What do you think makes a game timeless?
I have never really been able to get back into Diablo 2. It’s been nineteen years since it came out. I know a lot of people loved it — my wife absolutely did, for example, and has many great stories about playing it back in the old days — but for me, it was never really my game. I liked it well enough, but at the time I was much more an Infinity Engine type of player and my jam was more a game like Planescape: Torment or Icewind Dale.
So when I say that Diablo 2 is a timeless game that has a dedicated fanbase and has endured to this day, I’m not saying it because I’m one of them — I’m not. I preferred the original Diablo, and I prefer Diablo 3. But facts are facts — a great many people love Diablo 2 and are playing it to this day, nearly two decades after it came out. And they show no signs of slowing down or letting go of their favorite game in the Action RPG genre. Even if I don’t feel the same, I can’t dispute that Diablo 2 has had extremely loyal fans for a very long time.
How has it managed this? How have games like Warcraft 3 and StarCraft — and by now World of Warcraft — managed to grab hold of players imaginations and keep them coming back year in, year out? How do players ignore dated gameplay and visuals that may have once been cutting edge but which have now understandably gotten long in the tooth? I loved Warcraft 3, but watching the cinematics and cutscenes today, it’s definitely a game of its time. Yet a whole lot of people absolutely love that game, to the point where a Reforged edition can come out to fanfare and anticipation. How? What makes this phenomenon happen when a lot of games that are just as good don’t manage it?
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