Diablo II: Resurrected (PC) Review

By Athanasios 25.10.2021 6

Review for Diablo II: Resurrected on PC

One of the most successful and well-known franchises of the video game industry, Diablo, Blizzard's hack 'n' slashy line of ARPGs needs no introduction. Or does it? It's been 21 years after the release of what is arguably the best entry yet, the sequel to the 1996 original, and the reason for major cases of painful wrists, Diablo II. In other words, many years have passed since then, so a new version would be more than welcome, first, in order to have a younger generation learn all about this pile of retro goodness, and second, to provide the incentive to those who grow up with it to return to the dark fantasy world of Sanctuary once more. Enter Diablo II: Resurrected, which, for the most part, is nothing more than a visual upgrade… which is all it needs, as the game underneath remains as fun as it was two decades ago.

Quick Diablo II resume. A typical hack 'n' slasher the likes of Grim Dawn and Path of Exile, Blizzard North's creation had players follow on the Dark Wanderer's footsteps across a variety of locales, ranging from grasslands and deserts, to jungles and even hell itself, with the purpose to defeat the titular Prime Evil - along with his extended family, with the demon lord Baal being the end boss of the Lord of Destruction expansion. Its excellent, dark fantasy atmosphere, and deeply engrossing story, were more than enough to make it a hit, but this also had great gameplay, which revolved around a simple, yet addicting loop of slay-demons-collect-loot, with numerous hero archetypes to try out, all with a varied set of skills. Its only true flaw besides a couple of issues here and there? It got old. It remains a classic in every sense of the term… but it got old.

Screenshot for Diablo II: Resurrected on PC

The genre has evolved since 2000. It hasn't got that much better, but some QoL features have slowly emerged, and this implements almost none of these. Identifying items, and going back to the town to sell them? Still here. Handling a limited inventory that fills up in a matter of minutes? Yes. Chugging down health potions is a necessary "tactic" for surviving boss fights? Yup! Stamina bar still exists for no other reason than to annoy you after a minute or so of continuous running? Oh yeah. Characters now collect money by walking over their piles, the UI looks better, you have a shared stash (godsend) and there are more settings to play with (visual and otherwise), but as a whole, this is Diablo II as you remember it to be. Thankfully, although Blizzard did indeed waste a great opportunity to smooth out the rough edges of its diamond, this still remains one of the best hack 'n' slash ARPGs ever made.

Small flaws put aside, there's a reason this is still considered the high standard, and why it's so darn enjoyable. Diablo III is more "modern?" Yes, but Diablo II lets you create distinct, custom builds. Titan Quest has more abilities to choose and blend? Yes, but Diablo II's combat lets you have fun with them and kill whole squads of hellspawn. Generally, X might have more Y than Diablo II, but the latter does the few things it does really, really good. It would be more than welcome if it has added something more to the recipe, but it's easy to forgive it for this "blunder." So, in conclusion, Resurrected basically translates to 'Remastered,' and nothing more than that. It's a brand-new coat of HD/4K paint on top of a piece of vintage history. Does it look good? Oh, yes, yes it does…

Screenshot for Diablo II: Resurrected on PC

All characters and enemies have new, smooth animation; the landscapes can finally be admired in a much higher resolution, with some added effects like reflective surfaces, and so on; and, finally, the dynamic lighting brings new life to it all, especially when using a class like the Sorceress, filling the combat area with sparks, flames, and icy projectiles. It's important, however, to note that the overall look is still intact. Resurrected doesn't really replace anything, it just enhances what was already there, leaving the flawless atmosphere of the original as it always were. The same goes on with the sound. All - already perfect - sound effects have been refined, but aside from a couple of new ones (the running sound, for example), this is as authentic as possible. As for the redone cut-scenes, let's just say that perfection has been perfected, with Blizzard showing that it hasn't lost its touch in that area.

Screenshot for Diablo II: Resurrected on PC

By the way, one can also toggle between the new and the old-school look with the push of a button, but even this nostalgia-stricken critic admits that is hard going back after this beautification. There has been some “controversy” regarding some changes, though, and these should be addressed. All classes have gone after a realism retouch, and the end result is a group of heroes who still look good, but have lost their comic book-like distinctiveness - because this is 2021, and God forgive if a game about beasts from the abyss and angels from the high heavens has a character with unrealistic proportions or attire. Some examples? The amazon looks more like an (ugly) Roman soldier than a fantasy version of a spear-wielding warrioress, the Sorceress is the least impressive Bollywood actress ever, and the Barbarian has decreased his steroid intake, looking like an off-season bodybuilder. Not bad, but it’s very easy to smell the floor cleaner from the unnecessary stuff meeting during which this change was decided on.

In conclusion: Resurrected is Diablo II all over again, and that’s far from a bad thing. Younger games, as well as those who have spent lots of time playing the more modern representatives of the genre will be annoyed by a couple of things that remain unchanged, but it’s not hard to lay those aside, and just start having fun - solo, or along with seven more demon-killing buddies of yours. What’s that? You have an older, offline file where you have spent one thousand hours on? Great, you can still use it! Generally, this doesn’t repeat any of the mistakes of WarCraft III: Reforged. It’s the exact opposite of it, in fact. It’s the definite version. Yes, it’s a relic of the past, but, like the Parthenon, its age and multiple cracks can’t do much harm to its legacy, and the fact that it is still considered the high standard against which everything else is compared.

Screenshot for Diablo II: Resurrected on PC

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

The Lord of Terror has never looked so good, with Diablo II: Resurrected taking the original, and improving its look so as to present it to a whole new generation of gamers, or to those who are still in love with the 2000 classic by Blizzard North. There's not much here in the way of additions or changes, which is definitely a wasted opportunity to practically offer the best ARPG ever made, but it's still hard to say no to such a devilishly good remaster. Good job Blizzard. Finally.

Developer

Blizzard

Publisher

Blizzard

Genre

Real Time RPG

Players

8

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Funny a remake is better than the new trash blizzard puts out.  They once were very good, now I couldnt care less about them.

It's Blizzard only in name right now, which is inevitable as it's a much, much, MUCH larger company.

Diablo IV is the only upcoming Blizzard game I'm interested. Hopefully it will be good. Early teasers are somewhat promising.

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

Do they have real classes, aka get rid of that respec garbage?

Also any idea if they changed any of the balance? Really hated late game was magic hammer spam.

( Edited 28.10.2021 02:07 by Dragon0085 )

Respec garbage? You get three respecs, why is that an issue?

No balance remains the same. Duriel is an a$@hole, and so on Smilie

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

I am referring to D3 where you didnt even have skills you just swapped your skill points or however they did it.

Im surprised you gave it a 9 despite the clear pandering with the way they changed the character models.  The amazon and assassin are clear egregious examples.  Another reason why I dont touch blizzard stuff anymore.

It has the same classes as u remember them. If u mean DIV... who knows.

As for the design changes, first I don't consider it sth that affects the score of what is - still - a fantastic game, and second, I feel it's not really pandering, just bad design... something all to common nowadays. In an attempt to make them all look realistic, they have "erased" the cool factor.

Can't a fella drink in peace?
                                -Farnham

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