The loot game effect is a creeping obsession with which we all must contend once in a while. Click. Click. Click. Just a few more enemies. Click. Click. Click. Maybe one more dungeon. Click. Click. Click. Might as well run through the entire game again just once more. Click. You get it. You've played games like this, possibly even its follow-up and predecessor, the still-marvellous Diablo 3.
Now here's its much-heralded and illustrious forebear, surprisingly titled Diablo 2 — resurrected and remastered, no less. And the clicks above have been replaced, of course, with taps. Or thumbs, or pushes, or presses, or whatever onomatopoeia you like to use for hitting buttons — since that's the lion's share of what you'll be doing here. Approaching monsters, then hitting buttons. Hitting them so they fall down and grant you XP. Blasting them with magic. You already know; we've all trodden this territory before. Figuratively or quite literally, if you've played the original game on PC.
If indeed you are fortunate enough to have done this, you'll be thoroughly at home with this Resurrected edition. After all, this is, quite simply, Diablo 2 as you remember it, warts and all. It has been spruced up in some ways, which we'll get to, but at its core this is the same game you may well have been playing since 2000. That's a good thing, if that's what you want; an uncompromised and polished port of an action RPG classic. The real question, though, is whether or not Diablo 2 — as much as it's a classic of the genre — is still worth playing in the year of our lord 2021. And it's with that query that things begin to fog up a little.
Control-wise, it's pretty impressive. The interface has been transplanted to console beautifully and assigning skill points (and, indeed, the subsequent unlocked skills) is extremely simple and efficient. Movement around the maps is speedy, attacking is suitably responsive and nothing in the meat-and-potatoes mechanics gets in the player's way, which is precisely what loot games need to be like; they're effectively a conveyor belt of stuff and the last thing you want is some bizarre design choice throwing a spanner in the works. In this case, some sort of legendary +3 spanner, natch.
The inventory and how it's handled is a bit of a mixed bag. Managing it is generally fine, though your allotted space feels a little miserly. It's in the selling of your gradually outmoded wares that we ran into a frustration. On the one hand, routinely using your portals to return to town and offload the crap you've found creates a pleasingly numbing little loop of admittedly satisfying stash-cleansing, but on the opposing hand it's pretty repetitive.
There are no Torchlight-esque pets to ferry your loot for you, it's all manual. The ritual nature of this action suits the game to some extent, given that it's pretty samey by design. There's a real skinner box sort of feel to this genre — that's not a bad thing. It's compelling in its laboriousness. That seems like a backhanded sort of compliment — it isn't. To appreciate the likes of Diablo 2, it's important to note that to onlookers it isn't much more complex then even the original Gauntlet. It's in your specifications, your builds, your choices of character class, that it begins to stand out. Not to mention the multiplayer.
Said multiplayer is present and correct here, with Online and Offline characters completely isolated from one another. This is a bit of a shame as it means you can't take that high-level Offline Necromancer online under any circumstances, but such is fairness, we suppose. Connection issues didn't really trouble us outside of initial teething issues pre and post-launch. It was easy to get a game going with pals, and any lag or stuttering we encountered was very much minimal. Indeed, this is a fine way to play Diablo 2 - certain classes complement one another very nicely - but we think its atmosphere is best served as a lone hero fighting overwhelming hordes of darkness.
Visually, it's a bit brilliant. You're given the option of a performance mode and we strongly suggest you enable it, as the locked 60 frames per second makes up for any miniscule graphical shortcomings. We played in this mode throughout and the game looked great; it appears as though everything has been done that we could possibly ask for. Spells look spectacular, environments are robustly atmospheric and the monsters, most crucially, look suitably nasty. Some will gripe that there is a minor loss of personality in some of the choices - Diablo is a campy game, and the loss of certain more vivid colour tints and some modified monster poses do reduce that aspect of the experience a little. That, though, is the definition of nit-picking, as Vicarious Visions have done a sterling job recreating a classic here.
The music is as wonderful as ever, ditto the monster's various "aargh!"s as they are dispatched, but the storyline is a bit bobbins. That might be heresy, but we couldn't get invested in it, as well-voice-acted as it is. You can skip through the text quite efficiently, and this game is entirely about the gameplay loop so we opted mostly to just get on with it. That's no knock on the hard work that's been put into this — every single cutscene has been remade and they look tremendous. We're just here for the loot.
So it's a very, very good remaster (remake? It's unclear when this much has been done over), then, of a rather old loot game that has had many subsequent iterations from other developers. Is it worth going back to Diablo 2, ultimately, when games that we'd argue are somewhat superior — Titan Quest, the sadly PC-only Grim Dawn... even (controversially, yes) its own sequel in Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition, which packs in brilliant local co-op that Diablo 2 entirely (and understandably, given its framework) lacks. As good as Diablo 2 is, it's an unfortunate fact that on console we'd rather play its follow-up, which felt more tailored to the joypad experience. Diablo 2 is a PC game that has been (brilliantly!) transferred to PS5, but it's still a little held back by its origins.
Fair review...i expected a much harsher one to be honest..
Hm. Given the lack of a single Blizzard story since everything broke on any of the three sites, I thought there was perhaps a blackout. ‘Review copy provided by Blizzard’ says otherwise.
I see that PushS has glossed over all the missing Features that the console version does not have lol. It is not the same game as the PC version
1: No Text support so you cant ask for trades or anything
2: No Voice chat
3. No 8-Player Commands for consoles which is a HUGE HIT
4. No server support. They went ahead and gave us the worst diablo 3 match making. I played from act 1-3 online without finding a single SOUL.
5. Cow Levels and others have Level Req before u can open them.
The no lobbys and no text alone kills this game for console its already a wasteland ONLINE
Good review. Unfortunately I don't like buying games from awful companies, but if Activision Blizzard shuts down and it's assets get bought by a better company like EA, Comcast, or Satan, then I'll consider getting the game.
Loving the game so far. Didn't play many games as a kid, but this is one I have a lot of nostalgia for. I really hope there is a lot of post launch support especially for consoles. Agree with almost everything stated by peewee above. Also want to add:
2 trophies for level 99 characters (including a 99 hardcore character). That is beyond absurd from what I've heard. About 5000 baal runs to go from 98 to 99 alone.
@nessisonett “there is no blizzard controversy in ba sing NLife media” - some earthbender probably.
I think the last paragraph neatly sums up how I feel about this game. Well put.
I only played 3 but I wouldn't mind giving 2 a try. I really like how well they create atmosphere in the world.
@HotGoomba If you don't like buying things from awful companies then you might as well be living in the woods living off the land. The fact you have a mobile and internet provider means you sold your soul to this ages ago, what has been going on has been terrible but its far from uncommon and its infested in most corps. Everyone boycotting Blizzard are hypocrites quite frankly, just simply having a phone and internet is no different from buying a game from Ubi or Blizzard. If people really gave a damn then they would boycott them all and not do the shallow of boycotting a few just to make themselves feel better.
@WallyWest Well, I was hoping people realized my comment was satirical, but I guess not.
I played the open beta on the PS4 when it was active and I was - disappointed.
The graphics (which I assumed were updated?) still looked somewhat dated and the game play felt dated. Yet, it was still compelling..?
@HotGoomba Reading back i can see it but you know internet and its hard to tell nowadays.
Can you play without internet connection?
I heard that the pc version u need to verify you purchase from times to times. ? If so no buy
I have played World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo from Blizzard on PC. I have and will buy and play ever one they put on consoles! Woman who work at Blizzard decided not to quit and took action. We should support the woman who did that. I am supporting womwn that still work at Blizzard. I would hate to see them lose there jobs because Blizzard closed down after all they went through.
Pre-ordered Diablo 2 and will do the same for Diablo 4
@Ridwaano Like the original game, Diablo 2 Resurrected supports full offline play. So Yes buy!
This is the best game of its type-easily besting Diablo 3.
@peewee78368 these are not game breaking issues though tbh..i've played diablo 2 on the pc more times than i can remember and most of those features i hardly ever used..no voice chat? Your playstation supports party chat yes? As for not finding anybody online i've had no difficulty in finding random people online so maybe your nat settings need looking at...awesome port and remaster of an all time classic..
@sanderson72 i'm really happy they didnt go over the top with enhancing the graphics as it would have lost the atmosphere and nostalgic feel to the game..granted a version with kick ass 4k visuals would be superb but i think its better as it is..
never played, starting today.
@WallyWest was him mentioning Satan is better than Activision too subtle?! That's a damning indictment of Activision right there 😄👍
Just never could get into anything blizzard has ever made, and I've given multiple of their games a chance over the years. Always felt like finely tuned addiction gateways where the artistry and fun was forgotten. Current news of the company just made my impression worse. Glad people find enjoyment from it, and a game should be reviewed on its own merit.
Never tried to play the original game it on the official servers, played mostly on private servers like Europebattle.net because of QOL additions to the game.
Now that i've bought D2R too, I thought i'd give it a try, while building a Blizz sorceress.
And... so far it's not so fun, the vanilla game is very dry when it comes to item drops, storage (inventory and stash sizes) and character leveling (experience gain). And without a map revealing utility (aka maphack) every farming session is severely slowed down.
Don't get me wrong, I love the game, and I've played the original for at least 2000 hours...
But having almost no useful drops, having equipped only magic or rare items makes the game rather hard for no reason. And the Blizz sorc build is one of the easiest and less demanding... I don't even want to think about attempting a Necro built on these servers.
Too bad Blizz stuck to the original game, and didn't improve upon it's QOL some more...
Diablo 2 Resurrected is not exactly a game for new comers, it's mechanics are too old for that. So most of the people who play the game already played the original a lot.
So if they come back it will be to have fun, not to invest hundreds of farming hours just to find a BER rune... not to mention other extremely rare unique items (like Death's Web, Death's Phantom, Templar Might, Tyrael's Might, Crown of Ages, etc). This might have been the case back in the day, but then there was no real competition. Now we are way beyond that, with many other good games around like Path of Exile or Grim Dawn.
There is still life in D2R if Blizzard really wants to invest in bringing it up to date... there are a ton of improvements that can be made. I for one hope they do add more QOL to it, and more End Game content, and do that sooner rather than later, before the players become bored and leave.
"The somewhat superior Titan Quest..."
You're kidding right ??
Glad it reviewed decently, but I refuse to give Activision Blizzard my money.
Hopefully this game will be dirt cheap used in a few years.
Guys can I ask for a favor? If any of you got the game on PS4 please try and create as many OFFLINE characters as you can.
The reason I am asking is because I got it on the Switch and I have a character limit of 30.
I just want to know if on PS4 you can make more than that.
@Originut well, God is his dad after all. Can Activision claim anything as potentially redeeming as that? 😁
@KingPev i agree thst whilst titan quest was good it was never or will be as good as diablo 2..
@Shinnok789 at least you know your stuff so i cant argue with you here..i mainly bought this because i love the pc original and this for me is a superb trip down memory lane and i'm loving it all over again..yes its showing its age in regards to the mechanics but i really dont give a monkeys..
@Originut 😄😅 Bobby Kotick IS the joke
I was a little disappointed in Act 1 but have been hooked since Act 2 and on. It's not perfect by any means. Inventory management is a nightmare and your choice on making a character online or offline being locked is stupid. I made an offline character day one since the servers were down and just assumed I could switch it later.
The addictive duengon crawling keeps me coming back despite it's flaws. I really enjoy the look and atmosphere of the game. A lot darker in theme than D3.
Blizzard/Activision = a big no no. I don't buy games from Companies that treat their female employees like dirt on somebody's shoes.
I don't have a problem if you did buy it btw so don't take this personally. These are my personal feelings only and nothing else.
I'm having fun with it despite the issues, playing offline has been perfectly fine. I could see how people whose first Diablo was 3 would hate this game, though. It's difficult in all the right and wrong ways.
@RavenWolfe81 can you please tell me how many offline characters can you create on PS4? All I need to know is if there is a limit there like on the Switch.
One of the best remasters of one of the best games I've played (and leaved in most of my gaming hours) in my life. If you were living in those glorious times, when this king of hack n slash rpgs was released, you won't complain a single thing of this remaster, and only sit and quietly play.... for hours... and hours... alone...
@Zuljaras there is no need for more characters. the beauty of this game is to start a fresh character. soon you'll find out, you don't need 10 or more character spaces, because when you start some character again, you hardly return to previous one...
I STILL can’t figure out if this game is for me. Loved and played many hours of Diablo III, love looting, love shooting, love mindless clicking. So is this an uncompromising homage to an old PC game that honors that memory for a niche crowd, or is this for D3 fans, a modern take on a classic (like the recent Mass Effect box set) that will tide us over until D4? “Still has several of the problems from the original” is not selling me very hard.
@djlard I just wanted to try the Holy Grail challenge on console and I do not think that the 30 character limit will be enough
Also it is quite simple thing to ask
At the end I will just wait for a heavy discount and buy it myself on PS4 to see if there is a limit
@frankmcma The only thing modern is how it looks. I think if you go in excepting D3 you are going to be disappointed.
Thanks for actually reviewing the game and not the company. 90% of the reviews focus almost exclusively on saying "Blizzard bad" in as many different ways as possible.
@frankmcma a niche crowd? The vast majority of d3 players myself included didnt really like the new direction d3 took and always lamented the passing of d2's more hardcore management of weapons,armour and resources..d3 became too arcadey and way too easy..that search for legendarys went from rare and exciting drops to "meh..another one"..now i'm not saying d3 is bad far from it (my first ever platinum) but if you bandy a term such as "niche" around the die hard diablo fans you better get your asbestos based sun cream on because things are going to get real hot..
This so often seems to fall on deaf ears at Pu5h5quare but any chance of even a quick review on the PS4? Thought this was a Playstation site not just a PS5 one...
I don't mind that it isn't D3, my only real gripe is I kinda wish some of the abilities were a bit flashier for the barbarian. Three of my attacks all look the same!
If u had fond memories of this game when it came out and u want to play that exact game again but looking better, go play this game. If u expected it to be given a 2021 update on everything else beside graphics, stay far, far away! This game is clunky and ruins the memories of a game from long ago. 4 out of 10!!! Looks good tho.
@those that won't buy it due to drama:
I have not a care in the world about the politics of the company that makes the game, I'm of the opinion that politics should be kept out of the same world as game reviews because you are reviewing a piece of entertainment, not the company. They will get what's due in the courts if there are issues there, why do we gamers have to keep hearing about it over and over? It's just echo chamber clickbait stuff, let's move on and enjoy the games instead of getting caught up in drama. Hats off to the reviewer for not getting caught up in the drama as well!
The game really shows its age even with new graphics, I couldn't play for more than an hour because I just came off the back off Diablo 3, POE and Grim Dawn. This just seems like rubbish after those games now. For anyone that wants a top down rpg looter on PS, go play Diablo 3 or the van Helsing and Victor vran games first and then play Poe if it suits (it's too unbalanced and you get way to OP for me but still much better than this), because they are all vastly better. This really should be a free game with a trade store that has a rake.
@frankmcma no this is for pure nostalgia only if you played the original back in the day, compared to today's games it's not good at all. Only buy if you have all the other Diablo like games on PS already.
@Denni5m yeah I’m on an iPad writing this, so I’d look a plank if I start moralising about firms…
My problem is the dated gameplay and lack of quality of life features. The review told me what I needed to know.
I’d rather play a loot based game that relies on twitch reflexes like Nioh 2. Could never get into stuff where it’s click click click click endlessly.
I actually like 2 better than 3 and this actually feels like it's on par with 3 if not above it.. just for the better music (in my opinion) alone.
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