Diablo II: Resurrected – Review
Follow Genre: Action RPG
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment, Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Platform: PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5
Tested on: PS5

Diablo II: Resurrected – Review

Site Score
7.1
Good: Still has a solid foundation, Atmosphere, Action
Bad: Actually has more bugs than 20 years ago, Does not feel like a console game at all, UI, Matchmaking sucks on console
User Score
5.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 5.0/10 (3 votes cast)

While Blizzard is in hot water these last few months, and many issues are rightfully being addressed, we are going to be focusing on the developer’s performance, rather than the big publisher’s ethics. The Diablo II remaster has been handled by Vicarious Visions, who made sure the game received a massive graphical overhaul, as well as the ability to run on our modern consoles. While a fair amount of effort was put into the Resurrected version of Diablo II, we didn’t get the same quality experience as we did 20 years ago. The game is still good, but it misses a lot of its old-school charm and even lacks the basic matchmaking functions it had back in 2000. That being said, we did enjoy this grim trip down memory lane, even though we found ourselves leaving the world of Sanctuary sooner than we expected.

Story

Those unfamiliar with the story of Diablo II may have found themselves living under Mount Everest for the last two decades. In short, the world of Sanctuary once again finds itself in great peril after the resurfacing of the Lord of Terror, Diablo. You, an unnamed warrior (of your own choosing) will track down all the forces of evil and try to put a stop to it, once and for all. While the story contains many (still) impressive cinematics and a reasonable amount of story content, it’s mainly all about the gameplay. For those who have never played Diablo II, we do suggest just starting a solo adventure first, and let yourself be enveloped by the experience that is Diablo II.

Graphics

Graphically the game has received a massive update compared to its antiquated version from the early 2000s. We loved the rework and we could even appreciate the new character designs. While some censoring went on here and there, the game somewhat looked how we remembered it in our nostalgia-induced memories. You can also opt to play in the Legacy mode, which shows you the old-school blocky graphical style of the game, which is also a nice touch. We would even go as far as to say that the Legacy graphics were sometimes a bit cleared in certain environments, as the new skin actually has a lot of muddy details. Nonetheless, a lot of work and care was put into updating the game with our modern standards in mind. We also very much enjoyed the reworked cinematics, even though you could also see the somewhat janky movements here and there, as these are basically just reskinned versions of the original cinematics. We did notice a fair few frame drops during the cinematics.

Sound

Even though everything may sound a bit crisper than it did when D2 was originally released, Diablo II‘s soundscape has aged incredibly well. The game is filled to the brim with voice-acted conversations, epic music, and of course, many explosive and impressive sound effects. We loved revisiting the soundtrack of the game, which has many iconic tracks playing in the background of your adventure. Those who have spent a lot of time in Diablo II‘s world will feel right at home here.

Gameplay

Diablo II: Resurrected is the remastered version of Diablo II and its expansion, Lord of Destruction. The game has received a massive graphical overhaul and has been ported to all major consoles, adding controller support to the equation. For those having fond memories of the original, bear in mind that D2R runs on the version that came after D2‘s massive overhaul in version 1.10, which came out three years after its initial release. This means that many of the original players may still have new content to explore, or will not be able to build characters as effectively as they did back in the day. Those who loved the rework will then in turn be pleased, as the game then added a lot of skill synergy, allowing for more effective and stronger builds for some overlooked characters. This means that the Paladin and Druid will not be sitting on the sidelines anymore and can actually top the charts.

While the base game may have aged quite nicely over time, we encountered more bugs and issues than we could manage to count. Let’s start off by saying that Diablo II is absolutely not a game that is very pleasant to play on consoles. Sure, it’s functional, and the fact that you can bind more skills to your keys, compared to the two-skill-and-swap system on PC, is a welcome edition. Sadly, no manual targeting causes a lot of annoyances, for example when using corpse explosion when playing as the Necromancer. More often than not, you see a random body explode behind you, rather than in the group of monsters where it actually matters. When the game does not recognize a target, curses often wouldn’t be cast, even when facing enemies, etc. We would encounter door animations that didn’t work, making it seem like we were stuck behind closed doors, and just looking for a specific item when loot drops feels like an absolute chore.

When talking about the aforementioned loot, the inventory system is an absolute horror to work with. Diablo III’s console versions have an optimized inventory system, and for some reason, Diablo II: Resurrected comes with the bare minimum. The game just has controller functionality slapped on the 20-year-old code. Actually managing your inventory feels as if you’re the one that should actually get paid for it, as just crafting gems, filling your tome of Town Portals, or any other small task, feels so slow and annoying. The game does not support you scrolling your mini-map, which is also a massive inconvenience. Add the fact that there is no proper chat system in play, and it’s nearly impossible to find public lobbies, and you’ll be playing solo most of the time, even when creating an Online character. We can immediately advise buying the PC version if you want to actually see lobbies and join public games. The console version does not even allow you to see the room list. During our fairly extensive testing time, we found two public games, where on both occasions the players in them were AFK.

Conclusion

Diablo II: Resurrected has stood the test of time quite well when trying to be as unbiased as possible. The core of the game still functions very well, the overall experience is still solid, and we loved this dark and broody throwback to the series. On the other hand, however, the huge number of bugs that now pop up in a 20-year-old game is astonishing and may serve as a turn-off for those who actively played the original. While we can only applaud the game having support to run on consoles now, we feel that a proper UI rework was needed to make the experience somewhat pleasant for console gamers. Add the fact that console players are not even able to view public lobbies, and you’re in for a solo adventure rather than an epic online quest. Don’t get us wrong, we enjoyed the experience and still very much love Diablo II, but we suggest buying it on PC, as you’ll then have an actual functional version of the game (albeit with fewer hotkeys for your skills than the console version). Those looking for a proper solo experience may find a lot of fun to be had picking this one up for console; if you can overcome the very wonky inventory system that comes with it.

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Rating: 5.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Diablo II: Resurrected – Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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