One of the seminal titles of PC gaming in the early 2000s appears to be getting a face-lift and a new lease on life in the form of a modern remaster. Diablo II — Blizzard‘s classic hack-and-slash, action RPG — is rumored to be returning later this year with a proverbial new coat of paint as Diablo II: Resurrected, according to PC Gamer, which has cited a translated report from the French site Actugaming.
Per Actugaming’s original report, a subsidiary of Activision called Vicarious Visions is working on the remaster, which is apparently scheduled for release during the fourth quarter of 2020. PC Gamer‘s report notes that this publication correctly predicted announcements for Diablo IV, Shadowlands and Overwatch 2 before they were made public at Blizzcon last year.
As previously relayed by PC Gamer, David Brevik — who acted as the Lead Programmer and Senior Designer for the original Diablo in 1996 and also directed Diablo II — opined in 2017 that a true remaster of Diablo II could prove difficult to produce. Brevik stated his belief that most of the original game assets had likely not survived and also spoke at length about the difference in how games are conceptualized and made now as compared to the time of Diablo II‘s development.
“On a fundamental level that can not be really comprehended unless you’re a programmer that has done this kind of thing before… if they do a ‘Diablo II’ remaster, it’s going to be difficult to make it feel exactly like the same game. They could do it but they will have to go out of their way to ensure that they are simulating the way that the game works in 2D instead of making it 3D.”
Although the gaming industry has changed significantly in the two decades since Diablo II was released, there’s no doubt that the game still represents a landmark achievement for Blizzard. Within a year of its June 2000 release, the game had shipped more than 4 million units; moreover, Diablo II received widespread critical acclaim. The game currently holds a positive critic score of 88 out of a possible 100 on the review aggregation site Metacritic.
Continuing the story established in the first series entry, Diablo II allows players to control amazon warriors, necromancers, barbarians, paladins and/or sorceresses (druids and assassins were later added via the Lord of Destruction expansion) in an effort to defeat a Dark Wanderer who is controlled by Diablo — after having defeated the series’ antagonist in the first game — before they manage to reunite with prime evils Baal and Mephisto.
Although Brevik has stated his misgivings about a potential Diablo II remaster, and Blizzard’s own Warcraft III: Reforged failed to impress fans, big-budget remakes and remasters, in general, have proven popular with gamers recently. As reported by The Inquisitr, after enjoying a strong reception to its Resident Evil 2 and RE3 remakes, Capcom has reportedly green-lit a remake of the fourth Resident Evil game.