In about a week (September 23), the doors to the Sanctuary will reopen with Diablo II: Resurrected. A remaster that comes 20 years after the game’s last expansion, Lord of Destruction (2001). The version reinvented for a new generation developed on PC and, for the first time, for home consoles (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series).
Let’s say it right away: Diablo II is one of the best games. The series started by Blizzard in 1997 is still very popular today – it has defined a genre. Therefore, the arrival of this remaster should be very soon. A great event, a dream come true. Still, I am of the opinion that you should not buy this version of the game despite its good looks.
Reason # 0: Activision Blizzard is a toxic and women-hostile company
Before even talking about Diablo II: Resurrected as such, it’s good to remember what the working environment is like at Activision Blizzard. In short, the state of California has taken legal action against the company for its questionable labor practices. She has been shown to “discriminate against female employees with respect to employment conditions, including salary, assignment, promotion, termination, constructive dismissal and retaliation.” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
If a studio’s reputation is important to you, or rather it should say gender equality in industry inclusion, you shouldn’t buy Diablo II: Resurrected. It’s that easy.
Reason # 1: it will not be possible to play on TCP / IP
Okay, maybe you can separate the artist from his work.
On the other hand, did you know that Diablo II: Resurrected will not offer the ability to play on a local network over TCP / IP?
However, it was a promise from producer Rod Fergusson. Strange for a team that claims to offer an authentic experience. Whoops!
As a reminder, Diablo II also doesn’t offer a couch co-op like Diablo III. Therefore, it is impossible for you to share the adventure against the forces of evil on the same screen. It was an advantage of TCP / IP: not sharing the screen, but being able to organize parties with friends on a private network. No bots. Spam free. Too bad the “security issue” without Battle.net wins out in the eyes of the developers.
Reason n. 2: Ultra Wide option removed
Once again, Activision Blizzard is retracting its words with the ultra-wide (ultra-wide) screen option. MrLlamaSC, a well-known influencer in the Diablo universe, had asked the development team if this resolution would be offered at the game’s launch in September. The answer? Yes, of course! In studio lingo, it actually means the opposite.
In addition to not offering ultrawide, Activision Blizzard has taken care of adding black bars to the sides of the screen. Yes, as with old movies whose resolution does not match high definition or 4K displays. It is ugly and, again, an example of a blatant lie.
At least the team has a strong point for not including that option: they are breaking the game, outright. The 21: 9 resolution prevented artificial intelligence from detecting the player and triggering their attacks. Also, the better visibility allowed the heroes to attract more monsters to an area than intended, which was a huge advantage.
Reason # 3: forget about most mods
There is a whole scene of mods for Diablo II, as is the case with the most popular PC games. I was the first to use the map cheat at the time to optimize my kills of demons and other vile creatures. Since then, there have been total conversions like Path of Diablo and Median XL, in addition to upgrade projects like Project Diablo II and PlugY. These mods have their own merits, depending on the type of experience you are looking for.
With Diablo II: Resurrected, Activision Blizzard will not support this community. Producer Chris Lena said in an interview: “In the past, there have been modifications that injected code directly into the game, and that sort of thing is what we cannot admit.” However, according to Lena, it will be easier to modify the game than in the past: “When we reviewed the game, we replaced several things that were hard-coded in the data.”
Without the ability to encrypt private servers (including TCP / IP), the modification scene will be much less flourishing. There is also a petition signed by more than 8,000 people to try to make things happen at Activision Blizzard.
Reason # 4: there is no ladder at the beginning
For some people, the fun of Diablo II is getting to the top of the world rankings first. Ladder mode is a race that in a way is a trophy, a goal to be achieved.
With Diablo II: Resurrected, the developers have confirmed that this feature will not be available when the game launches on September 23. This is problematic, as several unique items are only available in this fast-paced game mode.
My skeptical side believes that the feature is on hold because the servers will not be maintained at launch. An observed phenomenon for most major online releases, although the latest news Diablo II: Resurrected will also offer an offline single-player mode.
Reason # 5: It’s exactly the same game as 20 years ago, for better … and for worse!
With some details, including the scenes recreated from scratch, the layer of modern graphics adding to the existing game, and the addition of accessibility options, Diablo II: Resurrected will be the same game as 20 years ago.
It’s a problem? I would say yes and no. Yes, because we will find the same bugs (Andariel Quest Loot, Ethereal Bugged Armors, etc.) and glitches. No, because the game in its most recent version (1.14) is still a great classic despite its flaws.
What bothers me a bit is a certain purism on the part of Activision Blizzard or rather Vicarious Visions. I understand the idea of not straying too far from the source material for fear of distorting it. On the other hand, fixing known bugs and game design errors seems fair to me. We should not take gambling with a grain of salt and consider it sacrosanct. Perfection does not exist; there is always room for improvement.
Diablo II is great but unbalanced. Many skills are worthless without modifications. Expect to see witches and paladins rampage online like they did in 2001. Not that the other characters are uninteresting, but they are definitely inferior. And what about energy statistics, which have no practical use.
So yes, I support revisiting Diablo II, but not with such a conservative attitude. I am not asking to transform it into Diablo III, but to go beyond the superficial changes. Even if that means creating a Legacy mode to separate the original experience and make way for an updated version, why not a real endgame this time?
Bonus: other valid reasons not to buy Diablo II: Resurrected
- Switch Players – This version has NEVER been released, which is not a good sign.
- On consoles, there is no chat or lobby option.
- New bugs have been introduced with the current version.