Volume 91, Issue 66

Tuesday, January 27, 1998



Game by Mephistopheles

Hellfire expansion pack
Synergistic Software

By Darrell Chan
Gazette Writer

Computer game fans of the earlier dungeon-hack hit Diablo might be interested in Hellfire – the official add-on. Hellfire does what any add-on is supposed to do; try to convince the player that the stand-alone version is not dead.

Hellfire boasts a few things to cheer about, such as a new arsenal of weapons, 29 smarter and more difficult creatures, the introduction of a new character (the monk) and of course, eight never seen before, randomly generated levels with two different themes ("The Demon Crypt" and "Festering Nest").

The gameplay itself, however, has not changed one bit. Players of the original Diablo will remember the "roaming around dungeons" and "searching for prey" gameplay.

Hellfire introduces players to new (single-player only) quests revolving around a powerful demon known as Na-Krul, a creature who once served as Diablo's chief minion and strongest ally. Na-Krul and his cohorts rebelled against Diablo and, after a failed attempt to overthrow their master, they were banished to the Void. Freed by an evil sorcerer, Na-Krul has set up command in the ancient Demon Crypts and has once again marshalled his plans to destroy Diablo and rule Hell for himself. Gathering together a small army of never-before-seen monsters, Na-Krul now poses a threat nearly as deadly as the mighty Diablo.

While playing Hellfire, one will notice that the aim of the enemies has improved. The creatures, both old and new, actually defend themselves and counter attack, unlike the original game. The new character, the monk, shows agility and strength and his search skill makes finding items in the dungeons easier. The speed walking within the town was a useful addition to the game. Those who have played the original Diablo will understand its benefits.

The problem with Hellfire is the absence of multiplayer support – which made the original Diablo a success. Hellfire is also frustrating in that you have to pass the fourth dungeon level before seeing any dungeon maps not included in the original. The bottom line is that if you were a fan of Diablo – and it wasn't because of the multiplayer support – you'll love Hellfire.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998