Diablo 2 is a masterpiece of the action roleplaying game (ARPG) genre, and many longtime fans of the series would be thrilled with Diablo 2: Resurrected. For years, rumors circulated of a remake, fueling up the hype train again and again only to head for disappointment. This time, however, studio acquisitions and rumored projects could actually culminate in a finished product. There’s still no definitive announcement, and we’re still awaiting a release date, but here’s everything we know so far about Diablo 2: Resurrected.
Whether it’s called Diablo 2 Remastered or Resurrected, the situation remains the same: it looks like the legendary action roleplaying game (ARPG) could be finally getting an overhaul. The dark, brooding story, the gothic art design, and the incredibly addicting gameplay loop could be coming around again for another shot at saving Sanctuary. If you’re concerned that Diablo 2 could end up in the same disrespectful state as Warcraft 3: Reforged (which earned the nickname Warcraft 3: Refunded), there is some good news.
Development studio Vicarious Visions recently merged with Blizzard Entertainment, following ownership by Activision since 2005. Vicarious Visions worked on the stellar remakes of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, which we awarded a perfect score in our review.
While Blizzard’s own “Team 1” mishandled Warcraft 3: Reforged and was reportedly working on Diablo 2: Resurrected, the group has been dismantled following the merger with Vicarious Visions. If rumors are true, it now appears that Vicarious Visions will be handling the Diablo 2 remake. This bodes well for the possible remaster.
Diablo 2: Resurrected gameplay and features
Information about Diablo 2: Resurrected is understandably almost nil at the moment. We’re all imagining the same game we love, albeit with updated graphics, better user interfaces, and plenty of quality of life changes that we’ve already seen plenty of from the modding community. Larger and shared stash space, automatic gold pickup, refreshing potions, unlimited or specialized arrows, and bolts, and gem or rune stacking would be more than welcome.
The game is still very playable, and most of its core systems will hopefully remain. The ability to choose PVP or PVM, the ability to quickly team up with random players, and the hosting of public and private lobbies for Baal runs, or trading will hopefully still be as or more accessible than before.
Both Diablo 2 and its expansion Lord of Destruction should be included in the remaster, as long as it follows the inclusion of expansions like in Warcraft 3: Reforged. So many changes were made with Lord of Destruction, including the addition of runes and runewords, that it would be almost unimaginable to rerelease Diablo 2 without its sibling.
David Brevik, project and design lead for the original Diablo 2 game more than 20 years ago, laid out in a mid-2020 livestream some of the issues surrounding a potential remake. The main takeaways here, paraphrased, are that it is certainly possible to remaster the game, though it likely wouldn’t be the same game with a fresh coat of paint. He mentions that many of the game’s assets were corrupted and lost during development all those years ago, and he also notes that none of the original team are still around to decipher code and balancing. Reworking Diablo 2 in a new engine would undoubtedly be quite a challenge, but that’s likely what’s going to happen.
Original Diablo 2 is still very popular, whether playing the vanilla version or with the best Diablo 2 mods installed. Considering Blizzard basically removed the ability to play original Warcraft 3 when Warcraft 3: Reforged was released, this could be a big blow to the community if Diablo 2: Resurrected doesn’t turn out well. Here’s hoping Blizzard leaves the original game alone when a remastered version is finally released.
Is Diablo 2: Resurrected coming to Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch?
Considering how well Diablo 3 and its expansion work on consoles — and considering Diablo 4 is getting a release across platforms — fans of the series are undoubtedly hoping for a Diablo 2: Resurrected version for Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch. No word yet on this front.
Speaking from experience, Diablo 2 is a game built for PC. Reworking the core systems and menus for a controller would no doubt be a massive task and would dilute the game. If the developers manage to pull it off without changing the feel of the game, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
When is the Diablo 2: Resurrected release date?
There’s no definitive answer for when Diablo 2: Resurrected will release, and we don’t yet have full confirmation from Blizzard that the game is actually being overhauled. We’re still working with rumors, but a BlizzCon 2021 unveiling is a possibility.
Reading over Activision Blizzard’s Q4 2020 earnings call transcript, CFO Dennis Durkin had this to say:
And then we have a few other things up our sleeve in terms of remastered content that will unveil in due course, which should provide further opportunity for us this year .
In the same transcript, it’s also mentioned that Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 won’t release in 2021, which leaves a lot of space for Diablo Immortal and the potential Diablo 2 remake. We’ll just have to wait for an official word from Blizzard whether or not 2021 is the year we finally get a remaster.