Immortal, Resurrected and a fourth part - fans of Diablo can look forward to the months and years to come. Blizzard uses the popularity of the successful house brand several times, but does not simply offer more of the same. The Diablo games that appear from 2021 are completely different. For fans, developers and publishers, this seems to be a win-win situation: There is no reason to do without - even the mobile game Diablo Immortal, initially understood as a cheap offshoot, seems to develop undreamt-of qualities. The Diablo brand is in for a golden age.
Although Blizzard celebrated its hack'n'slash debut with Diablo at the end of 1996, the developers only succeeded at the turn of the millennium with the successor Diablo 2, which was not only a milestone but also set the playful benchmark for the genre. The first part was entertaining but bulky. Diablo 2, on the other hand, was designed for quick fun from the first minute of the game: fast, direct, comparatively uncomplicated, but still challenging - above all, the eternal hunt for ever better loot was a playful means that is still used today, around 21 years after the release of " D2”, is still fresh.
Blizzard North was responsible for the game at the time. Today the studio no longer exists. Players had high hopes for Diablo 2012 in 3. Blizzard was only able to meet expectations in part, but the third offshoot from the main series was also a commercial success. After starting on the PC, Diablo 3 was ported for Playstation 4 and Xbox One, a version for Nintendo Switch followed in 2018. Diablo 3 is not without controversy, especially among fans who would have liked an experience closer to Diablo 2 than a modernization of the genre. Blizzard did not succeed in everything from the beginning in the third part: The real money auction house was thrown out of the game, there was also a slap in the face from the consumer center for missing information on the required internet connection including login to Battle.net. Despite all the criticism, Diablo 3 also garnered the highest ratings - and is still played today. Many say: To bridge the time until a successor. It comes with Diablo 4, but in 2022 at the earliest. And then there are two other hopefuls, one of which is a hell of a lot: Diablo 2 - Resurrected.
Diablo 2: Resurrected
Caution is exercised at Blizzard with the remaster of Diablo 2. The game should basically be like the original, only with clearly drilled out graphics. A disaster like the new edition of Warcraft 3, which was released under the title Warcraft 3: Reforged, should be avoided at all costs. The Californians had burned their fingers with the work and reaped corresponding reactions from fans. Because the studio Blizzard North has not existed for a long time and the developers at Blizzard are all busy enough, Diablo 2 - Resurrected is basically outsourced, albeit internally.
Vicarious Visions will likely rework and revamp the game. In any case, the studio bought by Activision Blizzard has experience with brand recycling: the new edition of the Tony Hawk games was recently implemented, and successfully so. Unlike Diablo 2, Diablo 3 – Resurrected will be an all-round hit: the game will be released for Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S and will also offer “cross-progression”. So you will be able to carry your progress across the different platforms if you own the Diablo remaster for multiple gaming platforms. In this case, several licenses would still be required.
A "real" Diablo 2, only prettier
Nevertheless, at least the concept seems to reach the fans: A "real" Diablo 2 in a new guise; with solo and co-op mode, the latter for up to eight players, even PvP? That sounds as if you want to offer some kind of compensation for the partially failed Warcraft 3 - Reforged.
Nevertheless, Diablo 2 - Resurrected is not just a copy, some improvements are included in the work - which incidentally includes the base game and the expansion Lord of Destruction - namely: There is a shared loot chest to access the items for all characters offer, tool tips for item comparison, an automatic gold collection feature - and improved matchmaking.
And in order to avoid the danger that die-hard Diablo followers might find some of the features simply stupid, Blizzard says that the modernizations can also be switched off, which also applies to the pimped up graphics framework. If you want, you can play Diablo 2 - Resurrected in the look of the original. What there won't be, however, is new content. So anyone who hoped for additional chapters will be disappointed. There are no changes to the available classes either. As with the original, players choose from the seven classes Amazon, Barbarian, Druid, Paladin, Wizard, Assassin and Necromancer.
If you want, you can pre-order Diablo 2 - Resurrected, the game costs around 40 euros. If you add 20 euros, you will also receive Diablo 3 with all previously published content and some digital goodies. So you can bridge the time until the release of the next Diablo title. There is no exact release date for Diablo 2 - Resurrected yet. However, the game is expected to be released late in 2021.
Our assessment: Diablo 2 - Resurrected will be this good
The question that remains is how good Diablo 2 - Resurrected can actually get when it basically doesn't offer much more than a game that is now over 20 years old with a modern look. The answer to this can mainly be given by nostalgic people, because Blizzard directs the offer to them. The remaster should expressly feel like the original - and that was known to be a milestone. Diablo 2 revolutionized a genre and feared the competition.
Blizzard won't be able to do that with Diablo 2 - Resurrected, but that's not the intention either. Rather, one would like to explicitly capture the spirit of that time - and thus possibly also show younger players how stiff, simple and uniform games used to look. However, we have no doubts that Diablo 2 is still considered a masterpiece today. Hardly any modern hack'n slay game does it significantly better than Diablo 2 at the turn of the millennium. The successors have learned from the "template", copied and modernized, not necessarily completely renewed.
With new graphics, some fine-tuning and the proven concept, you will still be able to spend hundreds of hours in Sanctuary today. And the spiral of addiction? It will turn as fast as it was just over 20 years ago. There is also a great reason for a game of Diablo 2 - Resurrected: You can experience video game history up close.
Diablo Immortal: Hack'n Slay to go
The smartphone offshoot Diablo Immortal was initially ridiculed as an unworthy imitation, but it is now clear that the mobile game has far more qualities than the title was initially granted. Basically, Diablo Immortal is still an independent game that will be aimed specifically at fans of mobile phone and tablet gamers, but the work will close an important gap in the main series - namely the one between Diablo 3 and Diablo 4.
You want to avoid the chaos from Diablo 3 for Diablo Immortal. Where does the comparison between the current offshoot of the series and a smartphone game come from? Judging by the reports on Immortal, the game seems to borrow heavily from Diablo 3 - which would hardly be surprising given modern mobile gaming hardware. Fully-fledged video games can now be run on smartphones. It is only logical that one orients oneself to Diablo 3 in order to create a kind of "intermediate work" on the way to Diablo 4. This gives Blizzard an opportunity to learn from the mistakes made on D3.
So there's a lot more to Diablo Immortal than anyone suspected shortly after the mobile game was announced. The first hands-on reports also indicate a surprisingly good game: the reviews expected due to the negative mood did not materialize. Conversely, that means: Diablo Immortal is expected to be an extremely entertaining game that doesn't just copy, but has several unique selling points in order to survive on the market.
Diablo Immortal has long since stopped showing fans hatred. In addition, it can be assumed that the mobile offshoot of the brand will bring many new fans. Not least because Diablo Immortal appears to be made for it as a free-2-play title. Yes, there will be microtransactions and yes, these will have a playful effect - but primarily through time savings. Items or classes are free, according to Blizzard.
Diablo Immortal still wants to remain a smartphone game, which can be seen in the gaming experience tailored to "mobile gaming". You will be able to hold short game sessions, play a mission from time to time, then put the device down – only to get back into it minutes later. Here Diablo Immortal remains true to what has been established in the field of mobile games - albeit with some softening in the meantime. And: There should also be PvP in Diablo Immortal and that as a quite serious part of the game.
Our assessment: Diablo Immortal will be this good
Can a game as complex as Diablo work on a smartphone? The question can best be answered today with a counter-question: Can a game as complex as Eve Online work on a smartphone?
Whether you gamble on your smartphone or on a gaming PC no longer plays a role in every title these days. The gaming experiences can be quite similar. Diablo Immortal will also use the trend and build a bridge to entertaining, fast game sessions. Hours of sprawling game evenings in front of a PC or console is no longer the only standard for gamers.
Today it's about getting players into a virtual world quickly and giving them fun, but please in a manageable time frame. Not only because you no longer have the time to gamble, but especially because you switch between titles and platforms much more often. An hour of Cyberpunk 2077 on the PC, then over to the Xbox Series X to play a round of Madden NFL 21 - and in the evening you use your mobile phone for a nightcap, play in the Gamepass cloud, or farm on the small screen at Stardew Valley . Because gaming behavior has changed over the years, the demands on the games also change. And that's exactly where Diablo Immortal could use its strengths consistently.
Diablo 4: Monster Action in an Open World
A full-fledged successor will appear in 2022 at the earliest. Possibly not until the following year. However, it is certain that Diablo 4 will appear: This time, Blizzard is even keeping the community up to date with regular updates on the development processes. Step by step, new details come to light that do not allow a comprehensive assessment, but at least give impressions of the idea. Diablo 4 will be the first really brave work. In contrast to Diablo 2 - Resurrected or Diablo Immortal, the developers are much more creative. Like Diablo 3, Diablo 4 also relies on some new ideas for the series. Above all, the dynamic open game world.
At BlizzConline, the Californians had introduced a new class with the villain, which is actually an old one, because there was already the debut of the Diablo series in 1997:
The fact is, Diablo 4 should be partially "back to the roots" again, at least as far as the atmosphere is concerned. It's supposed to be darker, more obvious and disgusting than in the gentler setting of Diablo 3, where a candy-colored comic look sometimes caused irritation. The gameplay remains classic and true to the brand: players travel with their character through different areas of Sanctuary, beat up monsters, complete quests - but above all they collect loot. Randomly generated dungeons provide variety. This is especially important once you have completed the story campaign. It is Mephisto's little daughter Lilith who has managed to return to Sanctuary through a dark ritual. Stupid for the residents, good for the player, who is presented with a charming counter-figure.
Diablo 4 is to be released for PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4. At least that's the current status. Whether the game - also measured on the release date - will only be upwardly compatible for consoles or a real creation for Xbox Series X | S and Playstation 5 one has to wait and see. This also applies to a port for Nintendo Switch, because if the Japanese console manufacturer releases new hardware in the foreseeable future, Diablo 4 could also be brought back into the game there.
Our assessment: Diablo 4 will be this good
We assume that with Diablo 4, Blizzard will again release a real milestone that does not reinvent the genre, but revolutionizes it. Why? Blizzard will do everything in its power to avoid bugs like those of the Diablo 3 release. The developers will certainly take more care when it comes to realizing - or discarding - ideas and concepts. At the same time, Blizzard will show courage and work out the idea of the open game world in an overall rather closed game system in such a way that it supports the entertainment value and not just a conceptual framework. Blizzard still has to be careful: the concept of online compulsion offers enough fuel to trigger a shit storm.
Diablo 4 is also based on the classic mechanisms that you basically cannot drive in front of the wall. That wasn't the case with Diablo 3 either, although the game also took criticism. Blizzard is still the game maker that performs consistently well, even if its image has gotten a few scratches. That is also one reason why the developers will give everything in Diablo 4. Blizzard had had to give up a lot in the past. It is time for a flawless hit from the once legendary game company, so the ambitions are correspondingly high. It remains to be seen whether this will be able to meet the even greater expectations of the fans. In any case, Diablo 4 will be a worthy successor title.
Last updated on 3.02.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API