With Diablo 2: Resurrected, the classic returns as a remaster and is therefore also playable on consoles for the first time. Nevertheless, the new graphics still contain the 20-year-old original, with all its strengths and weaknesses.

Diablo 2: Resurrected

Was ist Diablo 2: Resurrected?

Even after more than 20 years, Diablo 2 is still considered the genre reference for action role-playing games. However, if you have not played the game yourself, you may only know the game briefly. Although the original is still available for download on the official website, with a maximum resolution of 800 by 600 pixels, there is already an enormous entry hurdle from a technical point of view. Anyone who only owns one console had to do without the classic so far.

Exactly these two construction sites form the biggest and most important changes of Diablo 2: Resurrected. For one, the game became a It has been given a completely revised look, but stylistically it fits in perfectly with the pixelated original. Resolutions of up to 4K are finally possible, the animations are fluid, the dynamic lighting looks fantastic and instead of two-dimensional sprites, the new edition relies on contemporary 3D models.

On the other hand, Diablo 2: Resurrected is no longer only available for the PC, instead the reissued classic also runs on all common consoles, i.e. PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S | X and Nintendo Switch. Playing Diablo 2 with the controller sounds downright unorthodox, but works especially well in combat. This is possible through a New user interface on which the skills are arranged in a skill bar, as is usual in current games.

Diablo 2 Resurrected Grafik
Visually, Diablo 2: Resurrected perfectly captures the style of the original.

If you play with a mouse and keyboard, you have to be content with the classic controls, because apart from a few minimal comfort features, such as the automatic picking up of gold, Diablo 2: Resurrected is downright conservative. In fact, the original game is still hidden under the new guise. You can switch between the new and old optics at the push of a button and even your 20-year-old save statuses can be imported with little effort.

So that also means that Diablo 2: Resurrected offers exactly the same content. You explore five acts in three more demanding levels of difficulty, choose between seven classes and repeatedly find the same areas and bosses in the hunt for the perfect equipment and experience points. However, you don’t need to expect a dedicated endgame system, comparable to the Greater Rifts from Diablo 3.

With our tips you are well prepared for Diablo 2: Resurrected even as a beginner:

Test conclusion for Diablo 2: Resurrected

Unsurprisingly, Diablo 2 kept its fans hooked for over 20 years. The motivating spiral of loot and experience points, together with the complex and versatile character system, are still among the best the genre has to offer. The contemporary look and the jump to the consoles also make the game more accessible than ever before.

However, if you have never played the classic, you will have to make friends with all kinds of outdated mechanics. Despite minimal improvements in detail, Diablo 2: Resurrected is still playing like it was 20 years ago, although action role-playing games have made a big leap since then, especially in terms of usability. It looks like Blizzard is afraid of too much change. Possibly so as not to offend long-established fans.

Diablo 2 Resurrected Multiplayer
Up to eight people can play Diablo 2: Resurrected together via Battle.net.

In practice, this leads to strange results, for example that PC gamers with a connected controller can also access the improved interface including the skill bar, but there is no option to activate it for the mouse and keyboard as well. It is noticeable that even minimal changes such as picking up gold or the continuous loot display can be deactivated in the options.

So if you want to experience Diablo 2: Resurrected with exactly the same restrictions and peculiarities as in the early 2000s, you can set the game in exactly the same way. The other way round However, this also raises the question of why not even more optional modernizations and features are included. Features that do not necessarily represent a break in tradition, but simply correspond to the long-established conventions of the genre.

Diablo 2 Resurrected Interface
Whoever plays Diablo 2: Resurrected with the controller gets an improved interface.

In terms of game design, however, the discussion is a little more complicated. Some systems are simply a child of their time, such as the immunities of opponents. In the higher levels of difficulty, all kinds of monsters have random resistance and are immune to frost and fire, for example. So if you play a high-level Frost Sorceress, you can’t get past these opponents despite perfect equipment. This demands patience, nerves and resistance to frustration.

While such barriers are no longer up-to-date these days and were also deleted in Diablo 3, for example, they are now part of Diablo 2. For 20 years fans have tinkered with strategies, characters and detours in order to master exactly such challenges. If they had been removed or redesigned, Diablo 2: Resurrected would no longer be the same game. After all, it is a remaster and not a remake. This also includes alleged weaknesses and peculiarities not to be removed, as it is precisely these that have significantly shaped the identity of the original. In the end, the text panels of a silent film are not replaced with subsequently synchronized dialogues in new releases, just because this corresponds to current viewing habits.

Strengths and weaknesses of Diablo 2: Resurrected

These are the strengths of Diablo 2: Resurrected:

  • The new graphics perfectly capture the visual style of the original
  • For the first time also playable on consoles
  • Solid controller control with improved user interface
  • The well-known loot spiral works and motivates as ever
  • Old saved games can be imported
  • Subtle improvements in comfort …

These are the weaknesses of Diablo 2: Resurrected:

  • … which could have been more extensive
  • Cumbersome operation with mouse and keyboard
  • No full-fledged endgame mechanics

8/10

“Apart from the great optics, the old systems with all their strengths and weaknesses were taken over, which ensures both authenticity and occasional frustration. Those who can get used to it, however, will also be tied to the screen for hundreds of hours by Diablo 2: Resurrected. ”