There was little trust in Diablo 2: Resurrected – and, in truth, not just us. Gamers still have not recovered from the Warcraft 3 remake , and some have not even been pleased with the remaster of the first part of StarCraft. Over the past three years, Blizzard has seriously upset many old fans, that is, exactly the audience for which these “re” games are primarily created. In an interview, the developers promised us that there would be no second Reforged – and it seems they kept their word.
After a loud flop, Blizzard worked on bugs. More precisely, I replaced the group of Asian outsourcers with experts with proven skills. We have nothing against the Asians, but, the right word, Reforged should have been canceled following Warcraft Adventures and StarCraft Ghost .
So, to create a modern version of Diablo 2 , the studio Vicarious Visions was invited , which was noted in 2020 with a gorgeous remake of the first two parts of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater . The creators of Diablo loved working with this team so much that they were transferred from Activision Blizzard to Blizzard Entertainment with the specific goal of releasing a decent, improved version of the classic Action RPG genre. Technical alpha testing has proven that the process is on the right track.
It’s a bit strange to say this, but Tristram looks especially beautiful on fire.
Diablo 2: Resurrected is almost the same game that came out in June 2000, almost 21 years ago. The venerable age from the very first minutes is felt in the emphasized slowness of the gameplay, especially compared to the high-speed Path of Exile or Grim Dawn . Perhaps the game has retained the meditative rhythm of the original. Plus, there is the magic F5 button, which is responsible for switching between the retro image from your childhood and the modernized version. In fact, the user buys a bundle from the improved game along with the original.
We decided to call the classic version “Legacy”, and it can be turned on at any time
First of all, everyone is worried about the question – how does everything look on the monitor screen? Well, at least decently, somewhere on the level of the PC version of Diablo 3 . The graphics cannot be called a breakthrough, even within the genre, but they leave a good impression. It’s especially cool to look at objects that have gained HD detail when you remember them by the bunches of pixels in the classic Diablo 2 . However, some visual solutions caused a negative impression on the audience, for example, the look of the “aged” Amazon, which looked emphatically sexy in the original. Or the puritanical outfits of some iconic enemies, who were bashfully covered with light nudity. A prime example is the heroine of Blood Raven, one of the bosses of Act I, whose bare buttocks are a thing of the past. And even the Necromancer’s pants were picked up!
Nevertheless, the modern audience is unlikely to come to D2R for “grafon”, especially considering that it is inferior to some already released counterparts in the same genre – Wolcen and Last Epoch are good examples . But Blizzard has retained almost everything that is dear to fans of the original D2 . The game starts with the iconic animated Blizzard North logo , from the very first seconds setting the mood from the series “Oh my God, I’m back in the classic” !
Gamepad and mouse inventory display differently
The gameplay has remained the same: we choose a hero from the starting seven (in the “alpha” they allowed to fight for the Amazon, the Sorceress and the Barbarian), leave the cozy starting location and begin to exterminate monsters in order to collect improved items from their bodies and destroy even more powerful animals. Sometimes mini-puzzles turn up for us: in order to get into the half-burnt Tristram from the first part, we need to find a special scroll and activate the stones in the same sequence as indicated in the manuscript. But in general, it all comes down to clearing locations and destroying especially powerful monster bosses, and everything ends quite quickly, even before traveling to the docks of Kurast.
For gamers in 2021, they made several convenient things that the Puritans can turn off at any time. For example, automatic selection of gold. But some of the things that the spoiled audience got used to after Diablo 3 and other titles did not appear – most acutely, there is a lack of the ability to turn on the constant highlighting of objects on the ground or sort things in the inventory at the press of a button.
Do not expect mercy or indulgence from enemies – monsters in D2R are effective, they quickly surround and clog in numbers
All this is spoken out not within the framework of criticism, because it is stupid to demand from the remaster of a classic game absolutely all the conveniences of the 21st century. The bottom line is rather that behind the updated facade, Diablo 2 has retained its old-believing, hardcore temper. She does not babysit the player, does not automatically restore health to the character, throws the hero with monsters who are attacking in a crowd and are ready to cause trouble almost in the starting location.
Even to identify items, you still need to buy scrolls, and all this is so two thousandth!
Simply put, there are a couple of new conveniences, but there were no clues and crutches in 2000, and they have not appeared now. This is not a casual Torchlight 3 game . Moreover, playing Diablo 2: Resurrected gray-bearded gamers will once again remember the “last alien syndrome”. If you were given a quest to completely clear the location from monsters, then no one helpfully will highlight the last surviving devils – run around the third circle, search, destroy yourself. No compromises.
Back to the past with one button!
Back in 2000, gamepad support for a PC game like Diablo 2 would have looked ridiculous, but it’s now available in alpha testing. The user-friendly control scheme was taken from Diablo 3 , which has proven its worth on PS4 and Switch . And they added a zoom to the game, so now any NPC can be seen in detail, almost down to the freckles on the face.
By the way, an interesting feature of Diablo 2 is connected with HD-resolutions : Resurrected . In the original game, monsters attacked the character only when they appeared within sight. Thanks to this, it was possible to shoot monsters ahead of time with remote spells and daggers without much difficulty. Now, the range of the displayed part of the level has been increased, and monsters run to the character from afar, making it difficult to play for fragile builds of ranged attackers.
The alpha also had its own problems. So, for example, the button for switching between running and walking worked only on the gamepad or when clicking on the icon, and ignored the button on the keyboard sharpened for this. But listing bugs from closed technical testing is a thankless task. To do this, there is a separate button with a bug on the interface screen, which was probably often pressed by players stuck in the texture of the stone.
Quite aside, the game copes with its main task: it immerses and entertains. Under the “hood” of the updated graphics is waiting for everyone familiar with Diablo 2 with a couple of amenities and innovations. Destroying enemies does not tire, and the updated animations of spells and juicy deaths of demons bring real aesthetic pleasure, even if you are used to “call out” everyone with a single spell.
The bottom line is the old game with a redesign of the graphics, improvements to the “user experience” and the emergence of a long-awaited common chest for all heroes. For new players, D2R may seem outdated, most likely because its age is not hidden by any tricks and beautiful scenery. But before the release of Path of Exile 2 and Diablo 4, she seems like the best choice to spend a couple of hundred hours grinding legendaries and helping the still living Deckard Cain.