Diablo 2 Resurrected | Preview, An incredible reinterpretation!

Diablo 2 Resurrected | Preview, An incredible reinterpretation!

Diablo 2 Resurrected | Preview

The weekend just ended was certainly special for all Diablo fans. A small group of players, journalists and content creators, in fact, had the opportunity to get their hands on the Alfa Tecnica single player of the highly anticipated Diablo 2 Resurrected, the remastered version of the Blizzard North masterpiece released twenty-one years ago.

We in the editorial team also had the opportunity to spend some time on this first test of the reinterpretation made in Vicarious Visions, being surprised by the aesthetic / technical quality, but also and above all by the respect that these guys from Menands had towards former players of the original. This aspect is not easy to manage considering how complex it is to be able to please everyone.

In the course of the next lines you will read we will talk about the feelings we had after about thirty hours of play, and how the game seemed to us excellent shape and well above the expectations we had made but with still several points left open, which will necessarily need to be clarified during the next test.

The return of the Dark Wayfarer

The Diablo 2 storyline is packed with iconic moments that marked a historical period of incredible Blizzard games. However, today we will not talk about the narrative component because for that there will be a way and space to do so in the review phase, by the end of the year.

What Blizzard has allowed us to do, with this Alfa Tecnica, is to try the first two acts in single player, so as to test three of the seven heroes available (Amazon, Barbarian and Enchantress) and give a first look at the new graphics sector of the game. Let's start by saying that Vicarious Visions, the team that takes care of this review, has worked as hard as possible to re-propose a title that can offer a conservative leap into the past for fans, while showing itself to be more modern and accessible in some of its parts. Following this logic, the menu has been completely revised, giving us the opportunity to see our heroes and their equipment in high definition; the choice of the character is also clearly present, with the possibility of choosing whether to see it in Legacy Mode (that of the original) or in a revisited key.

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Diablo 2 Resurrected takes advantage of the new Battle.net, which means that it is directly connected with all users on the platform, in a similar way to other Blizzard productions. So forget the legendary codes to send a request, an invitation or a private message, since everything is now more immediate. Once in the game, they immediately start to show themselves better in terms of Quality of Life; we have an extended part of the trunk that allows us to share objects with other characters: an excellent solution, which, however, will not be enough in the long run and which will inevitably force us to create "mules" to store additional objects. However, we noticed some empty spaces ... let Vicarious Visions never give you the opportunity to buy other shareable spaces with gold! Going on it is also possible to see new options for gameplay and minimap, automatic gold collection and above all a new HUD, more understandable and in step with the times.

It is very likely that we will see further changes in the next test. will focus on the online sector and on which Vicarious Visions is already considering whether to change a little something, such as shared loot. To date, the changes we have tested have proved useful and do not upset the original experience, which can reassure the most uncompromising players fearful of massive changes.

Diablo 2 as you have never seen it before.

We now come to the part on which we have focused most: the aesthetic / technical aspect. We do not need to tell you that Diablo 2 Resurrected is practically a new game, Vicarious Visions has rebuilt the animations, textures, effects on top of the original, adding 3D polygonal models, path tracing and much more. A sumptuous work that we can consider as one of the best remastered we have ever had the opportunity to try, almost at the level of a complete remake.

What is amazing is the possibility to instantly switch between the original version and the new Resurrected simply by pressing a key. This allows us to compare the two editions quite quickly and see the enormous progress made on the technical side over the last twenty years. Clearly this change is nothing new, we have seen games that allow this several times, but the way in which Diablo 2 Resurrected does it leaves you speechless, also due to the excellent work of the team.

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To give you a concrete example, it is now possible to notice some objects or effects that were previously hidden by low-definition textures, such as some details present in Lut Gholein's inn or poor Wirt in Tristram. In addition to this, the particle effects - especially with the enchantress - and the reflections of spells, town portals and fire will certainly push you to change your view several times to make different comparisons. In addition to this, the rain even generates random puddles on the pitch, giving rise to a slight path tracing on which it is impossible not to be amazed.

There are several improvements in the aesthetics of objects, in the framerate - which in the final game will be unlocked -, in resolution up to 4K and especially on the 3D models of the different characters, which thanks to the new animations and the ability to zoom in close, you can enjoy the equipment like never before. We sincerely look forward to trying a high-ranking full set like Tal Rasha in the future to see the effects around our hero. For those wondering, no, we have not had the opportunity to see the new videos, this is because in this Alfa Tecnica they have been temporarily replaced by the classic ones, but we are sure to see them in the final version that will be released by the end of the year.

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A small parenthesis also with regard to the audio, now in high quality, but with the same soundtrack of the past and the same audio design - and therefore without remastering. Not a problem, given that the soundtrack remains exceptional and the general audio is still more than satisfactory.

Summing up

Diablo 2 Resurrected looks like everything nostalgic of the second chapter have been waiting for twenty years: a graphic makeover that would keep the mechanics and characteristics of the original intact. Vicarious Visions proves, once again, to be a talented software house capable of giving new life to milestones of the past, awakening memories and emotions, without limiting itself to superficial and listless work. Beyond this, Diablo 2 still remains a solid and hardcore Action-RPG, far from the more intuitive and immediate form of Diablo 3 and, perhaps, for this reason even more satisfying, but also far from the tastes of those who have, possibly, appreciated the third chapter of the franchise.

Precisely for this reason we have several doubts about the fact that this title will be able to break through the hearts of those who have approached this saga for the first time with Diablo 3, but the advent on consoles and the videogame maturation of recent years could change the cards on the table in favor of Diablo 2 Resurrected. Now all that remains is to wait for the next test, the most important one, as it will test the online features of the game. A fundamental test bench, which will help us to have a first true judgment on what the final product will be, whether unwilling or sore, will make Diablo walk on earth once again.

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