Playing the Beta of Diablo II: Resurrected – Is it Worth the Wait?

Last Updated on August 17, 2021 by Michael Brockbank

Ever since I heard Blizzard was making a remaster of Diablo II, I was a bit worried. Diablo happens to be one of my favorite franchises. And with the bad release of Warcraft III: Reforged, I was concerned Diablo II: Resurrected would get the same treatment in the beta.

Overall, the Warcraft III release was pretty bad and not what a lot of people were expecting.

But as my friend bought me the pre-order of Diablo II, I started counting down the days until I was able to play. Well, more like months since I got the pre-order like back in February.

Now, keep in mind, this isn’t an outright review. I don’t do reviews on betas, early access, or projects that are still in the making. This is more of a glance at what Blizzard has done with the game thus far.

And I’ll admit, I don’t have a lot of time in the game as of yet. But, I did manage to get in some playtime a few days ago. And I am really excited about what is to come.

What Have I Noticed in the Beta of Diablo II: Resurrected So Far?

I’m sure this will probably be a multi-part series on the website. I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s in store for the game. But I can tell you that it’s giving me goosebumps with each minute I play.

Though, a huge part of that is probably from nostalgia. I bought Diablo II when it first came out in 2000, and then the Lord of Destruction expansion pack as soon as it was released.

Needless to say, I spent way more time playing that game than I probably should have.

At any rate, the remastered version has definitely piqued my interest.

Updated Cinematics

Diablo II Cinematics

First of all, the opening cinematic looks far better than the original. The character models and background graphics are what you’d expect from a 2021 remake of the game.

Yes, they did change the actual model of some of the characters. But I think it was for the better, especially in the tavern scene at the very beginning.

And the eyes of Marius when he looks up were incredibly realistic. Not to mention the overall visual effects when The Wanderer tries to wrestle control.

Marius
Marius looking at “Tyrael.”

I’m just glad they kept all of the voice acting so far.

Character Models Updated

Some of the character models in the game have received a bit of an update as well. It’s hard to say which one got the biggest improvement. As I played the druid, he looks much different today.

The Paladin is another that has some major changes that I’ve noticed. The rest got a few tweaks here and there, and overall, they look pretty good.

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New Functionality In Game

A few things I’ve noticed in the beta of Diablo II: Resurrected so far include gold pickup and how Gheed works.

Picking Up Gold

When it comes to gold, you no longer need to click on it to pick it up. You can simply run over it. Though, the pick-up distance is relatively close. You have to run right over the gold.

I guess I’m spoiled with Diablo III, as you can get item functions that let you pick up gold from off-screen. Still, just running over it can save some time.

But who knows, maybe Blizzard will add similar items into Diablo II.

Gambling with Gheed

Refresh Gheed Magic Items

In the past, gambling for new magic items from Gheed was a bit of a pain. In order to get a new screen of things to buy, you had to leave the zone and come back some of the time.

Now, you get a “Refresh” ability that generates a new list of things to buy with a click of a button.

As someone who spent a lot of time hitting up Gheed for better gear, this is indeed a time saver!

Gameplay Visuals

Some of the visual effects in-game haven’t really changed much. Such as the stones you come across outside of the camp in Act I. But, there are quite a few changes so far that I’ve come across.

First of all, the camp looks a lot better than it did before. There’s more detail to the background items, such as wagons and what-not.

Secondly, the magic effects and fire elements received a huge update. For example, the fireballs from shamans look far better than they did in 2000.

Fighting a Shaman

Obviously.

And maybe it’s just my monitor or the fact that I need new glasses, but the game seems darker. And I’m talking about the overall ambiance of the game. It gives it a more sinister appearance and adds to the overall effectiveness of the storyline.

Then again, it may just be a setting on my monitor. Either way, I felt more engrossed in the layout of the game thanks to the darker appearance.

Another element that I kind of geeked out on a bit was the reflective water. Puddles and rivers now have a more shimmering, reflective quality that adds a bit to the background graphics of different areas.

The Beta of Diablo II: Resurrected Did Not Disappoint

As I’ve said, I really haven’t dumped a lot of time into Diablo II yet. But based on what I’ve seen so far, I plan on playing more a bit later today.

It’s too bad that I can’t make a hardcore character yet, or play as the Necromancer. However, I had a lot of fun working on creating my Druid/Werewolf.

Only the first two acts are available in the beta, but with just over a month to go before the official release, I’m patient.

The bottom line is that Diablo II: Resurrected has surpassed my expectations in the beta version. In a world where people put in a half-assed effort for remasters, I’m glad Blizzard is taking its time.

I’d rather a company take its time to create something amazing than to listen to clamors of people on Twitter and wind up pushing out something un-polished.

It was a trip down nostalgia lane, and I’m looking forward to playing more. Especially since my teens don’t really know a lot of the backstory to Diablo. It’s going to be difficult not to spoil the story for them.

Looking Forward to More!

There is a lot about Diablo II that I preferred over Diablo III. First of all, the skill tree. To me, it just seems like there is more character customization when leveling up in Diablo II.

This is one of the biggest reasons why I like Path of Exile.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to the release of Diablo II: Resurrected on September 23rd. Until then, I’ll keep working on my beta-version werewolf and probably play a bit of the Sorceress.

At any rate, I am extremely glad that Blizzard gave Diablo so much effort during this remaster.

Now if they would only do a remake of Diablo I…then the kids and I can play straight through the actual storyline.

Michael Brockbank
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Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop to name a few.