Diablo II: Resurrected is a modern remaster of the classic isometric action-RPG Diablo II (2000). Given its name, you’ve probably already figured that out.
Now I’m gonna be honest here; I’m a relative newcomer to the series. While I’ve played my fair share of modern third-person action RPGs (think Final Fantasy VII Remake, Mass Effect, and the likes of Horizon: Zero Dawn), what Diablo II: Resurrected represents is admittedly a bit of a blind spot on my gaming CV. So when the chance came to give this old-school classic a spin, I found it pretty hard to pass up. And I’m glad I gave it a go.
The following are my first impressions (played on Xbox Series X) after a handful of hours with the game and is by no means a full review like we usually do on this site.
Just a note here that while I chose to adventure alone offline, you can gather a team of up to 8 friends online. Unfortunately, there’s no local co-op here.
Loot, Lots of It
Resurrected’s core gameplay loop follows the classic loot-driven formula (which makes sense given that Diablo was key in establishing the genre).
You’ll explore the world, pick up quests, light enemies up, level up, grab some good ol’ loot to carry back to your rogue encampment, turn in quests, use power-ups and gear to buff your character, and regularly ogle over and play with the toys that you’ve found along the way.
The game features a simple and clean formula with a linear questline and a fast-travel checkpoint system guiding your journey through five acts. In an age where games are often bogged down by unnecessarily complicated design philosophies, Diablo II: Resurrected’s simplicity feels welcoming and inviting.
Look and Feel
Akin to many Blizzard games of the past, Resurrected continues nailing the controls when porting from PC to console. Navigating through the game’s few menus and torching enemies with my Sorceress powers was a pretty seamless and delightful experience.
The only gripe I have at the moment is that organising my inventory could at times, feel a little bit tedious. The game features a grid-based inventory system that requires you to arrange (and re-arrange) your bag and stash often.
That said, I did find that it gave me a sense of satisfaction sorting through my treasures manually—kinda like sorting through, touching, and feeling the handful of seashells I collected in my pocket after a wonderful day at the beach.
A Hell of a Legacy
My earliest gaming memories date back to the early 2000s with the Game Boy and the PlayStation 1. I was probably a little too young to conquer the depths of Hell when the original Diablo II came out. Still, the original’s classic visuals (and feel) are authentically preserved in Resurrected’s Legacy Mode and boy, does this make me happy (and, strangely, a little nostalgic).
In my time with it, I found myself frequently switching back and forth to marvel at the old-school aesthetics while also satiating my curiosity in seeing how classic designs have been preserved and modernised. Similar to Halo: The Masterchief Collection, this can be done instantaneously with the press of a button combination (LT + View on Xbox Series S/X).
It brings me great joy in seeing what’s been added and modified, and how the designers and artists have managed to keep the essence of the art intact, despite drastic changes in graphical styles and lightyears of performance and fidelity advancements.
Amidst years of ongoing discussions in the gaming community about preserving games, Diablo II: Resurrected stands as an example of how preservation and modernisation can be done right simultaneously. And I’m grateful for this. Plus, it’s more Diablo, and from what I’ve played, I’m pretty sure that’s always a good thing.
Looking to get the game? Well, hop on over to the official site!
Screenshots were taken on an Xbox Series X, with additional visuals courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.