Diablo 2 Resurrected is not the usual remastered edition to save on creativity and development costs. We write it immediately because in recent years of "remastered" of old glories of the past too many have come out, a sign that the desire to experiment with new IPs (new games with original characters and gameplay, ed) and therefore to risk a little was not then so much. The change of generation of consoles has done its part but focusing on the generation that played PC in the eighties and nineties is not a mistake in terms of marketing.
This remaster at the very least feels like the original; everything fits like a glove as I pursue the Dark Wanderer who is unleashing the forces of Hell on the people of Tristram. The same seven classes are still available, but old habits die hard, and for most of my time in Resurrected I stick with my aptly named old favourite, the Necromancer.
Control-wise, it's pretty impressive. The interface has been transplanted to console beautifully and assigning skill points (and, indeed, the subsequent unlocked skills) is extremely simple and efficient. Movement around the maps is speedy, attacking is suitably responsive and nothing in the meat-and-potatoes mechanics gets in the player's way, which is precisely what loot games need to be like; they're effectively a conveyor belt of stuff and the last thing you want is some bizarre design choice throwing a spanner in the works. In this case, some sort of legendary +3 spanner, natch.
Despite the fact that Diablo II: Resurrected doesn't feel so insanely natural on consoles, it is definitely recommended. You will find all available content here with the same nostalgic feeling from the past. This time only with beautiful graphics in the style of Diablo III, where literally every character, enemy, environment and light effect has been taken care of. Furthermore, the game is faithful in everything it does and guarantees many, many hours of gameplay. The online multiplayer functions more than fine, although technically there is still a lot to notice about Diablo II: Resurrected. Given Blizzard's history with post-launch support, I can see it coming. Diablo II is back and it's about time.
The remaster does change a lot, most apparently that it looks superb. This is a beautiful remaster that retains the spirit of the original Diablo II, but adds the definition and detail that my imagination had to fill in all those years ago. The overhauled cinematics now approach Blizzard’s modern standards – it’s far better treatment than Warcraft III: Reforged’s cinematics received. If you’re looking to play a bit of history with a few modernised tweaks, then Resurrected offers exactly that, and any medium-spec PC should be able to run it on high settings with ease. I do experience minor hitches when too many enemies are on screen, but that’s about it.
But as a single-player or co-op experience, Diablo II: Resurrected is a fantastic way to play one of the definitive games of the action-RPG genre, with splendid updated graphics and quality-of-life features. It’s an acquired taste, as are all ARPGs in its mould, but if you somehow never played the original, this is still one of the best games of its kind – as well as an essential piece of PC gaming history.
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