Blizzcon 2019 hit the first week of November. There was already a leak about a Diablo IV announcement, which had Diablo fans squealing in excitement everywhere. (Never mind the fact that the last time we thought we were getting a Diablo IV announcement, Blizzard announced Overwatch instead. This leak is most likely totes legit this time.) It was then confirmed as a real thing! The existence of Diablo IV has brought up a new conversation and plenty of speculation on whether there will be a remastered version of Diablo II as well eventually. I sincerely hope that such a remaster is in the works.
Diablo II is what kicked off Diablo-mania. It’s why fans were so stoked for a Diablo III when it was announced. People enjoyed the first game to be sure, but it was Diablo II that set the stage for the world of Sanctuary to constantly evolve.
Not to mention, Diablo II completely rewrote the ending to the first game just so the story could continue. This also kickstarted a slew of Diablo novels. The first game spun a few books, but not the way Diablo II did. Diablo III further instigated additional creative works. Diablo IV is sure to do the same.
Diablo II set the stage for all the lore in Diablo III and future games. The Dark Wanderer, the fall of Tristram, Decker’s imprisonment, and the widening schism between the Angels and humans of Sanctuary was all established in Diablo II itself. Diablo II also set some deep cultural elements not found in Diablo III. Don’t believe me? Try playing Diablo II as a Paladin and then again as a Necromancer. See how different your gameplay is based upon how you’re treated.
Granted, PC gamers can already play Diablo II on pretty much any machine. The game was mind-blowing at the time, pushing many graphics cards to their limits, but today, even your parents’ ancient laptop can run the game. Since the graphics are so outdated, that’s reason enough to warrant a remaster of this classic, but I have another, bigger reason as well. Since Diablo III proved that this style of action-RPG can work on console, then why not bring this classic to console gamers?
Diablo III was the first entry into Diablo for many console gamers. It certainly was for me, which led me to playing Diablo II on the PC. I gotta say, it’s really hard to go backwards with this series, moreso than any other series I’ve played. It’s what happens when Blizzard waits 10 years in between releases. As such, I have quite a few recommendations for a remastered version of Diablo II, particularly for console.
Much of the inventory and combat can use the same mechanics that Diablo III implemented for console versions. No reason to change that around. We can even keep the insane and outdated inventory shenanigans, including getting Decker to identify items or using identification scrolls. It’s a bit charming, now that I think about it.
A console remaster would also need two modes of gameplay: Classic and New (or something more clever than just “new”). With Classic gameplay, the game would run exactly how it did back in the day, including the most difficult game mechanic to accept when going backwards in this series: recovering all of your gear from your dead body. Who doesn’t love traipsing back to where you were overrun by enemies without any weapons or armor? Surely now you’ll be successful, right? Or you know, just don’t die in the first place.
The New gameplay would eliminate this entirely and use Diablo III’s method of respawning. This way, old school gamers could have a choice, and the rest of us pansies can pretend it never existed.
It’s all so pretty to think about it, and I’ll be waiting on pins and needles for any and all Diablo announcements. This could be so great, Blizzard, and a way for you to print money. You like money, don’t you?