Diablo II is the kind of game that has given new meaning to the ‘classic instant’ cliché. When it launched in 2000, the game’s skull aesthetic, elaborate gaming systems, and endless build customization options immediately monumentalized it as one of the best PC games of all time. Of course there were bugs. And there were players who complained loudly (so loudly) about them. But that’s not what held people back about Diablo II. That’s when they found a demonic crossbow in the Halls of the Dead with a drop rate of 1 in 60,000. Or when they stumbled upon the Necromancer’s Perfect Build to detonate a bunch of dead zombies to kill some more zombies. bigger in the area.

Twenty years later, the developers who recreated the legendary game had some tough questions to answer, namely, what about the famous tough RPG sucked in the right way, and what about this one. sucked the wrong way? Their response, Diablo II: Risen, released on September 23 for PC, Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox.

There is now a trend among game studios “to sand a lot of hard edges”, explains Rob Gallerani, Diablo II: Risen lead designer. “If we made a modern game, we would see a heat map of everyone who died there.” Game testers, focus testers, and potentially even gaming studio consultant neurologists could provide comments such as Wow, that death trap is a bitch. “It would be seen as something to be corrected,” Gallerani explains. But for Vicarious Visions, a 30-year-old games studio acquired by Activision Blizzard in 2005, the redesign Diablo II meant looking at the game through the eyes of a 1990s game developer. Diablo II wasn’t legendary just because it was difficult; it was legendary because the players liked to make things difficult for themselves. They couldn’t optimize the fun.

“These spiky pieces are the things people remember,” Gallerani says. “These are the parts where people are like, ‘Oh my God, did you touch that thing?’ And then people bond and they figure out how to do it.

This does not mean that the developers kept all sharp pieces. Remastering a genre-changing game isn’t as easy as recreating what it used to be. Diablo II: Risen would bring closer, if not improve, the game that fans remembered, not necessarily the one they played. No one will criticize the addition of features like visual accessibility options, easier online party creation, and automatic gold pickup. And anyone who, for whatever reason, gets angry with Vicarious Visions’ magnificent enhanced 3D models can bring the game back to its 2000s look.

Diablo II: Risen retains many aspects of the original gameplay.

Courtesy of Blizzard

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