Diablo II: Resurrected, a remaster of Diablo II, will arrive on PCs and consoles this year. To say I’m both excited and curious would be something of an understatement — Diablo II is where I cut my teeth on developing mods. Blizzard is using D2’s original source code, and my heart goes pitter-pat at the idea. That said, this is a game Blizzard can’t afford to screw up, especially after the disaster that was/is Warcraft III: Reforged.
Some definite quality of life improvements are coming with D2R, including a new shared stash and upgraded graphics. The game implements the Lord of Destruction expansion; you can see the launch trailer below:
For those of you who can’t watch video or dislike doing so, here’s a couple of screenshots showing the graphics upgrade in action. Don’t worry if you don’t like the changes; you’ll be able to change to the original graphics options at will. Blizzard hasn’t clarified the situation yet, but we’re betting the company has also dropped Glide support, in favor of standardizing on Direct3D.
The original game, in its 4:3, 800×600 glory. The problem with fixed resolution games is just how badly they’ve scaled to larger monitor sizes.
Here’s the upgraded version. 16:9 and there’ll be resolution options up to 4K. If you don’t like the new graphics you’ll have the option to upscale the old ones to higher resolutions. All cinematics are also being re-done.
Additional features baked into the upgrade include support for cross-platform progression. This allows you to play the same character on, say, a Switch or a PC. Also, characters are now 3D polygons, while backgrounds are still sprites. There’s also a new lighting system.
Blizzard needs to get this right. Warcraft may be the company’s oldest franchise, but Diablo II stands as one of the best and most enduring products it ever built. The baffling choices and changes made to Warcraft 3: Reforged were mistakes that do not need to be repeated.
Also, no word yet on whether everyone will get access to the original Diablo II the way they did when Blizzard launched Starcraft: Remastered. It’d be a nice gesture for the company to make, but we’ll have to stay awhile and listen wait and see if that happens or not.
Anyone else really looking forward to the remastered Tyrael fight in Act II? I admit it. I’m a bit of a fanboy for a game that’s nearly old enough to drink.
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