Starting with its original release in the summer of 2000, I had logged thousands (probably tens of thousands) of hours in Diablo II and its subsequent expansion, Lord of Destruction. This game consumed almost all my free time. I can vividly remember coming home from high school, immediately logging on and playing until bedtime. I’d remake characters to try different builds, but, like my time in Skyrim, I’d always end up building the same thing: a lightning sorceress.
Enter, Diablo 2: Resurrected. To say I was excited was a drastic understatement. When I got the game installed on my laptop, I could not wait to dive back in. I was greeted with the familiar Blizzard loading screen, and suddenly I was 16 years old again. I clicked through the character creation screen, already knowing exactly what I wanted to build (spoiler alert: it was a sorceress). The only thing that was different was my character’s name, as it’s not even close to the same one I had 20 years ago.
The opening cinematic set the stage for what was to come, I immediately noticed the improved graphics and the framerates were impeccable. I was getting close to 200 fps during the cinematic. The amount of detail that went into making the flames leap around like they were alive brought a big smile to my face.
Before I go any further, I want to touch on a few of the visual improvements that have been made over the original. Right away, the game introduced 3D graphics. The difference between the 2D visuals on the original release compared to now are practically night and day. While the original aged relatively well, it still doesn’t come close to how good this game looks.
“I was greeted with the familiar Blizzard loading screen, and suddenly I was 16 years old again.”
In addition to 3D graphics, the game will also run at 4K resolution. Obviously, one will need a 4K compatible display/monitor to achieve this, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue these days. The amount of visual detail that you can see is staggering, especially for a top-down, hack-n-slash type game.
Blizzard has remastered most of the audio effects for Diablo II: Resurrected. Effects like combat, footsteps, and even removing gems from your inventory are updated to sound better and more immersive. The game also runs in 7.1 Dolby surround sound, giving you some amazing audio quality, especially if you’re wearing a headset to play.
The biggest quality-of-life change that has been made from the original would have to be shared stash space. In the original release, players would have to rely on multiple mule characters to hold their items that they didn’t want to get rid of. This time around, in the stash chest, there is your normal stash inventory as well as 3 additional “shared stash” tabs, each of which contains 100 slots to place items, giving the player a total of 300 additional storage slots.
“The game also runs in 7.1 Dolby surround sound, giving you some amazing audio quality, especially if you’re wearing a headset to play.”
Diablo II: Resurrected picks up shortly after the events of Diablo, where the Lord of Terror was defeated and sent back to Hell. This time, Diablo is on the loose again and is joined by his two brothers: Mephisto and Baal. It is up to the player to journey through five acts to find and defeat the three brothers. The original Diablo II had four acts if you elect to play without the expansion, which is included in Resurrection, though you’ll miss out on Baal that way.
Each act gets progressively more difficult, as one would expect, and the enemies get more powerful and numerous. I can definitely say that I got overwhelmed a couple of times by swarms of enemies and had to panic run to a safe space to get a portal to the safety of the town. Each act also has its own final boss, which, if you aren’t careful, will totally run over you, leaving you wondering what just happened and sheepishly trying to go get your corpse and loot back.
One of my favourite features about Diablo II: Resurrected is cross-progression. Meaning that I can play the game on my PS5 at home, and then continue playing that same character on my laptop while I’m on the go. One of the biggest problems I had with the original release was that if I went to a friend’s place to play the game with him, I didn’t have my own characters to use. Thankfully, this is no more because of this new feature.
One thing I wish Blizzard had included was cross-play. I have a few friends who play Diablo II: Resurrected on their consoles, while I primarily play on PC, so we can’t ever play together, which is a shame. Hopefully, this is something that Blizzard will implement in the future as there is a whole community out there crying out for this feature.
The gameplay for Diablo II: Resurrected is exactly as I remember it. It’s as simple as equipping a weapon, pointing your cursor over what you want to die, and clicking until it’s dead. Now, that is absolutely an over-simplification, but that is the combat in a nutshell. On PC, you don’t even need to click to block. I had my spells for my sorceress mapped to left click, and my town portal mapped to the right click.
“One of my favourite features about Diablo II: Resurrected is cross-progression.”
One of the best parts of Diablo II: Resurrected is its replay value. Because the map randomizes every time you load into the game, the experience is always new. The path you took last time to get to Mephisto will be different in some way for your next Meph run. Getting new items to improve my character is vital and exciting in Diablo II: Resurrected. Mephisto and Baal runs on Nightmare difficulty make for a lot of fun and the reward of that item you’ve been searching for is the icing on the cake.
Even before you load into the game world, you can join the world lobby and chat with the players active there. People can host open lobbies looking for people to play with, looking for item trading, and almost anything else you can think of. This is how I got a fair amount of my items when I played the original release and will absolutely be using it in the future when I level up a bit more.
There are so many things I love about Diablo II: Resurrected, I cannot put this game down. New players will be drawn in by the simpler mechanics and great graphics, but will stay for the experience and desire to build a better character. I can see myself putting another thousand hours into this game, easily.