E3 2021: Diablo II Resurrected launches September 23 following open beta; preorders are live now

    
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We’ve known that Blizzard was working on Diablo II: Resurrected since the big reveal at BlizzConline, but it wasn’t a sure bet when it was launching. Now we know: At E3 today, the company put a September 23rd launch date on the remastered title, following an August open beta that will include five of the seven classes. Beta opt-in is already live on the official site, along with preorders that start at $39.99. Expect it PC Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and 5, and the Nintendo Switch.

“On September 23, players around the world can save Sanctuary from certain doom in Diablo® II: Resurrected™, the definitive remastering of Diablo II and its Lord of Destruction® expansion—two landmark entries in the company’s genre-defining action role-playing series.

“In Diablo II: Resurrected, the original game’s iconic 2D character models become fully realized 3D heroes who inhabit a boldly re-envisioned dark fantasy world of Sanctuary rife with rich—and often gory—detail. To take advantage of today’s modern gaming hardware, Diablo II: Resurrected supports up to 4K resolution and includes fully remastered 7.1 Dolby Surround audio*. Those who still fondly remember the ambiance of the original game’s gripping storytelling sequences can also look forward to all 27 minutes of cinematics, recreated with stunning high-fidelity visuals that faithfully reproduce the critically acclaimed originals and match the spirit of the modernized game’s graphics.

“While Diablo II: Resurrected takes full advantage of today’s modern gaming hardware, it also preserves the timeless hack-and-slash gameplay that is as engrossing and enjoyable today as it was twenty years ago—with a few quality-of-life updates Diablo veterans have been clamoring for, such as a larger stash and automatic gold pickup. Players experiencing teary-eyed nostalgia as they relive fond memories of spinning hammers and exploding corpses can seamlessly swap between the modern graphics and the original 800×600 resolution experience with the push of a button.”

MOP’s own Justin took a dip into the game’s alpha back in April, finding it unsurprisingly solid and fun.

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Schmidt.Capela

My 3 biggest questions are:

– Will the DRM allow it to be played offline?
– Will modding be possible and allowed?
– Will it have local multiplayer (i.e., without the need to go through the Battle.net servers)?

If it answers positively those three questions and it’s a good remake I’ll likely purchase it. If only the local multiplayer one isn’t granted I will still consider it. but if it fails any other of my requirements then it’s a deal-breaker for me, as in that case I would very much prefer to play the original.

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Vanquesse V

IIRC you’ll need to authenticate your copy online once and then you can play offline. The multiplayer will be solely through battle.net but won’t be split into regions. Modding will be possible and allowed but with some caveats.

My layman’s guess to those caveats would be that any alterations to the main executables will be off limits, but altering data files and such will be fine.
Kinda like how Blizzard really didn’t like when d2 mods would allow you to play them online with cracked copies, but once the modders figured out how to enforce legal copies blizzard stopped going after d2 mods.

Either way I think it’ll be a while before we truly know what modders will be allowed to do with the remaster.

Aldristavan
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Aldristavan

On the subject of preorders:

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Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

After the Warcraft 3 Reforged debacle and them adding level boosts to The Burning Crusade I find it difficult to trust Blizzard with remakes at this point, even with an open beta.

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Vanquesse V

Not much goodwill left for Blizzard these days, for obvious reasons.
The D2 remake is being made primarily by the devs that did the Tony Hawk 1+2 remake which was really good, so hopefully this one will turn out that way as well

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h4

I didn’t think blizzard had much goodwill left either, but the twitter post for d2 remaster is mostly full of positive replies.

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Vanquesse V

D2 is well liked and the people working on the remaster have a solid track record. At the same time it seems they are treating the game with the respect it deserves and are only making slight changes to the game itself that don’t change the overall feel and moment to moment gameplay.
I don’t trust Blizzard enough to pre-order anything from them these days, but I’ve not seen anything bad related to this particular game.

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_a4

Diablo 2 and Stalker 2 are the only two games from this reveal that interest me.