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Diablo 2: Resurrected review

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What can be said about Diablo 2 that hasn’t been said a thousand times already?

It’s the dark lord action RPGs. For more than 20 years, PC gamers have been clicking on the inhabitants of Hell to death in an never-ending quest to collect the most loot Blizzard’s classic Dungeon Crawler can conjure.

Activision Blizzard is the publisher of this game. He is currently involved in ongoing litigation regarding claims that his workplace culture enabled sexual harassment, abuse, and discrimination. For ongoing coverage, see our Activision Blizzard lawsuit timeline.

It’s addictive and fiendishly addictive. Activision Blizzard is remastering it with Diablo 2: Revisited. This brings the game up-to-date with 4K visuals, a few quality improvements, and native support for gamepads.

Diablo 2: Release date and price resurrected

  • What is it? It’s a remastering a classic action-RPG
  • Release Date: September 23, 2021
  • Where can I play it? PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Xbox One, Xbox Series S / S, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox One and PC
  • Starting at $39.99/PS34.99

Remastered and revived but not replaced

You’re likely to have played Diablo 2 before reading this review. You might be still playing the original Diablo

We won’t bore anyone with the details of Diablo 2’s special features. We’ll leave you with a summary of Diablo 2 from PC Gamer and their original review. The game is essentially the same, with some added bells and whistles from Resurrected. It’s the same click-kill-loot gameplay loop, the same demonic enemies, the same rush from dungeon to dungeon in a quest to defeat the titular foe and do it all over again to create the perfectly-overpowered build of your chosen warrior class.

We’re not here to talk about what’s new or different about Diablo 2 Resurrected. You’re now viewing the definitive version, which is a hall-of-fameer, thankfully.

Naturally, the most noticeable difference is the 4K paint job on the visuals. You can still play at 800×600 resolution. However, you can switch between modern and vintage graphics settings by pressing a button. The visuals have been meticulously redesigned. They retain the original’s implied griminess, but with all the details your imagination can handle. The dungeons are covered in damp and reflections. Furry gargantuans’ shag flicks with every whack of their feet, while fire spells illuminate enemies and the surrounding environment. This is all to keep with the original aesthetic, which retains the dark fantasy moodiness of Diablo 3. You can choose between a native 4K/30fps Performance’ graphics option and a 60fps ‘Performance’ graphics option for modern consoles. There is so little difference in visual quality that the smoother Performance option should be chosen.

Returning players with an Eagle’s Eye will be able to see that some of the sexualized armors and character designs have been removed. For example, the armor for the Amazonnian warrior will now protect her sensitive bits. It covers her in a manner that is appropriate for a battle-hardened veteran. Activision Blizzard is being accused of workplace misogyny. It’s encouraging to see some change in representation.

The old, the new, and the stubbornly unchangeable

The few gameplay adjustments that were made were subtle and most importantly, appropriate.

Although a character’s loot stash is still limited, they now have access to a shared stash that allows them all to access the same stash of interchangeable gear.

Now, Gold will automatically pick up gold by default. This removes the need for micro-management clicks when you don’t want to pick it up. It’s important to note that Activision Blizzard has resisted any urge to include micro-transactions and other real-money systems in the in-game economy. This is an entirely work-for-your-gear effort. Although the developers may have felt compelled to support vintage saves, which would have been completely ruined by the addition of a new real world economy, it is still welcome.

The best change however is to highlight the many ways that time has not been kind to Diablo 2. Resurrected supports both PC and console gamepads. The left stick guides your warrior and the triggers activate your skills. It works great, taking many cues from Diablo 3’s excellent console ports. The classic keyboard and mouse setup feels archaic compared to the modern one. Only two active powers are available at any given time, so it’s easy to play with them. You can swap them out by hitting a function key shortcut. However, this does not activate the powers. Instead, it transfers them to a mouse button for a’clicking. Although it may seem to be in line with the old ways of doing things, it is unnecessarily outdated. The hotkey system of Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft would be my choice, no matter how outdated.

 

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