Yeah, Diablo II is one of our favourite retro games. Blizzard’s action RPG, hack-and-slash romp was mega fun in 2000.
And now it’s back! With a proper modern overhaul on PC, consoles… and that’s about it. Ready to wipe out Beelzebub? Jolly good show!
Go On a Rampage in Diablo II: Resurrected
Last time out in the series, Diablo III (2012) turned up and was a bit all over the place, apparently, until Blizzard patched it up good and proper.
But the lingering popularity of Diablo II led to the American games developer deciding on a remaster of the famous second installment.
The big difference with this one? Resurrected supports 4K graphics resolution and 7.1 Dolby Surround sound, plus there are convenience upgrades and that sort of jazz.
One example is your character can run over gold and collect it automatically.
That’s good, as in the original playing the game was partially about aiming for a world record in the number of mouse clicks per hour.
So, playing Diablo II: Resurrected is a smoother experience.
The plot? Action is set across Act I to Act IV in the world of Sanctuary. It turns out Diablo is controlling a Dark Wanderer in an attempt to free his demonic brothers Baal and Mephisto.
It’s your job to hack-and-slash your way through the various maps, levelling up along the way, until everyone except you is dead. This is how it looks.
Being huge fans of the 2000 original we were all up for getting this SOB. Which we did with much gusto on the Switch.
The principle of heading out into an area, wiping out baddies, collecting loot, and levelling up your player is good fun. If you like that type of thing.
Some gamers may find that a bit repetitive, but the demonic plot and enjoyable RPG elements are engaging and keep you coming back for more.
There’s something compelling about plunging into the murky depths of a cave, sewer, or maggot lair to wipe out everything in sight. You gather loot. You sell it for cash. You upgrade your gear.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. So, yes, if that sounds appealing to you then you’ll dig Diablo II: Resurrected.
If it sounds tedious, then you’re probably not the target gamer for this type of genre.
Whilst we enjoyed Diablo II: Resurrected a lot, we don’t see a huge amount of differences between it and its predecessor.
The graphics are more polished, sure, but it doesn’t add anything more to the experience (despite what graphics bores drone on about). And we kind of prefer the old look of the game.
There are some new features, and online play mode is a lot easier than in the days of dial-up, but it’s really not much of a reboot.
Hardly, say, like what Nintendo did with the Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake a few years ago.
Blizzard hasn’t helped matters with all sorts of bugs and server issues when the game first launched in October 2021. But has since patched a lot of those problems.
For us, it’s a bit of an odd feeling.
We like the game, but the reboot also highlights how Diablo II is showing its age. The core gameplay aspects are quite repetitive.
And yet there are also so many epic little moments, such as levelling up, or clearing out an area, that you’ll still want to plunge on in and finish it all.
All of which means we can hand it three demon spawn hearts out of five putrid gall bladders. Worth your time if you want an adventure with a near endless supply of hack-and-slash stuffs.
Otherwise, you might want to try Diablo III. As it has a fair bit more variety.
Diablo II’s Epic Soundtrack
A big part of the appeal in Diablo II (either version) is the amazing soundtrack.
Matt Uelmen was responsible for composing the music, the American musician has also worked on the World of Warcraft series.
His work on Diablo II was recognised at the first ever Excellence in Audio at the International Game Developers Association in 2001.
It has a Medieval vibe to it, eh? The soundtrack has since inspired a lot of games composers and we’ve heard its influence in all sorts of video games.
Conveniently, we’ve forgotten what those ones were! For now. We’ll have a brain wrack to try and remember. Dead Cells! That’s kind of along the right lines.
Regardless, Diablo II’s soundtrack is a fine piece of work and really started an impressive shift in video game music around the 2000 mark.
More recently Uelmen joined indie studio Runic Games to work on the soundtrack for Hob. However, the studio shut down in 2019.
And he now appears to be working with Echtra Games, most recently producing the soundtrack to 2020’s Torchlight III.