Diablo 2: Resurrected Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Diablo 2: Resurrected RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Diablo 2: Resurrected Hands-On — Flawless Technical Alpha, Impressive Controller Support https://www.gameskinny.com/q2qt8/diablo-2-resurrected-hands-on-flawless-technical-alpha-impressive-controller-support https://www.gameskinny.com/q2qt8/diablo-2-resurrected-hands-on-flawless-technical-alpha-impressive-controller-support Tue, 13 Apr 2021 16:32:26 -0400 David Jagneaux

Over the weekend, Blizzard hosted a technical alpha period for Diablo 2: Resurrected on PC. I got the chance to spend a few hours with the remastered action RPG classic and came away impressed, excited, and more than anything, eager to play more.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Diablo 2: Resurrected is that it's, quite literally, almost exactly the same game as the original. Other than a few quality of life changes, such as letting you share your stash between characters, this is almost exactly identical.

To be clear: I mean that in the best way possible.

Diablo 2 Resurrected for Modern Players

The technical alpha only featured three playable classes: Amazon, Barbarian, and Sorceress, none of which are my usual Necromancer or Paladin, so I had to make do with something new.

Diablo 2 is also entirely gender-locked and character-locked for its classes, which means other than equipping different gear and giving them a unique name, all classes have the exact same underlying design in terms of their face, hair, body type, etc. You don't spend much time looking at them closely, so that's not a huge deal, even if it would have been a nice feature to see added in this version.

I tried out both a Barbarian and an Amazon. They play similarly at first, but specializing the Amazon to focus on bows and spears for long-range and mid-range combat is a lot of fun. I loved shooting a fire arrow with my ice bow and watching enemies either freeze or burst into flames.

Barbarian is a class I never tried in Diablo 2 originally, usually opting for a Paladin, but he's a lot of fun as well. The Leap ability is excellent for clearing crowds, and the multi-attack can really make quick work of tough elite enemies. 

One of the best and most immediately noticeable changes with Diablo 2: Resurrected is that you can switch back to the original graphics at any moment at the press of a key. Changing between the two has such a weird effect that while playing with the new graphics, I started to think, "Wait. Didn't it always look like this?" before switching back and getting a huge punch in the gut. Turns out retro gaming memories are in HD but the reality is not.

I don't fully understand the sorcery at play here, but Blizzard must have made a deal with Diablo himself because the game feels the same but looks new. It's that very special sweet spot I think every developer wants to hit when crafting a remaster. The PS4 version of Shadow of the Colossus comes to mind as another great example.

Back in the early 2000s when I first played Diablo 2, I was struck by the depth of its world, its amazing characters, and its addictive loot mechanics. Nowadays, we're spoiled for choice in this genre with Path of Exile, Torchlight, Grim Dawn, and tons of others, but none of them can hold a candle to the methodical charm and dark, gothic world of the Diablo series.

There's just something so satisfying about the sound effects for every hit, the cracking of bones and squish of blood, and the jingling of gold hitting the floor. It's so satisfying on a core, primal level in ways that few games manage to be.

 

Keyboard and Mouse vs Gamepad Controls

I never liked playing Diablo 3 on consoles and have only ever played this genre on PC. There is just something that feels natural about clicking on enemies and loot, and quickly navigating menus without a second thought. It feels great and plays great — just like I remember it.

But... I think I prefer playing Diablo 2: Resurrection with a controller?

For starters, the fixed camera angle means that analog stick movement is simple and straightforward without any weird hurdles to jump over. Holding down the attack button is just like holding down shift and clicking, so it's great for dealing with large groups without stutter-stepping in combat.

The real reason, though, is the hot bar. When you play Diablo 2 on PC, you have two ability buttons: left mouse and right mouse. You can assign hotkey switching to any of your skills, like how pressing "F1" changes the RMB to a fire arrow or "F2" switches to the rapid-fire javelin jab. The hotkeys are nice, but you still have to fire off the skill with a mouse click and keep cycling.

On a gamepad, you can assign all four face buttons as well as a trigger and bumper button to a specific skill — plus as a secondary duplicate hotbar when you hold the left trigger. Potions go on the d-pad.

This is just so much more efficient and functional for dynamic classes like Amazon and Sorcerer that will need access to all their skills at any moment for all situations. 

Diablo 2 is Back

Obviously, the verdict is still out since I only played for a few hours between two characters and didn't get around to finishing Act 1, but I'm really impressed with Diablo 2: Resurrected so far. There is a lot of content to cover across multiple Acts, the expansion, and all of the procedural shuffling that happens with each playthrough and each class — not to mention the politics and excitement of playing online or playing with permadeath characters.

Diablo 2: Resurrected was already one of my most-anticipated games of the year list out of pure nostalgia, but now that I've tried it for myself, it's near the very top. I can't wait to take down the Lord of Destruction once again.

[Note: Blizzard provided the alpha copy of Diablo 2: Resurrected used for this impressions piece.]

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Diablo 2 Resurrected Technical Alpha Brings the Classic Back to Life https://www.gameskinny.com/swws9/diablo-2-resurrected-technical-alpha-brings-the-classic-back-to-life https://www.gameskinny.com/swws9/diablo-2-resurrected-technical-alpha-brings-the-classic-back-to-life Wed, 07 Apr 2021 11:43:16 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The first Diablo 2 Resurrected technical alpha runs from April 9 through April 12 and gives players a chance to experience the first two acts with three of the game's seven classes. This first Diablo 2 alpha is for PC players only, though future alphas will include consoles.

The alpha is available by invitation only. Some of those who opted in when the game was first announced will receive an email with instructions on how to participate in the alpha.

The Diablo 2 Resurrected alpha classes are:

  • Amazon
  • Sorceress 
  • Barbarian

This initial alpha only includes single player mode, and it reuses the original game's cutscenes. However, Blizzard said it's not indicative of the final product, which will feature improved cutscenes, among other things.

While the alpha will have no level caps, the alpha won't let player transfer their data to a later version.

Blizzard said it will hold at least one more Diablo 2 Resurrected alpha between now and the game's 2021 release.

[Source: Blizzard]

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Diablo 2: Resurrected Officially Announced, Rogue Confirmed for Diablo 4 https://www.gameskinny.com/0gr7h/diablo-2-resurrected-officially-announced-rogue-confirmed-for-diablo-4 https://www.gameskinny.com/0gr7h/diablo-2-resurrected-officially-announced-rogue-confirmed-for-diablo-4 Sat, 20 Feb 2021 13:50:03 -0500 Ashley Shankle

After years of fans holding out hope for Blizzard to return to Diablo 2 in one form or another, the developer has finally decided to give the beloved ARPG the attention it deserves.

Announced yesterday during BlizzCon, the legendary title will be returning as Diablo 2: Resurrected, a remake including the base game and its Lord of Destruction expansion.

Diablo 2: Resurrected will bring more than just shiny new graphics to this classic title. The game will also feature cross-platform progression so players can hop on their characters between PC and console, and, of course, controller support comes in tow with that good news.

Blizzard have also confirmed there will be a shared stash function, and rumor is the remake will even have automatic gold pickup as a base feature to the game. These are huge quality of life improvements over the original that certainly no one could complain about if true.

This all sounds like great news and the new visuals do suit the style of the original version of the game, but that's not all the attention the Diablo series received yesterday.


Diablo 4
 has also been confirmed to include a Rogue class, a predictable but warmly welcomed addition to the upcoming game's roster. So far Druid, Barbarian, Sorceress, and now Rogue have been confirmed.

Blizzard weren't keen to let us know too much more during yesterday's Diablo 4, but they did show how the game's world shifts as you push through and clean out the evil plaguing the many would-be havens of Sanctuary.

After the state in which Warcraft 3: Reforged was released and in some respects continues to be in, it's understandable to be pensive about the state of Diablo 2: Resurrected; and reservations over Diablo 4 after Diablo 3 are also fairly well-deserved. Time will tell if these titles live up to the old Blizzard name.

You can sign up for the Diablo 2: Resurrected alpha on the official site, provided you're logged in, but the release date for Diablo 4 is still yet to be announced.

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