Diablo® Ii: Resurrected

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With Diablo 2: Resurrected, developer Vicarious Visions had the unenviable task of releasing a game published by Activision Blizzard.

Beginning in July, a storm of controversy has raged around the publisher, which has faced several lawsuits alleging toxic workplace environments, a “pervasive frat boy culture,” & discrimination against women, one of which was instituted by a federal agency & ended with a recent settlement. Vicarious Visions released its creation into an environment engulfed in cynicism & anger at its affiliate publisher, & the creator of the original game. Longtime players have stopped participating in the Activision Blizzard ecosystem; high ranking employees have left. Even during the best of times, working for a company like Activision Blizzard – or any major corporation – at the lower levels can be difficult. Adding further toxic layers can make it, to lớn use a term suited to lớn Diablo 2, hellish.


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I want to reviews this game. But I also want khổng lồ be cognizant of the alleged awfulness done by men in power lớn Activision Blizzard workers who merely wanted to bởi their job. Tasked with remastering a classic, originally created by this same beleaguered corporation, Vicarious Visions does not deserve this taint. The question is whether Vicarious Visions succeeded in its task.

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In summary, it did.


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Image: Blizzard Entertainment
For the uninitiated, Diablo 2 is an isometric action-adventure with RPG elements, set in a dark fantasy universe with angels, demons & all sorts of nefarious entities. Upon its release in 2000, it was the đoạn clip game equivalent of a self-aware đen metal album, with a performative seriousness that’s not meant to be taken earnestly. It remains campy as hell, and it’s a joy for being so.

Diablo 2: Resurrected is a remaster of the dungeon-crawling classic. There are no big updates to lớn controls, camera angles, or maps design. It is, in essence, Diablo 2, complete with all the joys & annoyances players might remember.

Players choose from a pool of seven character classes, with which they smash, shoot & magically blast their way through randomized environments ranging from rural encampments lớn creepy tombs. For the purposes of this review, I went through them all. However, there were standouts. My martial artist Assassin would be right at trang chủ in a Yakuza game, chaining jabs that build into a devastating final blow. In contrast, my Necromancer stands back lớn let his army of foul beasts, ghouls, và skeletons simply wash over the land, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake.

The controls are wonderfully responsive, & each class has its own mechanical feel. Playing on PS5, I feel every jab và magic bolt on the DualSense.

However, in keeping with the theme of old-school games, Diablo 2: Resurrected does little to lớn guide players. Tutorials are almost non-existent. When I obtained a new skill, I thought it would be automatically mapped and bound khổng lồ an available button – instead, I had to figure out binding & manually do it myself. I also had no idea that when levelling up, I could choose lớn obtain new skills and abilities, in addition to upgrading Attributes. It is not hard to lớn figure out, but a bit more guidance would have been welcome – especially for new players who never played the original.


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Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Once I actually figured out the button-mapping mechanics, the characters opened up. Resurrected allows me to maps a secondary mix of actions khổng lồ the controller’s left trigger. For example, I press X to do a basic attack, but by holding L2 và X, I can execute a character’s more powerful magic attack. I tend to use these secondary buttons for magic or special abilities (which drain the characters’ mana pool), while keeping my vanilla buttons for immediate, non-draining attacks. By mixing and matching combat and magic, my characters turned into absolute machines. Given the responsive controls, it became a joy khổng lồ play as any of the classes.

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Diablo is a famously addictive franchise, despite it consisting almost entirely of combat from the same fixed angle. But monotony is broken by the variety of enemies, evolving environments, dungeon randomization, and loot. I was constantly thrilled when I found a powerful wand or unique sword.

However, levelling up my character was the main drive. No doubt many MMORPG fans can speak khổng lồ this thrill: I just wanted to level up one more time, gain one more skill. Before I knew it, hours had flown by, despite setting myself a limit. With a cấp độ cap of 99, there are plenty of hours to lớn spend; even the core, original game could clock in at just under 200 hours for completionists.

The plot remains the same as it ever was, with shot-for-shot cutscenes told through gorgeous, updated cinematics. Well written, performed, and directed, they remain campy scenes we can all love và treasure.


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Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Since this is an early 2000s game, NPCs drown me in words, rather than engaging in interesting or animated discussions. They’re extremely well-acted, but they become cloying nonetheless. I almost never skip dialogue in games, but in Resurrected I often did, because the subtitles served the same purpose. Indeed, the first two Diablo games don’t have characters so much as glorified audio logs on two legs. (It is only in the third trò chơi that we find real NPCs, who grow, learn, come into conflict, & have their own agendas.)

But perhaps Diablo 2: Resurrected’s worst issue is its inventory “management,” another hangover from the original’s old-school design. If you love nitpicky administration và Excel balances, you will adore this. Otherwise, expect hellish clerk work. The inventory space is extremely & unnecessarily restrictive. You are given a large stash to lớn dump items, but there is no way to send any thành phầm directly to stash, as games lượt thích Demon Souls’ remake allow. Here, you must play pack mule. While slaughtering countless enemies, I had to pause, return to lớn camp, & dump or sell items to lớn make space for more loot that I would have to lớn dump or sell. The cycle is tedious và annoying. It breaks the flow of combat and exploration. I only hope a solution is implemented.

It is hard to talk about Diablo 2: Resurrected without dwelling too much on what made Diablo 2 great to begin with. It is also hard not to lớn linger on what makes the original frustrating by today’s standards. The updates are a joy to behold: loading times are instant, controls are tightly designed, & it remains a very easy game to pick up & play. The graphics, animations, increased framerate option, & sound design are a delight for the senses. But its teething problems — poor tutorials, boring dialogue, & infuriating inventory management — remain. The demo is not actually whether you like Resurrected but whether you like Diablo 2. Và given that it’s been trăng tròn years, you probably know the answer lớn that.


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Image: Blizzard Entertainment
However, there are a couple new issues to lớn consider: Resurrected allows for online and offline characters, but the two columns will never overlap – so if you have levelled up your offline Amazon lớn higher levels, she’ll never be able lớn play with friends. This barrier is unfortunate, since I do recommend playing it offline first, as the game is more responsive. In fact, I would recommend you use offline play as your own introduction, lớn familiarize yourself with the chơi game before leaping online where you’ll face lag, slightly delayed inputs & co-op partners’ annoyances. But otherwise, co-op was very easy lớn set up và play with friends. Resurrected benefits from co-op, particularly when characters complement each other (Paladin & Sorceress are a great combo!).

There were also network issues on launch day. The biggest impact was that I lost all progress on an offline character (an issue the developers are aware of), restarting her at cấp độ 1. There are smaller issues with playing online, most notably the lag & occasional stutter (even in a private, solo game). However, it was mostly a smooth experience whether online or offline.

Diablo 2: Resurrected is a trò chơi of contrasts: It’s a solidly designed dungeon crawler with the trappings of an early 2000s game; it has incredible, intense performances from its actors but the entire plot is laughably silly; it’s made by a talented team of developers but trailing undeserved smoke from its troubled publisher.

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The original Diablo 2 was the pinnacle of dungeon crawlers in 2000, but in its present form, it is more of a fossil. Vicarious Visions has done an incredible job of encasing it in amber. I loved my time with it, despite the flaws that are still visible through the shell. For better or worse, history remains.

Diablo 2: Resurrected was released on Sept. 23, 2021 on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch. The trò chơi was reviewed on PS5 using a pre-release download code provided by Blizzard Entertainment. Vox truyền thông has tiếp thị liên kết partnerships. These bởi not influence editorial content, though Vox truyền thông media may earn commissions for products purchased via tiếp thị liên kết links. You can find additional information about saboten.vn’s ethics policy here.