Diablo II: Resurrected Review

Everyone seems to hate Activision Blizzard . Accusations of discrimination and sexual harassment, intimidation of employees and a ban on the creation of trade unions, are already traditional problems at the start of the fresh Diablo II : Resurrected … It seems that the release of the next game from these villains can only interest the grim sexists, racists and masochists.

But I ask you: let’s leave all the scandals in the news feeds and try to look at the game with an open mind. She deserves it.

The Magnificent Seven is back in business

Billion clicks back

I doubt this material can be read by people unfamiliar with Diablo II: an icon of the action-RPG genre, after all. The paradox is that there is no action and almost no role-playing component, except for pumping, here. This is not Bloodborne, and certainly not The Witcher 3 – don’t expect any combat acrobatics, moral dilemmas, or variable dialogues. What is really there, here, even for quests, experience is not given: almost all development is only through the extermination of an infinite number of enemies. I clicked on the monster – got a corpse, clicked on the second – another corpse. I pressed the key – I got ten corpses.

Funny? And how! Stupid? Of course, especially when compared to something like Planescape : Torment . However, to consider Diablo II a primitive one-button fun is at least wrong. Because tactical thinking, manual dexterity and skill in general mean no less here than in CS : GO , World of Warcraft or Dota 2 . Maybe more. As a matter of fact, this is why the online battles in the original Diablo II are still alive today – even after the release of Diablo III and a huge number of clones. And they are unlikely to stop in the coming years. Icon, I say the same.

Switching between the updated and classic modes is instant, at the press of a button, just like in Full Throttle Remastered

The game still has drive, style, balance honed over the years … The only thing that can seriously alienate a beginner (and an old man) from Diablo II is its archaic appearance. Graphics and at one time there were not enough stars from the sky, but by today’s standards it is generally scary, like Duriel, the Lord of Pain, without makeup. In the remaster, Blizzard decided in the first place to correct this very shortcoming – as for me, it is quite reasonable, because everything else here and so works. As a result, they got the same Lord of Destruction that made me skip school a couple of decades ago. No new heroes, locations, items or plot twists: Resurrected is not a remake, but a purely graphic remaster. A completely new picture was pulled on the old base – and quite pleasant, I must say. Animations have become smoother, the interface is prettier, resolution – higher, fonts are now read better (personally, I finally stopped confusing five and six – I don’t know if others had this problem). And in the upcoming updates they promise to add support for DLSS technology. Actually, that’s all.

In the center of Resurrected, under the layers of volumetric dynamic lighting, anisotropic filtering and TAA-anti-aliasing, the same two-dimensional kernel is hidden. The new videos repeat the old ones almost frame by frame, the skills work in exactly the same way. Familiar villains are preparing familiar tricks. In general, you can blow off the dust from the old pumping guides, find a list of recipes for the Horadric Cube and a guide to runewords from the early 2000s – all this is 100% relevant. The only thing missing is the ability to transfer the pumped heroes from the original game. And, in general, it doesn’t matter how many years have passed since its release.

CGI videos have always been a strong point of Blizzard games

The fact is that Diablo II is “Tetris” from the world of action-RPG: you can master it literally in seconds, but it will take many years to perfect your skills. Remember the habits of all bosses, knock out the coolest equipment, kick ass to all your friends in Battle.net … Create a druid, level him up to level 99, understand that you screwed up the build, and start all over again … Thankfully now all the skills and characteristics can be reset in one move – without having to start the development of a new hero from scratch.

Actually, progress is the main thing in the game. And this applies to both the player himself and his characters. No, here, of course, not Dark Souls: after all, the masterpieces of FromSoftware and Blizzard are the brainchild of completely different eras and a completely different approach to game design. But they definitely have something in common. A feeling of growth, a feeling of overcoming, sometimes even overcoming. Catharsis. For the first time to pull out the mandibles all the same Duriel – what an indescribable thrill! Especially if before that you had to break off your teeth about ten times and lose all the accumulated gold. Believe me, you will experience this feeling of purification through torment more than once, and it is worth any suffering.

Black appears to be the primary color Resurrected

Devilish addiction

Diablo II was like that on its release date, June 29, 2000. She remained the same today … Although the sensations from this, of course, are peculiar. After all, old mechanics mean old complexity – unusually high by today’s standards. No one leads the player by the handle and does not issue pumping with an automatic machine, there are no signs and directional arrows in the spirit of Skyrim . Even on normal difficulty, you can meet an impenetrable monster or inadvertently move horses long before the first boss. There are no comparisons with the kind, affectionate Diablo III – pure old school. However, the old school is quite resourceful.

The camera can be zoomed in by pressing F, although there is no practical sense in this – pure aesthetics

Resurrected – not an attraction like the third part, but also not the dirty-gray first Diablo, where, apart from the monotonous dungeons under the Tristram Cathedral, there is not much to look at. Yes, the remaster is still flat, like a pool table, but there is still plenty of variety in it. Green lawns around the Outlaws’ Camp are replaced by the sun-scorched deserts of Lut-Galein, the damp rainy jungles of Kurast, the snow-covered slopes of Arreat … Ancient tombs, burrows of giant larvae, caves, castles, dungeons – wherever we are. Moreover, in terms of size, complexity and confusion, the levels plug the majority of competitors into the belt. Some Spider Forest – just the first location of the third act – stretches across the area for an entire chapter of Diablo III. Oh yeah, Diablo II is not only unusually difficult, but also quite a long game. And if you want to sort out all the options for the development of all heroes at all difficulty levels and how to play enough online,

And throughout this infinity, real hordes of fantastically mindless, but extremely purposeful monsters climb from everywhere. Goat-legged stuffed animals with halberds, some devils, skeletal magicians, zombies, cursed archers, giant spiders, snakemen … And all of them are really dangerous: not only the boss can send a hero to hell. An ordinary overgrown scarab, which is thrown around by lightning when receiving damage, or a banal cache with a trap – and it’s gone, Diablo can take a day off. If handled carelessly, even a beefy barbarian instantly dies, to say nothing of skinny magicians and goth necromancers!

Diablo II is finally comfortable to play on the big screen

Yes, the heroes here are truly unique. They simply do not have the same skills, and the gameplay for different classes and even different builds within the same class differs radically. But for everyone, micromanagement is equally important: from the distribution of skill points to the junk lying in the duffel bag. If you want to live, be able to arrange potions in the slots on your belt and constantly keep your hand on the quick buttons. The unfortunate ring “+ 5% resistance to lightning” separates victory from defeat, and the synergy of skills with the effect “+ 8% damage” can become a decisive argument in the battle with the next infernal bruiser. And it’s not about “Hell” with “Nightmare”, not about Baal with Diablo, but about ordinary monsters on the first difficulty. Diablo III, where at first even bosses can be killed with just one finger, I never heard of this.

What the hell is not joking

In short, we have a real live classic here. The only pity is that it is not always in a good way. Diablo II was created in those blessed times when a low fence was considered a perfectly normal level boundary. Back then, the idea of ​​suddenly stealing the sun and making the player run for a few hours in eye-torn darkness seemed like a great joke, but a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then.

Magic classes received the most benefits from the graphical update. Even the basic spells of the sorceress look just great.

Of course, much in the remaster has been ennobled. For example, now you can not bow to every coin, but pick up gold from the ground automatically. It would seem nonsense – but how many millions of clicks per playthrough does it save! Or adjusting the sound: you can separately control, for example, the volume of skills, monsters and the environment. There are other nice little things – for example, the system clock, which you can simply hang in the upper right corner of the screen. And most importantly, full support for the gamepad has finally appeared. Shredding monsters with an Xbox Series controller on a PC is just as convenient as in the console version of Diablo III, and often even more comfortable than with a mouse and keyboard.

True, there are moments that the authors did not think over or left without attention. Take the interface at least: now it is allowed to scale, change the font size and generally adjust it for yourself. We thought about everything. They even expanded the cache common to all the player’s characters, and three times at once. Perfect solution. But the chest did not receive an elementary button for automatic sorting: all the bottles and stones have to be moved back and forth manually in order to fit another pair of set boots “for growth.” Comfortable? Not really. But the funny thing is that for some reason a separate key is assigned for this function on the gamepad.

You will definitely see this inscription more than once or twice.

There are a lot of similar small roughnesses and old conventions, which the whole genre has long abandoned, here. Why does the game need a stamina mechanic? After all, it is only needed for running and constantly ends, forcing the hero to slowly mince his legs for a long time, and the player to get nervous. Why do we need consumables in the form of potions, scrolls of return, throwing knives? Why do we need commonplace abilities like fire arrows, bonuses to damage with certain weapons, or “+ X defense” auras? Competitors have learned to manage safely without such remnants of the past.

On the other hand, all this even gives the game a special charm. There is a suspicion that if Resurrected had come out as a completely new project from independent developers, then she would have been singing praises. And the same people who hayut remaster today for the “non-canon” appearance of the Amazon. So, maybe it’s better to arrange a meat grinder for demons, and not for developers, as you think?

Cool ads that won’t show on TV

An amazingly addictive game that can captivate even after a whole generation – and not a console, but a demographic one. Against this background, problems with bugs seem completely insignificant. The holes will soon be patched, but addictive gameplay will remain relevant for many years to come. Diablo II has already outlived Diablo III. I’m sure Diablo IV will survive too … If it comes out at all.

  Pleased

  • ageless classics, talented in almost everything;
  • nice new picture.

  Upset

  • except for the graphical shell, almost everything is the same;
  • obligatory startup problems that spoiled the first impression for many.

  How we played

In what: The key is provided by the publisher.

What: PC .

How Much: About 30 hours in Resurrected and hell knows what time it is in the original Diablo II .

  Achievement of the editorial office

“Necrolinguist”

Recall all the rune words without looking at the guides.

  About localization

Everything has been translated – and excellent: Blizzard is Blizzard. Although why call strangling gas the dreaded word “asphyxia” is a mystery to me. As well as a few strange words like “zombie” head. But this is all nitpicking: playing in Russian is as pleasant as in English. But in the classic translation mode, for some reason, no … But oh well, it’s even more authentic this way.

Verdict

Diablo II is alive and well, and it plays as well as it did 20 years ago. No childhood illnesses can spoil it. The best way to pass the time before Diablo IV is released – and maybe after.

 

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