“Just keep putting skill points into Thorns” – this was the advice we received the last time we played Diablo 2, over 20 years ago, but we'd need more than that to fend off the demonic forces of hell.
Those with a background in Dungeons & Dragons or anyone who knows their dexterity from their vitality will feel right at home, as the player is given five precious attribute points each level to spend however they like. It’s even possible to respec, though only once per playthrough without some extra legwork.
Levelling also pays out skill points, which are more immediately tangible, granting additional active abilities which consume mana, or passive traits which become more and more significant with each point invested.
Certain gear requires meeting specific class and attribute thresholds, which is something else to keep in mind. Looting is a big deal in general and you'll quickly find the limited inventory space filling up as a result, so item management is also a key part of getting the most out of the experience.
Keeping gear up to date is vital to avoid getting caught out and brutally cut down in your stride; even a change to one or two equipment slots can grant huge bonuses against certain enemies. Since dying drops all money and equipment until it’s retrieved from your corpse, character loadouts are something to always stay on top of.
It's clear time and care has been put into the remaster, but perhaps, in the end, Blizzard should have gone for a remake.
Baddies come in all shapes and sizes, from elemental beasts to savage demons, and at times the screen can be filled with a horde of different targets. Targeting isn't as precise as it could be on a controller, unfortunately, which can lead to some annoying deaths.
The most frustrating foes to watch out for, who come in various forms throughout the game but start appearing very early on, are the shamans, who have the power to revive their fallen allies. Of course, for those that choose to play the Necromancer class, it’s possible to beat them at their own game.
Whatever the class, it’s always possible to hire a mercenary to help out in combat and draw some enemy fire, which can make a huge difference when it comes to crowd control. This helps to make the experience feel less lonely, but, of course, you can also team up with fellow adventurers in online co-op multiplayer.
In the end, Diablo 2: Resurrected can feel a little archaic and even out of touch with what draws many to modern action games. It's clear that time and care has been put into the remaster, but perhaps, in the end, Blizzard should have gone for a full remake – look at the recent successes of Final Fantasy VII and Demon's Souls as a couple of examples within the genre.
With many fans eagerly awaiting Diablo 4, D2: Resurrected is a good opportunity to try the game that put the series on the map. The company's current lawsuit may cause some players to think twice, but as far as judging the game on its own merits, there's a lot to enjoy, and it's easy to see why the original gained such esteem two decades ago.