A lot is going on at Blizzard’s next remaster project, Diablo II Resurrected.
After successful spit-shining StarCraft Remastered in 2016, the Blizzard Classic team followed suit with the forgiving galaxy that is WarCraft III: Reforged—And I say “unforgivable” because we are currently eight unfulfilled months beyond the game’s last tease of highly sought-after features. These are tough things for anyone who chose to spend $ 30 (or more) on Reforged, so it still needs to be repaired before we can pretend the company’s appalling reputation is close to being restored. Representatives of several Activision and Blizzard projects have not yet answered my ongoing questions WC3R. After failing to attend BlizzCon 2021, the developer accused “the nature of the world today” in March of a lack of updates, even though fans had made their own grassroots. WC3R solutions in the same time period.)
That said, there is no doubt that a larger audience in the world has moved on WarCraft III still has a soft spot for one of Blizzard’s most enduring classic games: Diablo II. 21 years later, Diablo IIThe core of the game holds up remarkably well and certainly more than the original, ingenious yet bulky Diablo. I love Diablo II, and I love the idea of a rested, faithful Diablo II.
The update was a terrible secret until the formal announcement from February 2021. Surprise or no, there is a welcome chance for Blizzard semi-redemption. The company seems to believe it, after reporting tearing up the project from its original Blizzard Classic team and handing it over to Vicarious Visions. (Vicarious Visions’ last match, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 + 2, proved some serious game-remake chops.)
The shortened path to hell
Thus, I am completely curious about how D2: R will show up – and in about 24 hours I will find out by diving into his first public technical alpha test. Starting at. 13 EDT On Thursday 8 April, we will be among the first in the world to test a limited part of the game’s remake, before the demo’s wider public launch starts on Friday 9. April. (Should you participate in that test, register here and cross your fingers.)
Blizzard also lets me stream my games without restrictions, so if you do not want to wait for my impressions, you can tune in by going back to this page at 13:30 EDT Thursday 8 April. I add a half hour buffer time just in case. Should we for some reason get into technical difficulties, I have the original D2 client installed, and anyway I will be here and streaming via the Ars Technica Twitch channel for three hours, until kl. 16:30 EDT. We post the video here, but you have to click on to Twitch if you want to use the chat functionality. (On the flip side, if Twitch chat sounds awful to you for some reason, our built-in livestream will protect you from it.)
The D2: R The singleplayer demo includes the game’s first two acts (of the four in the primary retail game and a fifth act added via the “Lords of Destruction” expansion pack), and it lets players practice three of the game’s final classes (barbarian, witch) and Amazon). I will only be able to stream a 1080p signal at 60 frames per second, despite sales figures such as ultrawide support and 4K-friendly assets. But I will do my best to break down what I see at the end as I quickly click through demons and march east toward Lut Gholein. I also want to take my sweet time breaking down the remaster’s biggest sales pitches, especially quality of life and the promise of switching between old graphics and new with a simple push of a button.
The remaster’s multiplayer tests will follow later this year, says Blizzard, so this week’s test will only be “multiplayer” if you pile up in chat on Thursday and send very specific game requests.