Blizzard’s Next Remaster Is Reportedly “Diablo II Resurrected,” Which Could Release Later This Year

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Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard may finally be debuting one of its most oft-rumored and heavily requested titles soon. According to French site Actugaming, “Diablo II Resurrected” – a remastered version of 2000’s legendary Diablo sequel – is in development and slated for release later this year. It’s being handled by Vicarious Visions, which was responsible for Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.

“Among the many projects to come, we would therefore have a remastered edition of the second episode of the hack’n’slash series which would take the name of Diablo II Resurrected,” reported Actugaming. “The release is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2020, although the date may be slightly delayed due to the current situation.”

“It is the desire to introduce the series to the approach of Diablo 4 that would have prompted the Californian company to offer a remastered edition. According to our sources, it is the Vicarious Visions studio that would support Blizzard for this Diablo 2 Resurrected, project on which he would work since the release of the Crash Bandicoot trilogy. Remember that Vicarious also worked on the port of Destiny 2.”

The creators of Diablo II – Max Schaefer, Erich Schaefer, and David Brevik – had previously suggested that a remaster was unlikely due to a hiccup at the end of development, which resulted in the loss of core code and assets. Brevik also told IGN in 2018 that bringing the classic title to modern PCs would be “extremely difficult” from a technical standpoint.

“Brevik [explained] that because the screens during the time of Diablo II’s release were 800×600 resolution in a 4:3 aspect ratio—which is much different in shape than the 16:9 and 16:10 aspect ratio screens we have today—many of the programming tricks they used when developing Diablo II would no longer work,” wrote IGN.

“A lot of the ways that the AI and stuff activates is from off-screen,” he said, noting that “if they were going to keep the same radius of awareness, you would get a whole bunch of [monsters] on the edge of the screen just kind of like, ‘[I’m] getting ready to do something here!'” However, Brevik explained that if you alter the radius, “then everything’s coming from different angles and at different speeds and doing different things than you’re used to and the way it’s run.”

The implication here is that Vicarious Visions may have had to rebuild Diablo II largely from scratch. It remains to be seen just how faithful “Resurrected” is, but the developer did do a great job with its Crash Bandicoot remasters, which received glowing reviews.

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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