Diablo 2 Resurrected didn’t get me addicted like the original
Like many people playing video games at the turn of the millennium, I was addicted to Diablo 2. I spent all my free time playing the dungeon crawler in hopes of getting better loot. That’s why I was excited when Diablo 2 Resurrected was announced at BlizzCon 2021 in February. It promised to deliver the classic Diablo experience with a fresh coat of paint and quality of life improvements. Though the game delivered when it came out on Tuesday, it didn’t quite capture me the way the original version did all those years ago.
Diablo 2 Resurrected does everything you want from a remaster. It looks and plays better than the original, but it’s not enough for someone who had his fill of Diablo 2 20 years ago.
I played Resurrected on PC, consoles and even the Nintendo Switch, and each version looked great when compared with the original. I know this because the game has an option that lets you switch between the upgraded visuals and the original.
While the visual upgrade isn’t exactly GPU-melting caliber, it’s just the right amount to give you that nostalgic feeling. You want to believe that this was how the game looked back in 2000 on a Pentium II computer with a 15-inch CRT monitor. Switching back gives you that reality check. Those legacy graphics haven’t exactly aged well. Still, they were good enough at the time.
Then come the quality of life improvements to the controls. Like the visuals, it’s easy to forget how monotonous the controls were back in the aughts. The new controls are intuitive and work as well with a controller as they do with a mouse and keyboard.
Even so, with all these improvements, I wasn’t compelled to play Resurrected for more than an hour at a time.
On its initial release, the original Diablo 2 had a unique charm. It was amazing to play through the game and discover that when you started on a higher difficulty level you got a whole mess of new equipment, making everything you’d previously had look like utter crap. The point of the game went from trying to stop Diablo to getting the most epic loot possible. That need to hunt down better gear has become such a staple in subsequent games that it’s worn out its charm for me. That’s not the only thing that’s lost its charm. When Diablo was released in 2000, Blizzard was at its apex. It created a sequel that blew away the original Diablo, while also creating incredible strategy games like Warcraft and Starcraft. Then, with World of Warcraft, Blizzard would go on to reinvent the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (aka the MMORPG genre).
Today’s Blizzard, however, is rife with controversy instead of excellence.
In 2019, the company sided with China after a Hearthstone player defiantly proclaimed his support for an independent Hong Kong. Then, this summer, Blizzard was hit with a lawsuit by the state of California over allegedly creating a hostile environment for its female workers. Though Resurrected wasn’t handled by Blizzard, but instead by developer Vicarious Visions, this is still an important property for Blizzard. I wouldn’t fault anyone for not wanting to jump in.
Diablo 2 Resurrected is out on PC and the PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles, for $40.