

The player is introduced to his story for a long time, told through the characters – they will tell about a terrible demon with a giant cleaver. After meeting with this creature, Farnam, a once brave warrior, turned into a pathetic drunkard. Later, the very moment came : in a short video, a bloody demon with a cleaver went hunting, and then frightened unprepared players by appearing in the gameplay.

And that was just the beginning. The heroes had to go deeper and deeper into the dungeon, encountering more and more new creatures. And at the end, Diablo himself was waiting – the Lord of Terror, one of the three Higher Evils that ruled the Burning Hell. And the story ended with an ambiguous act, where the hero became a container of evil.

Diablo 2

This time your adventures are not limited to the catacombs of one cathedral. The world is threatened by more than one Primordial Evil in the person of Diablo. Now there are five of them, and each of them is capable of bringing down hardships on defenseless people.

New heroes stand up to defend justice: barbarian, paladin, Amazon, sorceress, necromancer, druid and assassin. This unusual group is destined to visit five locations. They follow a mysterious dark wanderer east in an attempt to prevent the destruction of the world.

Primordial Evil in the person of Diablo

While traveling, you can understand how destructive your opponents are. All the heroes from the first part succumbed to the influence of evil – they went mad and their lives had to be cut short. Ancient priests and guards who swore to contain the primordial evil became minions of their captives. Once prosperous kingdoms have turned into small islands of civilization, surrounded by hordes of evil spirits.

But in such conditions you begin to empathize with people more strongly. The determination of Tal Rasha, the leader of the Horadrim, an ancient order of magicians founded by the Archangel Tyrael, is striking. The Order had to defeat the three Greater Evils and imprison them in soul stones. But Tal Rasha realized that in this way it would not be possible to restrain Baal, the Lord of Destruction. The great magician sacrificed himself to capture the demon. Alone, for centuries he was in his own tomb, where he held back a cunning and powerful enemy by force of will.

The meeting with three ancient warriors on the top of Mount Arreat is also important. These are representatives of the first generation of nephalems who swore to protect the World Stone. The sheer power of these heroes was enough to force Baal to seek an alternative passage.

Even the first task of the game is interesting. In it you must clear out the Lair of Evil. After destroying all the monsters, the cave is filled with light. Relaxing music is played, which gives a feeling of peace. Unfortunately, a similar effect no longer appears in the game. In other cases, bosses only die spectacularly.

Diablo 3

In the world of Diablo, there are angels and demons, good and evil. For eternity they have been at war with each other. But two people did not share the same hatred: Archangel Inarius and Lilith. Lilith was the daughter of Mephisto, the Lord of Hatred and one of the Three Greater Evils.

They gather all the angels and demons who are also tired of the war. Together, this group creates Sanctuary, which has become a refuge for fugitives. The shelter was hidden from outsiders with the help of the World Stone, an artifact of colossal power.

Living together, angels and demons realized that they could poke each other with more than just swords and spears. The fruit of their degenerative union was the nephalem – these mutants, against any logic, absorbed the best traits of their parents. And their power knew no bounds.

Realizing the power of her children, Lilith decides to use them against Heaven and Hell. Inarius was inflamed with hatred of the offspring. The conflict between two former lovers ended with the expulsion of Lilith. Inarius used the World Stone to seal the power of the nephalems. Their memories were erased and their bodies weakened with each new generation. Eventually they turned into people.

In Diablo 2 we only meet three nephalem. But after the destruction of the World Stone by Archangel Tyrael, the imposed restrictions subsided. As a result, all playable characters in Diablo 3 are nephalems.

First of all, this is reflected in the wagering. We no longer play as outstanding heroes with rare specializations – classes fade into the background. Now players are not barbarians, sorcerers, necromancers or druids – they are now impersonal nephalems.

Secondly, it diminishes the element of danger from demons and monsters. In the first two parts, they were predators who hunt people and every battle could turn into the last. Against the Nephalem they are only an annoying hindrance – closing the Great Portals with the killing of thousands of demons will not allow them to lie.

But Blizzard didn’t just increase people’s power. She made the others weaker and dumber. This is most noticeable in the example of Tyrael, Archangel of Justice. He was the only one who supported people in the war against demons. With his help, the Horadrim Order was created, which defeated the highest Primordial Evil. At the end of Diablo 2, he destroys the corrupted World Stone. This leads to countless human deaths and the emergence of new nephalem, but at the same time keeps the world of Sanctuary intact.

In Diablo 3, Tyrael became an irritant. He refused to answer for his misdeed of destroying a valuable artifact, and renounced his angelic essence. His arrival ends in a local zombie apocalypse, causing even more people to die. And until the very end of the game he will bother you in your ear until he plays the role of a key in heaven. This is where its usefulness ends.

A sad fate befell Deckard Cain, the last of the Horadrim. In the first two parts, this old man survived the demon invasion. In the third part, a meteor also fell on him. He was engaged in telling the player the history of the world and revealing the true potential of artifacts. But its end was disappointing. The resilient old man was killed by a butterfly woman and a group of cultists.

Opponents are also disappointing. Throughout the game we are told that if all the higher demons unite, then nothing in the world can stop them. This is exactly what happens: the supreme evil turns into Diablo with boobs, and in the same act he is beaten to death by a nephalem.

But that’s not all! In the Reaper of Souls expansion, you fight the death of Malthael. Moreover, death is not metaphorical, rhetorical, poetic, theoretical or anything else. The Nephalem kill Malthael and become the strongest creatures in the world. And nothing can pose a threat to them anymore.

Diablo 3 Atmosphere

The first two parts made it possible to enjoy the game as a process. You were given a short summary, and you could go kill demons with peace of mind. If you want, you can always search for information on your own and get inspired by the atmosphere, plot and characters.

Diablo 3 doesn’t have that kind of freedom. During forays you have to listen to comments from companions and enemies. In the third act, the head of Azmodan, the Lord of Sins, one of the younger Incarnations of Evil, becomes boring. He constantly distracts with his tirades before he gets the chance to kill that barrel. In safe zones, the locals go around your ears – they complain about their fate, make comments. People also love to praise Leah, Deckard Cain’s student, who does anything other than her direct duties. The game openly doubts your ability to form an opinion about what is happening.

Diablo 3 Atmosphere

At the same time, the game is designed for you to go through it quickly. Each character has an analogue of a teleport, which allows you to move in space at lightning speed. And this is wrong, because the locations are full of interesting details and events. But you fly through all this automatically.

Changes in style are also annoying. The game has become lighter and more cartoonish. Little remains of the former gothic and gloomy feel. And bright skills turn the battle with enemies into an 80s disco.

Diablo 2 Resurrected

After Diablo 3, the remake had a serious task: to update the graphics and game mechanics of the original, while maintaining the atmosphere. And the remake coped with the task perfectly! It’s just that the ubiquitous agenda reached him – under its influence, female characters were mutilated and censorship was added. As a result, the characters from the 2000 game look more attractive than their 2021 reimaginings.

Censorship has negatively impacted the soul of the game. She diminished the merits of Jerin, the Sultan of Lut Golein. In the original, people accused the Sultan of abandoning his people. It’s like he’s locked himself in his palace, having a nice time with his harem while the rest of them suffer. In reality, Jerin, together with his people, held back the invasion of demons. The hellish creatures killed everyone who inhabited the palace and could have captured all of Lut Golein if not for the determination of the Sultan.

Diablo 2 Resurrected

n the remake, all the corpses of the palace residents were removed – mainly due to the fact that the “Harem” location implied the presence of naked female bodies. Blizzard ignored a clever design move that allowed the player to see the cruelty of demons with their own eyes. As a result, the poor residents of the harem became victims twice as many times. The first time because of demons, the second time because of fighters “for all that is good against all that is bad.”

Diablo 4 (Beta)

In the new game, Blizzard decided to return to a darker style. The character selection window returned from the second part – a group of heroes near the fire. It seems to be progress, but the agenda has spoiled it here too. Women’s physiques have become as close as possible to men’s. It’s a sad sight.

At the end of the third part, the souls of the Primordial Evil fell on Sanctuary. This could be the impetus for a reboot of the universe. By this point, humanity has already survived several disasters – the heroes could again fight the freed lords of hell to save the surviving people.

But instead you are confronted by Lilith. This strong and independent demoness wants to free Heaven and Hell from the despotism of their rulers. In a game whose essence comes down to killing demons. In a game called Diablo!!! But instead of a spiky, muscular and bloodthirsty demon, they give you “this”! Moreover, Lilith is a succubus. She is literally created in order to seduce and pump out all the juices from her victims. But the only desire that her appearance evokes is the desire to have an equally courageous chin.

It will not be possible to empathize with Lilith because Blizzard did not bother to acquaint the player with the life of the High Heavens and the Burning Hell. All this time the demons were shown as mindless creatures. And their rulers only wanted to destroy and seduce. It was possible to meet angels only sporadically. If you want to know more, read specialized literature. Otherwise, you will have to take Lilith at her word.

The transformation of the fourth part into something like an MMO completely buried the atmosphere of hopelessness. In a constantly online environment, it’s hard to think about the impending disaster when players are taking out demons in droves all over the world.  

The game still keeps you from having fun with the companions’ outpourings. You will be given the opportunity to customize your character’s appearance, which will be displayed in cutscenes. But this does not apply to the difference in classes. 

This lack of detail affects immersion. At some point, your hero must be poisoned. And the fact that the necromancer is surrounded by an army of the dead will not prevent his unconscious body from being transferred. Skeletons will simply trail behind their owner. 

Well, getting rid of cruelty was the icing on the cake. Now your heroes kill enemies very gently. No interesting dismemberment or bloodletting. And this despite the fact that even the third part showed the process of exterminating evil spirits in all details!


If you say that Diablo is a simulator of killing monsters and raising levels, then this will be true. But this simulator had a great foundation. The team from the old Blizzard managed to tell an interesting story – with the help of a few words and competent design decisions. This is a story about a world where people are waging a desperate war against demons. And despite their dedication, each of the heroes can be killed or seduced by the forces of evil. 

The new Blizzard decided to turn the heroes into machines of destruction that are cooler than the strongest angels and demons. She made the world of Diablo bright and cartoonish. Diablo 4 has returned to darkness, but the game is still going in the wrong direction. It’s only beta right now, and there is a possibility of an adequate completion of the story. But there is practically no hope for this.  

Leave a Comment