Diablo 2 Resurrected alpha preview: A gorey blast from the past

Diablo II Tech Alpha PreviewBlizzard Entertainment, Dexerto

The Diablo 2: Resurrected alpha shines a light on some of the more technical changes that brings this remake to life, and while it’s still early days for the project there are some clear takeaways. 

While this year started off heralding bad news for Diablo fans everywhere, with the delay of Diablo 4, Blizzard’s remaster of the iconic Diablo 2 has rejuvenated the dungeon crawler’s loyal fanbase.

Entitled Diablo 2: Resurrected, this enhanced version gives the iconic 2000 title a lick of fresh paint. Easily able to stand up against its sequel, Diablo 3, the remake breathes new life into the game dubbed “one of the best games ever made.”

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The technical alpha was made available to diehard fans between April 9-12, and after playing, let’s run through what we found nestled in the bowels of Sanctuary.

How characters look in Diablo 2: Resurrected

Diablo II Res SorceressBlizzard Entertainment
Every character has been gifted an overhaul in D2: Resurrected.

While the tech alpha only allowed players to get their hands on the Sorceress, Amazon or Barbarian, you can see at a glance just how much these characters have changed. From pixellated balls to full 3D renders, our iconic Diablo heroes have become stunning versions of themselves.

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This translates beautifully across into the gameplay as well. The Sorceress moves with a whimsy expected of her powerful but slight stature, and she fires spells with impressive fluidity.

You still get the feel of the original character, but she’s been given a much needed makeover. It will be interesting to see whether or not the devs will be able to capture the essence of the other classes, just as they have our spell slinging queen.

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Necromancer mains will certainly have their fingers crossed.

Tristram has never looked so disgusting

Diablo II Resurrected TristramBlizzard Entertainment
Tristram looks awfully beautiful this time of year.

Every Diablo fan knows that Tristram lies at the heart of the epic struggle between heaven and hell, and it’s safe to say that the remaster encapsulates all of the horror that the town is renowned for.

The iconic fountain of blood shines with a glossy hue that implies the fluids inside are pretty fresh and, coupled with the disassociated limbs strewn around the structure, it’s eerily beautiful.

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At Blizzcon the game’s Art Lead Chris Amaral noted that “you can’t veer off too far otherwise it becomes something entirely different.” This version of Tristram is just as faithful as it’s predecessor.

Sanctuary is plagued by more than demons

Diablo II Resurrected Tech AlphaBlizzard Entertainment
Sanctuary is plagued by more things than just Andariel and company.

It’s important to note that this is obviously a technical alpha, and there’s a few things that need a bit of ironing out. In the bottom left of the screenshot above, next to your health orb, there’s a bug reporter which makes that process pretty easy.

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One of the things that continually causes issue was your follower would just vanish. In the Diablo world it’s hardly surprising for things to disappear without a trace, considering it costs you to recruit them and, in turn, to resurrect them, so your bank balance dwindles pretty quickly.

The only other issue was the map, located in the top right of the screenshot. Obviously this is still being worked on, but it would have been nice to know where your objectives were!

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Our first look at Diablo II: Resurrected was certainly a positive one. Blizzard are offering more tech alpha opportunities in the future, so make sure you’re signed up.

We’ll also be keeping our Diablo hub updated with all things Resurrection – which is expected to be released later in 2021.

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