Diablo 2 Resurrected Review – Stay Awhile, and Listen
It’s time to journey back to the depths of Hell, with the Diablo 2: Resurrected review! We reviewed the game on both PS5 and PC, having access to both. Diablo 2 is a classic and led to some of the best hack ‘n’ slash games to date. When I think of the modern ones, I think of games like Path of Exile, as a great example. Everything Diablo 2 did, PoE improved upon. When we initially heard Diablo 2: Resurrected was coming, we were pretty nervous when it came to playing it and covering the review. This is entirely because of Warcraft 3: Reforged. Let’s be nice and honest – it was terrible. But Diablo 2 is perhaps the best-known dungeon crawling hack ‘n’ slash game.
With remasters, we typically get pretty useful quality-of-life changes, and major improvements to make the game come back with a new look and light. Diablo 2: Resurrected did add some neat changes and fixes to the game, but overall, it’s still very much the exact same game we’ve been playing for the past 21 years. It is a game I’ve gone back to, time and again with my group of friends. It’s ultimately better than Diablo 3, even if Diablo 3 is prettier and easier to get into. I’ve even been able to go back to Diablo 2, thanks to a mod that randomizes the game in some pretty incredible ways. But we’re here to talk about how we’ve received Diablo 2: Resurrected for the purposes of this review.
Sure, it didn’t reinvent the wheel here, but do you really have to? Be thankful, this wasn’t developed by Activision Blizzard. Instead, it was worked on by Vicarious Visions – you might remember them from the amazing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 remake.
How Does It Look and Feel?
Visually speaking, Diablo 2: Resurrected is gorgeous. The visuals remind me a lot of Diablo 3, and that’s not a slight. The visual aesthetic is true to the original and it also caters to people with visual problems. Are you colorblind? You can tune the Colorblind Filters, to make sure you can play comfortably. It’s also easy to hear for me, with someone that has major hearing loss in one ear. In fact, the audio is much easier to hear. You can adjust a variety of the tabs for the audio too, so it’s just what you need it to be.
The 3D graphics are gorgeous, and it’s nice to see new 3D cutscenes and 3D graphics in Diablo 2. Not everyone’s going to want to play like that though. For those of you who prefer “the way things used to be”, you can change the visuals to Legacy Mode. That’s not me though – I love how it looks right now. It’s exceptional on both PS5 and the PC.
The Day 1 experience was bad – very bad. It was originally fixed, but the servers were constantly crashing, and I had problems with my character just stopping for no reason. I have noticed some brief stuttering bugs as I get deeper into the game, or I did on Day 1. I’ve heard tales of people getting stuck in barrels, or just stopping in place, doing nothing and dying, but I personally have not experienced these on either platform outside of day one.
The horrors of Hell were faithfully recreated, and really capture the sense of dread that Diablo 2 initially inspired. I love that about it, that’s for sure.
Controls – You’ve Got the Touch
I still have memories of playing Diablo on the Sony PlayStation. These are not good, fond memories. It was slow and horrendous. Playing a game like this on a controller should be easy to do. We did not appear to have that tech quite yet though. It still makes my skin crawl. That having been said, the PC version of Diablo 2: Resurrected surprised me for this review. It immediately noticed I had my PS5 controller plugged in, and gave me the (far superior) controller UI. This is something that really disappointed me for the PC user, that’s for sure. When playing with a controller, you get a different, better hotbar.
You can see six abilities on the bar. This makes sense since you can’t hit F1 – F12 to swap through abilities. Sure, they would have to tinker some for PC/keyboard controls. It’s still something I would have liked to see. But you can rebind every key, so you can build your controls for Diablo 2: Resurrected the way you want it to be. Controller users can also hold L2 to swap to a separate list of abilities, for greater keybind possibilities. As a Necromancer, it felt so good to easily hit Triangle and Circle to summon my Skeletons and Skeleton Magi, then R1 for my Clay Golem.
The game is more accessible than ever, no matter how you need to play. I can play this with my Razer Panthera EVO Fightstick, and it works amazingly well. It felt like a genuine arcade game, and that’s the way it should be. There are little things, like an X popping up on a character when you miss an attack on an enemy! It’s nice to know when I did nothing. Frankly, the game plays infinitely better with a controller than on a keyboard/mouse. I don’t care if that’s controversial, I’ve played for way longer with a controller.
The only downside is that I’ve accidentally picked up a ton of crap that I had no need for. If I could have asked for any upgrades to the game, I was hoping to see a Loot Filter. That having been said, there are some pretty great improvements to the game. It’s not all wins from Vicarious Visions, but it’s definitely a fun play, and some of the enhancements make life much easier.
Improvements and Drawbacks
Cross. Progression. If that isn’t the selling point, I don’t know what is. Some people will definitely own this on more than one platform. The ability to decide you want to play on console and hop right back on your original character is nice. You can also bring your original offline Diablo 2 characters over to Diablo 2: Resurrected. This is only for Offline characters, as far as we’re aware. It’s not too hard to do, either. Take your old Diablo 2 saved files and past them into “C:\Users\(User Name)\Saved Games\Diablo II Resurrected” save location.
It’s incredibly easy to do! I tested it with my Diablo 2 Randomizer files, and they perfectly dropped into DIablo 2: Resurrected. So all of those horrifying OP items? All there for offline only. The downside to this is there’s no more TCP/IP connection that I see, so I can’t do co-op with my roommate in D2: Resurrected. I hope this is something that is changed – I miss the LAN functionality already. This is one of the things that truly made people furious about Diablo 2: Resurrected. I can still play online with my roommate or my friends, but it requires an online character – so no shenanigans.
The increased Stash is also amazing. You have a huge slot for that personal character and several tabs (that are equal in size) for your shared stash. It’s so much better this way. We’ll need fewer (if any) Mule characters this way! That was the way of things in the past. You’d make mule characters just to have some extra stash space. So there are awesome updates to the game. It’s not all roses though. The game not launching with the Online Ladder has really upset a lot of players. That’s the biggest reason to play Diablo 2!
We shouldn’t have to wait long, but that’s not the point. At the end of the day, it’s still the exact same game we were playing back in the day with a few changes. Being able to move the minimap to other places on your screen may be my favorite feature. The days of the map covering my entire screen are over, and I can’t imagine people being upset about that. You can leave it there if you want, also! One thing people are pretty disappointed over is the fact that the Stamina Bar still exists. These days, characters just run faster.
The reason it’s still in Diablo 2 is that it’s built into the game already. We have Stamina Shrines, Stamina Potions, things like that. Removing the Stamina Bar would ruin the need for these. I can only imagine that would cause quite a lot of problems on the programming side of things. On the other hand, there’s a game mechanic at play. When you’re running, you have no defense. So it is there for a reason – even if it purely infuriates me. I won’t lie about it.
It’s Got Soul(Stones): 7/10
For better and worse, this is a faithful translation of Diablo 2. I’ve genuinely enjoyed playing this on a Playstation 5 controller, that’s for sure. Who is this for though? Honestly more the hardcore Diablo 2 fans more than anything. Everything you could do originally can still be done – it’s just prettier. Newcomers are still going to get a lot out of it, even if some of the gameplay is dated and classic. This is the definitive Diablo 2 experience. We spent ample time playing on both the PC and Playstation 5 for the purposes of this review as well. The game isn’t suddenly easier, either. It doesn’t hold your hand. You’re still going to be blasted by poison, hordes of enemies, and will surely make plenty of runs back to your body without any gear on.
Does it make me want to play Path of Exile less? Sadly, it doesn’t. It’s still Diablo 2, a game I’ve played for a literal two decades. I still enjoy it, and I’m glad for all of the quality of life changes we got with the remaster. If you’re reading this Diablo 2: Resurrected review, and you’re looking for builds to try in-game, you can click this link to check some of our favorites. You can also reset your skills in-game, so you don’t have to worry if you aren’t happy. Everything you love about the game is still here, and everything you dislike is still. . . also here. It’s a good game, and it is enjoyable, but it is still Diablo 2. But it’s a prettier, easier to access Diablo 2.
- The classic Diablo 2 is back, prettier and better than ever.
- The QoL changes really make the game far more enjoyable.
- Transferring old offline save files is easy and satisfying.
- It’s still Diablo 2, with all of its flaws intact.
- No cross-play, despite being on console and PC.
- Some of the mechanics and gameplay are frustrating and dated.
A key was provided for the PS5 version of Diablo 5 for the purposes of this review.