Diablo II: Resurrected has made its way through alpha and beta testing stages, and has finally launched for the wider world for real. I found that I simply didn’t “vibe” with the PC controls for whatever reason, and opted to play on the Playstation instead. A modest PS4, mind you. It’s really easy to condense the review into “oh, it hasn’t changed all that much”, but for the sake of completion, here it is. You can read our alpha impressions here.
As you might expect, the console version does not have rebindable hotkeys. I tried to fiddle with the large font option, but it didn’t seem to change anything. There’s not much in the way of accessibility besides the colourblind options for protanopia, deuteranopia, and tritanopia, the intensity of which can be set with sliders instead of strict presets if you need it.
When it comes to character creation, the classes are all lined up for you to select, and are gender-locked. The selection is just slightly clunky on console due to needing to double confirm your selection. If there was supposed to be a pop-up with descriptions for them on the first press, it didn’t appear for me, so it just looked like they were flexing for some reason. Once you’ve picked your desired class, you can choose to be part of the ladder rankings, with or without permadeath, or include or exclude the expansion that’s bundled with the remastered version.
The cinematics can genuinely give it the feel of being a completely new title for someone who doesn’t know better. They’re quite beautifully done, and appear to have lost the performance issues it suffered in the beta. The subtitles have also been updated to include a slight background behind the text, but it still uses the title font instead of a regular Sans / Serif font. I really wish I could change this; I know that items in the world also utilize this font but consider this: the items are not moving.
My nitpicks are primarily for the interface. Like I mentioned, the Large Font toggle didn’t seem to do much, and the hotkeys look small comparatively to my screen. I’m unsure how much of this is because of my display itself, but as there are no sliders for UI size, I can’t fully try it out. These gripes aside, the graphics will satisfy “modern sensibilities”.
Now with the full line-up of classes, I went straight to my Necromancer homie to embark on the tour of the skelebros. I didn’t attempt any online connectivity, but I have faith that any latency issues would be minimal. With the previous online beta, I was having noticeable stutters just simply being connected to the online chat, though performance issues back then were pretty understandable.
I did try out the Druid previously due to my propensity for summoner classes and the desire to do absolutely nothing, so I am glad that the Necromancer can start out with more permanently undead companions. I thought there’d be some kind of lock-on feature for console. It feels like it’s technically there, a “soft” lock-on as it were, but you do need some positioning or end up whiffing completely. Another slight annoyance is the attack button being the same as the pick up button, so just watch some items get flung around as I try to jab some creature to death.
Menuing is alright, the inventory management truly a hell of its own. The auto-sort works well enough, though I typically try to toss out things that I almost always accidentally pick up, maybe even multiple times. The horror. My skelebros get caught on the terrain every now and again, freaking out in the narrow space of a cave entrance, bless them. It’s funny to me how the story starts out with the shock, horror, of, I don’t know, demonic possession, undead, but I’m different. Thanks for understanding.
If you’ve always wanted to play Diablo 2 as closely to the original as possible but didn’t jive with the graphics, Diablo 2: Resurrected is a very easy recommendation. It’s got a fresh look for newer fans, while veterans can always choose the Legacy option for maximum nostalgia. The remaster did not take any “outrageous” risks besides optimizations and quality of life updates, so it’s a safe bet for you to grab it if you’ve been waiting.
Diablo II: Resurrected is be available digitally on 23 September 2021 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S and Nintendo Switch.
Diablo 2: Resurrected
An old game with a new gleam.
- Brings back the classic with fresh look for new fans, with options for Legacy mode
- Includes expansion pack, which you can choose to turn off
- Nitpicks over UI
- If somehow "essentially the same game" is a bad thing, Resurrected doesn't change much
Seat's all warmed up for you