Diablo 2: Resurrected is a full reboot of Blizzard's hack-and-slash RPG first released two decades ago. It sports updated graphics, 4K gaming, and all the content from Diablo II and its expansions.
However, Diablo 2: Resurrected is a remaster, not a remake — as head of Diablo, Rod Fergusson stressed at the initial announcement. Gameplay-wise, fans can enjoy 3D models and quality-of-life changes improving on the original experience. But if the nostalgia is too much to bear, a legacy toggle lets you switch from the new graphics to those of the original Diablo 2.
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As the game has launched on Battle.net some of the features currently available at release weren't around back in 2000, like dedicated servers, and easy access to your friends list.
The downside is that modding has been affected because of Battle.net's stricter security measures. But mods will still be allowed so long as they're not injecting code straight into the game.
Diablo 2: Resurrected is now available for purchase and has been receiving strong reviews. Critics have in particular praised the game for its commitment to preserving the original experience while still overhauling the visuals to meet a modern standard. Carry on reading for everything you need to know about Diablo 2: Resurrected.
Diablo 2: Resurrected release date
Diablo 2: Resurrected was released on September 23, 2021. This date was announced during the Xbox E3 2021 show. The remaster is currently available on PC, Xbox Series X, Series S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch.
Diablo 2: Resurrected trailer
The first trailer for Diablo 2: Resurrected dropped along with the game's announcement. It shows off snippets of game footage, comparing the original and remastered graphics.
We were treated to a second trailer during the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase at E3 2021. It showed off a few seconds of cinematics, as well as single-player and multiplayer gameplay. We got confirmation here the game has been optimized for Xbox Series X and Series S, as you'd expect, with up to 4K 60 frames per second.
Diablo 2: Resurrected crossplay
It was confirmed prior to release that players can enjoy cross-platform progression between PC and consoles. These consoles are the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Nintendo Switch.
No matter what platform you're playing on you are able to transfer your characters and loot from one platform to another. In order to do this, you will need to have your Battle.net account linked on all the systems that you wish to carry progression across.
Plus, you will have to purchase Diablo 2: Resurrected on each individual system. While there is cross-buy between PS4 and PS5 as well as Xbox Series X and Xbox One, if you wanted to transfer your character from PS5 to Nintendo Switch you'd have to buy two separate copies of the game.
Unfortunately, crossplay isn't currently possible in Diablo 2: Resurrected. For example, you're playing on PC you can only adventure alongside other players on the same platform. Which is disappointing.
Diablo 2: Resurrected gameplay
With Diablo 2 now on digital store shelves, there is plenty of gameplay to watch online which will give you a very good idea of how the game plays in motion. If you haven't caught up with all of the visual improvements, you can check out the comparison video from GameSpot which shows off segments of Act 1 with the Sorceress.
Blizzard has stated that while Diablo 2: Resurrected will take "full advantage of today’s modern gaming hardware" the hack-and-slash gameplay of twenty years ago has been preserved — albeit with a few modern tweaks.
And for those who want a trip down memory lane, the legacy toggle will allow you to play the title in "the original 800 x 600 experience."
Diablo 2: Resurrected improvements
Let's get down to the most important order of business: What new features and improvements are included in Diablo 2: Resurrected that weren't around in the original?
Improved graphics and surround sound support
The biggest draw, of course, is the graphical overhaul and brand new cinematics. Players can enjoy the game in up to 4K 60fps, with new 3D models, and dynamic lighting. Sounds like a dream! And where would we be without an aural upgrade to boot? While the sound effects themselves remain as per the original, we can expect "a complete audio remaster in Dolby Surround 7.1 sound." Talking about the surround sound mastering, Fergusson said (via PC Gamer):
"We're taking the atmospherics in the world up, so you can hear the wind blowing through the streets and the rustling in the jungle. But we're not changing those iconic sounds, like placing a skull into a socket or putting a potion into your belt. The things you have those Pavlovian response to, knowing it's Diablo 2. Those are the sounds you're still going to hear."
Cross-progression between PC and console is another new addition, so your character and their loot can travel between platforms. However, as the website notes, you'll need "a linked Battle.net account and separate Diablo II: Resurrected purchase for each supporting platform."
Players who have their original Diablo 2 save will be pleased to hear that you can carry the classic save over to Diablo 2: Resurrected. So you don't have to start over with the newcomers who were just a twinkle in their parents eyes when you played the original game.
Expanded and shared stash
One quality of life improvement that even purists will be grateful for is an expanded and shared stash. The personal stash has been increased from 6 x 8 to 10 x 10 grid, while the shared stash is available to all characters attached to one Battle.net account. That means no more mule characters!
Interestingly, some features that might be appreciated by a more modern audience have been shunned in favor of the authentic Diablo 2 experience, while others can be toggled on and off. Auto-gold, for example, lets you pick up gold by running over it, rather than clicking on it. Meanwhile, quest markers on the map were a no-go, even though play testers (who had never played the original title) were asking for it.
"Most players play with the map up while they play the game,” Rob Gallerani, principal designer at Vicarious Visions, told Polygon. “And a request we got in the play test — very much from people who have never played [Diablo 2] but are used to playing more modern games — will be like, 'I just got a quest. Where’s the dot on the map telling me where to go?'
"We looked into doing something like that, and you’re like, 'Well, it doesn’t doesn’t break anything, right? It’s not making my character overpowered or anything like that.' And it totally changed the vibe of the game."
Auto-gold has been rationalised away with the explanation that "the physical aspect of having to run around" is still there, rather than having it all sucked up "a giant vacuum," as Gallerani told PCGamesN.
New hotkeys and controller support
In an effort to make the user experience more streamlined and efficient, Diablo 2: Resurrected will introduce new hotkeys for additional commands, as well as controller support on PC.
There's also an auto-party system for joining public games, and inviting people to your own, but again, you can take it or leave it — similar to the auto-gold toggle.
After 20 years, we're finally seeing some decent accessibility options introduced for Diablo 2: Resurrected. From low vision mode, to text size, to colourblind modes — the remake takes accessibility to a new level.
"When we talk about modernization, accessibility was one of the first key things that was on our mind," game producer Matthew Cederquis, told Game Rant. "Even just little things, like accessibility of the size of the screen you can play it on, it's a lot bigger. It is very important to us."
Diablo 2: Resurrected outlook
Modernizing old games for new hardware is no bad thing, and with Diablo 2: Resurrected it looks like Blizzard is taking the smart approach, offering some neat changes and a graphics boost without changing the essence of the original game.
Now that people are getting hands-on time with the game the general sentiment seems to be very positive. Diablo 2: Resurrected lovingly preserves the classic experience while giving it a welcome modern coat of paint.
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