Date: August 25, 2021
Perhaps you haven’t had a chance to play the open beta for Diablo II: Resurrected yet, but you don’t need to do so to understand how incredible the work of the game’s developers has been so far.
Even a quick watch of the recently released remastered cinematics will show you the results of the meticulous work the development team had put into the project in the past several months.
And there is more, much more to be seen in the game itself.
Often forced to work within a narrow frame of but a handful of pixels, the restorative genius of the Blizzard’s D2R team has nevertheless uncovered mural patterns, dangling chains, and bundles of garlic within the original graphics, consulting original models, dev notes, inspiration sources, and artwork. The reconstruction of in-game graphics and cinematics is so diligent and faithful, it would now require a very convincing argument to sway a considerable number of players towards playing with the original ones.
>> Perhaps one argument for playing the remastered game with the old graphics would be nostalgia, but for many players the new visuals already feel as how they have remembered the game looking like from their childhood (you will often see this language in the comment sections). This kind of feedback demonstrates the true creative genius of the team’s effort to re-introduce the game for the modern audience.
But, let’s drop the pink glasses of a thrilled fan: often it has been all too easy to fool eager gamers with shiny wrappers.
The remaster is set to release in just a little under a month, and those who are considering jumping in on day 1 need to know an answer to an important question before spending $40 on a pre-order:
Will Diablo II: Resurrected Be Ready for its Release?
Ultimately, only the developers will have the power to influence this outcome, but those who had a chance to play the open Alpha, the closed Beta, and now the open Beta, have some details for us to consider in seeking out the likely scenario.
Firstly, and quite importantly, there were no game-breaking bugs reported in the community.
Arguably, lagging and stuttering issues, frequent (about once every hour or two hours, according to LrLlamaSC/Alex Sementelli) crashes, occasional server inaccessibility, and a long list of minor bugs (ones relating to graphics and UI interactions, for example) all combined to make the experience less enjoyable, but this kind of experience is to be expected of the beta build of the game.
Instead, more troubling questions begin to arise once the completeness of the current beta‘s build is considered.
The current Diablo II: Resurrected beta testers can only play as 5 of the classes (no Necromancer or Assassin) within 2 of the acts. If the beta build has any resemblance to the one the developers are currently working on, this means that there are 2 more character classes and 3 more acts to be finalized before release. This also includes Hell and Nightmare difficulties. All of these features remain publicly untested.
Arguably, Diablo II is a finished and furthermore a polished game, which gives the Resurrected a very solid head start in applying new effects, graphics, and UI elements. (In other words, half of the work is already complete by the nature of the project.)
However, the two Betas revealed many unexpected places from which a plenty of bugs can arise: swapping items from the stash into the inventory, inability to complete trade while dragging items, Deckard Cain not identifying items inside the Horadric Cube, broken public chat, limited multiplayer for the console version (most notably, no public lobby where players can pick their own game to join), poorer visual quality and UI controls on for the console version, music bugs when browsing the inventory, and many others.
Developers have also mentioned not having the Ladder mode available right after launch. While an understandable decision (in fact, a common practice to stabilize servers and avoid common exploits), it is not known yet how long it will take for Ladder to be available.
Finally, there are also some concerns raised for modding of the game surrounding the removal of TCP/IP support that will probably impact both smaller mods for the game, as well as larger mods with their own private servers (due to Battle.net’s Terms of Service).
In other words, about a half of the game that may or may not be currently being rushed to the finish line could harbor a major list of bugs and limited features that will take at least a couple months to iron out following the release.
If your hopes are to enjoy a flawless experience of a title that means quite a bit to you, this might be a fair reason to give the game just a little more time after it releases. There are also additional considerations for console players and fans of Diablo II Ladder who would like to play without the limitations likely to be introduced at launch.
Of course, there is an indisputable side to the remaster that can push some of the players to jump into the game right away regardless of everything we just discussed above. The absolutely breathtaking, surreal experience many have experienced jumping into the beta is hard to reproduce, and for some of us just can’t be.
If Diablo II is something you were absolutely giddy to see being remastered and you just. Can’t. Wait., then jumping in and seeing what others in the community have been trying to describe might be exactly what you want to do. The release build of Diablo II: Resurrected might just be the right level of complete for you and you do not care about what all of the snotty snobs on Reddit have to say about some button being broken.
(And I honestly can’t blame you at all.)
Let us know what your thoughts are about the state of things, dear readers!
What are your plans, what are your expectations? Jumping in and playing alongside a few friends who are just as excited as you are? Wanting an absolutely perfect experience and waiting for reviews down the line? Refusing to play until the hype dies down, all of the patches are in, and you can enjoy your childhood’s masterpiece in peace?
Let us know in the comments below!