Feast your eyes on Blizzard’s Diablo II: Resurrected
Blizzard Activation’s Blizzcon 2021 provided much news about our favorite franchises. No announcement from Blizzcon excited me as much as Diablo news. To be more specific, the fan-favorite game Diablo II will get the remaster treatment with Diablo II: Resurrected. I talked about this earlier this month, but it’s nice to have an official word! Many remember Blizzard’s last remaster attempt, Warcraft III: Reforged. Well, I’m here to share plenty of updates that will hopefully keep your fears at bay.
What is DiabloII: Resurrected
“Diablo® II: Resurrected™ is a remastered version of the quintessential action RPG Diablo® II. Pursue the mysterious Dark Wanderer and fight the denizens of hell as you uncover the fate of the Prime Evils Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal, now in up to 4K (2160p) resolution on PC. Diablo II Resurrected features:
– Remastered graphics: Monsters, heroes, items, spells, all resurrected.
– Classic gameplay
– Planned support for cross-progression
– An epic story told through five distinct acts
– Updated Battle.net support.
– … and much more!”
Blizzard is remaking, shot-for-shot, all the cinematics in Diablo II. I look forward to hearing the original soundtrack remastered for 7.1 audio. They may be upgrading the sound, but they will not replace/re-record the voice tracks.
Cross-progression is something I’ve wanted for many games, especially Blizzard games (Looking at you, Overwatch). For Diablo II: Remastered, Battle.net will save our characters, and we can play with that data across multiple consoles and PC. That’s a welcome change. I played Diablo III on PC first and then made my way over to consoles, only to have to start over. While it was entertaining, I like the idea of continuing my journey across any machine. Players still need to own a copy of the game on each supporting platform.
Cross-play, however, will not be supported. So, we can play our same characters on any console/PC. We can’t play with anyone, say, in the Xbox community if I’m on PlayStation? When will the big three stop the nonsense and give us cross-play? That’s ranting territory, and I’ll pause right now. Instead, Diablo II: Resurrected designer Rob Gallerani said we could all play against one another because the leaderboards are global. That’s not a trade-off anyone will clap for, but I’ll try not to ask too much. We’re finally getting D2 remastered.
The authentic D2 experience axes couch co-op
Right away, I’d like to warn gamers that Diablo II will not support couch co-op. I’ve played countless hours of D3 with my Wife while praising D2, which she has never played. Before I get up in arms, the D2: Resurrection team did look into adding local co-op. If you look back at the original game, the world centered on our characters in the middle of the screen. Gallerani said once they tried changing that, they were moving away from the authentic experience of D2. “When we started departing from that, it wasn’t D2 anymore.”
It will have local play on the Nintendo Switch.
Honestly, I forgot that the transition from D2 to D3 came with less co-op functionality. Regardless, eight-player co-op returns to Diablo II: Resurrected.
Diablo II: Resurrected will not erase the original game
I did not play Warcraft III’s remaster, and that’s a good thing. Battle.net forced users to update to Reforged, which got rid of the original game client. Users could still revert to the original graphics, but a host of problems kept fans from enjoying the game. So, my first order of business is to elicit a sigh of relief when I say the same won’t happen to Diablo II.
“No, absolutely not. Everything you have about [Diablo II] currently will stay D2. This is a separate product, separate game. You can play ’em both at the same time if you want.”
It goes without saying that keeping both versions of Diablo II separate is the way to go. We all chase nostalgia, but remasters can be problematic when experiencing the authentic, original game. Bugs and cheats included – Don’t tell me you don’t remember hacked white items using the hero editor. That said, Blizzard’s D2: Resurrection consists of the ability to switch to the old-school graphics of the original.
The Modernization of Diablo II
The game will be authentic, but that doesn’t mean it will forgo current systems that helped Diablo III. There is a shared stash, updated user interface, and an auto gold pickup that may be toggled on or off. Shared stash is a component that allows players to access their stashed items on any of their characters. Hopefully, there will be stacking for runes, gems, and potions. That may not be a massive problem with Blizzard increasing inventory space from the 6×8 grid to 10×10. The PC will support mods for D2: Resurrection. Keep in mind that this version of the game runs on a new engine, so old mods aren’t likely to work. I could see classic mods getting upgraded, but there’s no official word on that yet.
Diablo II: Resurrected comes out sometime in 2021. There’s no definite date, but there is an Alpha Test for the game. If you’re interested in taking part, sign up here for a chance to partake in the Diablo II: Resurrected Alpha.