Diablo 2: Resurrected devs reveal biggest challenges of pulling off remaster
BlizzConline was a treasure trove of new content for Diablo fans. We spoke to two of Diablo II: Resurrected’s art devs on the game’s remastering.
BlizzConline 2021 certainly has made some waves among the Blizzard fanbase. World of Warcraft fans have been gifted a new Shadowlands expansion and Overwatch fans were given more of a glimpse into the title’s highly anticipated sequel.
Diablo fans, however, possibly emerged the most hyped. While further details dropped about Diablo IV, the next installment in Blizzard’s landmark franchise, the most exciting announcement was Diablo II: Resurrected, a 2021 remastering of the original game.
Being dubbed ‘the best game ever made,’ Dexerto were invited to BlizzCon’s Q&A with Game Designer Andre Abrahamian and Art Lead Chris Amaral to find out more about what it’s like to remaster an icon.
Blizzard devs on remastering Diablo 2
Remastering Diablo II in no mean feat. The game’s commercial success, coupled with it being the beating heart of the Diablo fandom, makes remastering it a pretty daunting task.
When I asked the duo about this, Andre responded that “we quickly identified what was important about Diablo II so that kept us on track of going down the path of a remaster. There’s a lot of quirks and interesting things that are still relevant and made this game such a legacy that players know and love.”
“There’s a lot of things that define the ARPG genre over these past 20 years, but Diablo II is still relevant today so we knew that we had to stay as close as we could. So that’s why we went that path of remaster.
“I think we’ve stuck with that and have stayed very true to the experience.” Andre certainly adds some hype to the already flaming hellfire that is the rebirth of Diablo II.
Resurrecting Diablo II with modern art
Andre’s comment about maintaining the soul of Diablo II is clearly what both devs and the wider team deemed the most important. It’s a challenge, though, especially when part of the task is bringing the title’s arcade-style art aesthetic into the modern-day.
Chris sheds some light on this, commenting “this game has been around for 20 years, it’s basically inspired many, many ARPGs out there. It has a very unique look that also kind of established the look of ARPGS. So for me, as far as on the art side, it was more difficult because you don’t want to ruin what people have remembered.”
“Like the Necromancer’s heavy armor, it has to look and feel a certain way or it won’t look like the Necromancer. You can’t veer off too far otherwise it becomes something entirely different.”
“So for me on the art side I’d say it’s more difficult to do a remaster than a remake because you have the limitations that you have to adhere to or else you’re messing things up.”
It’s pretty clear that Chris, Andre, and everyone working on Diablo II have hardly messed up. Looking at the side-by-side comparisons of the original gameplay versus the Resurrected world on the official website, the game maintains that nostalgia.
So get ready to strap on your armor the prepare for hellfire, because the angels and demons are at war all over again and we can’t wait to jump into the fray when it releases later this year.