Diablo 2 Resurrected brings the remake of the original Diablo 2 and the Lord of Destruction expansion, in one single package. Many new players who have never played the original Diablo 2 back from 2000 are wondering if the new remaster is worth playing. Well, let’s look at what I think about this remake in this Diablo 2 Resurrected PC review.
As an avid fan of the original game, I would like to tell you my review in one sentence – Diablo 2 is the Mona Lisa in the world of ARPG hack-and-slash games. There is nothing quite spectacular made till date that could recreate the crafting, skills, and replayability of D2. Even Diablo 3 failed to live up to the mark set by its predecessor, and many fans were not happy about it. But today, I will keep my inner fanboy aside and will take a look at the game from the perspective of a new player to the series.
Diablo 2 Resurrected PC Review
A Quick Recap of the Hellish Lore
For those who are new to the series, the only thing you need to know is that Diablo 1 told the story about the neverending war between angels and demons. Also, the Prime Evil Diablo is trying to take control of the mortal realm. He is defeated by the player and the story takes a pause there.
In Diablo 2, you start as one of the 7 playable characters including Amazon, Assassin, Barbarian, Druid, Necromancer, Paladin, and Sorceress. As you start your journey and visit the mystical world, you hear the stories of a Dark Wanderer traveling east (…always east…) and waking up nightmarish creatures and monsters along his path. You also meet many characters along the way who believe the Prime Evil himself is back.
So you take it upon yourself to release the land from the forces of hell and solve the mysteries surrounding the Dark Wanderer. This kick starts the plot of Diablo 2. I really don’t want to spoil anymore, but hold on to your seats for you come across many names of demons you are familiar with, during your adventures while unraveling the final enigma.
A Perfect Combination of Nostalgia and New Age Audio Visuals
I would have started by talking about the gameplay, but Diablo 2 Resurrected being a remaster, I can’t help but start with both sound and graphics of the game. Blizzard can truly call this a remaster – yes, the advancements in audio and visual upgrades are way, way better than the original game.
Twenty-one years in the video game industry is almost like an eternity. You can enjoy Diablo 2 Resurrected visuals in full 4k glory along with 7.1 Dolby Surround sound. The soundtrack is well put together to teleport you right into the world of Diablo and it truly makes you feel more immersed in its dark world.
As a new player, you may feel like the graphics are not par with many new-age games, and you are right. But you need to know that Diablo is not meant to be a whole new experience for the fan base. That’s because to fill that void, we are getting Diablo 4 in a couple of years. In this review, I want to tell you how Diablo 2 Resurrected focuses more on reliving those nostalgic experiences. And for newcomers who are picking up the game for the first time, the devs made sure you get the closest experience that’s true to the original. D2R does not change any of the previous game mechanisms, stats and balancing is exactly like how it was in D2. A bold move many Studios might not even consider doing.
Once you play through the game, you will understand exactly how the veterans felt about the game. And to accompany that, devs made sure to put a visual Legacy mode, whereby with a press of a button (or couple in consoles) your screen transforms to old school 2D sprite graphics that we grew up with. This is a welcome addition if you are interested in replaying the game with different characters. And I can guarantee that you will play the game more than once. That’s how you can truly appreciate the depths of customization you can squeeze out of everything the game has to offer.
Revisit the Core Gameplay in a New Package
Yes, I already mentioned the Diablo Resurrected gameplay in the above sections of this review, primarily because it’s that good. If you are someone who has no idea what kind of gameplay you are expected to get from D2R, then let me tell you, I envy you. Your very first Diablo 2 experience is going to be something you remember for a very long time. Sure, you can replay it over and over again, but the first time – it’s going to be special.
Diablo 2 Resurrected is divided into different Acts, with each Act containing 6 quests. The first Act is one of the best introductions to the gameplay mechanisms ever done in a video game. There is no tutorial in the game. You just take your controller or mouse and move where you want to and do everything you can to survive and progress.
You won’t even realize that by the time you finish the first Act, you will know all the mechanics like the back of your hand. Plus, you can even choose to play the original game if you’d like. Yeah, I’m not kidding, the original Diablo 2 is still up and running game with dedicated servers out there. I doubt many games could say that after 2 decades of their initial launch.
As I said the core gameplay is unchanged, and by just switching to Legacy mode with older graphics, you will really feel like you are playing the original game. That’s how close the game mechanisms and balancing are indistinguishable from the previous version.
Diablo 2 paved the way for many RPGs of today, with mastery in skill points, abilities, and stats systems. And it takes it up a notch with runewords introduced in the Lord of Destruction expansion. These are new predetermined items you create using well-laid-out recipes and gathering the specific runes as ingredients. This level of integrity in the in-game system was unheard of at the time. Till today, not many games are capable to meet the expectations of these core functions you seamlessly get from Diablo 2. D2R recreates all these factors in a whole new package by giving you both base game and expansion together with all functions and features unlocked from day one.
Now if you watch gameplay videos online, everything may seem too complicated at first glance. But the game holds back its full capabilities till you are ready. This is unlike new age games which usually start with showing off the best they can give, taking you back to a downgraded version of those exact features. So the progression in Diablo 2 feels more natural and every victory feels like accomplishing step-by-step achievements. You start off with no armor and just a weapon for primary defense weapons. But by the time your character reaches even halfway across the max level cap, you feel like you are a God walking among the puny monsters. Slaying and purifying everything in your way.
Diablo Resurrected Review Verdict
Diablo 2 Resurrected makes a strong effort to emphasizing core gameplay back from the old days without a complete redesign of the original masterpiece. Given the ongoing trends of remaking everything in the world, D2R doesn’t veer from the fundamentals that made the game great in the first place. The addition of 4k, Dolby surround sound, and extra live visual elements only elevate the experience.
Diablo 2 Resurrected feels more than just playing a video game, it is a beautiful dance of heavy metal, dark environments, and a magnum opus of what the world of ARPG can offer. It was among my own personal list of top games to play before you die, and now that it’s Resurrected, it gives you a strong reason to pick it up if you have never tried it before. And if you are a veteran player of the original game, I guess you are already sold. So with that said, get yourself a copy of the game, and thank me and the fanbase later.
That sums up my Diablo 2 Resurrected PC review. For more opinions and info about the latest games, head over to our Reviews section on Gamer Tweak!