Diablo 2: Resurrected Review

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Blizzard attempts to breathe fresh life into an iconic classic with a fresh coat of paint and minor quality of life upgrades in Diablo 2: Resurrected.

It’s been twenty years since Diablo 2 launched and, like many classic Blizzard titles, the game still boasts a massive fanbase and an incredibly loyal community. Some massive changes were made to the franchise gameplay loop and baseline difficulty level with the 2012 follow up (Diablo 3 and its post launch content), but fans of the original experience are getting a major visual and auditory upgrade with the launch of Diablo 2: Resurrected.

The remaster of the 2000 title follows more in the vein of WoW Classic than the Warcraft 3 Reforged approach by attempting to deliver an almost identical experience to the original with only visual upgrades and a few minor quality of life improvements that stop short of making the game any easier or harder. Most quality of life upgrades in Diablo 2: Resurrected stick to improving the convenience of online and co-op play, although there is also an auto gold pickup option that is turned on by default. That being said, all of the gameplay quality of life improvements can easily be toggled off for players who prefer an experience that more closely matches the original.The ability to quickly toggle between the updated and legacy version of Diablo 2 is the game’s strongest feature. The one-button toggle between legacy and remastered graphics is far more entertaining than it ought to be and quickly swapping back and forth to see how a tree or the wall of a dungeon originally looked makes every session a fascinating look at how graphics have changed in the last two decades. It’s purely optional but still impressive.

The level of entertainment that Diablo 2: Resurrected will provide largely depends on how gamers are approaching the title. Are they a player who remembers the game from childhood and wants to revisit it, a die-hard fan who never stopped playing, or a fan who fell in love with the franchise with Diablo 3 and are looking to experience the prior installment for the first time? That final group may have the most interesting (and possibly frustrating) experience with the core Diablo gameplay loop, but with far less direction and a much steeper initial difficulty curve than in Diablo 3.

In terms of remaster quality, Diablo 2: Resurrected does an incredible job of retaining the nostalgia and feel of the original release while providing some stunning visual updates to the game’s graphics and bringing the 20+ minutes of cinematic cutscenes up to the quality of modern Blizzard titles. The game’s sound didn’t need much work at all and holds up very well, but the minor improvements and remastered tracks and audio sound great. Just like the graphics, the classic audio can also be toggled on with the one (or two on console) button switch to legacy mode.

The exploration and combat systems in Diablo 2: Resurrected hold up well and offer hundreds of hours worth of replayability for players who don’t mind a grind and enjoy a bit of repetition while powering up and farming for particular items. It’s hard not to be a little frustrated by some of the old systems and limitations, like the very limited number of respec’s that a character has access to in comparison to modern games, so some players may lose patience with the title if they’re more accustomed to contemorary titles and enjoy that level of convenience.

At the end of the day, Diablo 2: Resurrected certainly feels like a game that is designed with veteran and nostalgic players in mind and it truly nails the experience in that sense. Whether it’s going to be able to build a new audience with first-time players is a much tougher question, but the old school experience may have more to offer modern gamers than it appears at first glance. Diablo 2: Resurrected fills a very unique spot in the franchise’s offerings by allowing players to continue returning to D3 (and someday Diablo 4 for a modern experience), but also now having a visually modern option when they want a bit more baseline difficulty and a classic experience.

At this point post-launch plans are a bit up in the air, as the dev team was solely focused on getting the initial launch out the door in the best condition as possible and getting a strong foundation in place before considering new add-on content.

NOTE: Game Rant’s review is based solely on the PC experience, so we have no feedback or opinions on the controller option or the cross-play that is available for players who own the game across various platforms. Although reports of connection issues and character deletions have been widespread, Game Rant did not encounter any of those issues during the early access review period and only minor connection issues since launch.