At long last, Blizzard has finally unveiled the curtain on what is arguably one of the most requested remakes in history, Diablo II: Resurrected. We got a very nice look at the all-time classic’s remake earlier in the Opening Ceremony, as well as the reveal of a brand new class character for the upcoming Diablo IV, the Rogue class. Both were the main topics of their panels during the online event and we’re going to break down what the biggest takeaways were from each one right here.
#DiabloIV reintroduces the Rogue 🏹 and brings you to an open world 🌎 with mounts to ride 🐴, camps to rescue ⛺️, and a PVP mode ⚔️ inspired by the evils of Mephisto.
— Diablo (@Diablo) February 19, 2021
We’ll start off with Diablo IV and the Rogue class which is making a grand return from the original Diablo title. The Rogue is the damage per second attacker (DPS) in which they utilize special offensive tactics in order to drain the health of their opponent as fast as possible. They’re also extremely unilateral, where they can use swords and knives for melee, as well as bows and crossbows for range, giving the players multiple builds to set up their character with. The design of the new Rogue was inspired by the Sisterhood of Sightless Eye with some updated tattoos, scars, and red armor. Of course, you’ll be able to customize the look of your Rogue, as well as leaning towards the armor or thief look.
The Rogue class will also come with three specialization setups. The first is Shadow Realm, which is exactly as it sounds where the Rogue will envelop their enemies in a shadowy cloud which buffs all of your moves for a few seconds. The second is Exploit Weakness, which gives the Rogue a damage boost for their basic attacks. According to the developers, this technique will require a high skill cap and will demand the user to be fast when using it. The third is called Combo Points, which gives the Rogue the ability to build up some points with normal attacks and then use them with other skills to give additional buffs. In order to obtain these class specializations, you’ll have to complete class-specific quests, but once any of them are unlocked you’ll be able to use them with whatever playstyle you have set up.
The Rogue can also augment their weapons with the Imbue System, specifically Ice, Shadow, and Poison. This not only gives you an additional edge in combat but also offers several different play styles that can easily mesh with whatever build you have. The Rogue can also close the gap between them and their enemy, as well as moving around at a faster rate of speed, depending on who they’re facing. There’s notably more room at the campfire for more classes, but Blizzard is not saying anything on that matter. Either way, the Rogue is a welcome addition to Diablo IV.
Diablo II: Resurrected was next in a special Deep Dive panel, most of which pertained to the stunning new look. It’s unbelievable that it’s been more than 20 years since Diablo II initially launched for PC, and in that time it’s gone onto become one of the most popular titles in history. Vicarious Visions, who developed the critically acclaimed Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1+2, has quite the project on their hands, and this is what they’ve been doing since being handed the IP to work on.
Since this is a full-blown remake, everything is inspired by the original Diablo II. The developers came up with what they called a 70/30 guide, where they look at something significant and try to make it 70% original from the game, and then improve upon 30% of what they feel could be better about it. Apparently, this task proved more daunting than expected as both the studio and Blizzard themselves needed to write a brand new physical renderer on top of the first iteration in order to work with the updated models, lighting, and overall visuals.
Sanctuary has never burned brighter.
— Diablo (@Diablo) February 20, 2021
Thankfully, Diablo II already had a good portion of detail in the art, and as you can see in the above tweet, it seems to have worked out fine. Speaking of visuals, the team also spoke on the original cinematics from Diablo II. According to the developers, every single cinematic will be remastered with high fidelity art, as well as all of the audio which has been remastered to boot. The studio also made sure to not change the actual sounds and sound effects, mostly due to the fact that there are some sounds from the original Diablo II that they don’t want to mess with.
One of the most intriguing features that was revealed was that Diablo II: Resurrected is going to be on home consoles for the first time. Not only that, but it will also support cross-progression, something that we did not see coming. The studio mentioned that there will be a couple of key differences between the PC and consoles ports. For instance, when teleporting with the Sorceress on PC, you click on the actual location. When this is done on the home consoles, you instead teleport to a set distance in a certain direction, as there is no mouse cursor with the controller. You’ll also be able to use a controller on the PC version, just in case you wanted to try that out.
The game will also include the Lord of Destruction expansion, which adds a fifth act to the main story. It will also contain the classic Player Vs. Player (PVP) mode which includes the same trading and chat function as the first version. Diablo II: Resurrected is slated to launch sometime this year, although there is no release date yet. It will launch on PC through Battle.net, and the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and the Nintendo Switch. You can sign up for the Alpha Tech demo here. Diablo IV still has no release date at this time.