Review: Diablo II: Resurrected (Switch)

The PC classic makes a triumphant return that newcomers and returning demon slayers alike will love!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 10/13/2021 07:45 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
1-Up Mushroom for...
Great conversion of a PC classic to a modern console; graphics look great, whether the new or old versions; controls are smartly implemented; loop is addicting; lots to see, do, and collect
Poison Mushroom for...
Inventory system can become a bit frustrating at times

If you’re a frequent reader of Nintendojo, you might have noticed that I make no bones about admitting that I was late to the world of online gaming. We didn’t have Internet access in our home until about 2002 or 2003, and even at school where the web was within easy reach, I rarely if ever logged on, let alone played games. That’s all changed in the years since, of course, but that means some of the online classics of my youth passed me by until later in life. Case in point: Diablo II: Resurrected is my first time playing Diablo II in any form.

Sacrilege, I know, but for a game named after the devil, perhaps it’s fitting. I think that many a Nintendo fan who doesn’t stray beyond the company’s ecosystem of consoles will find themselves in a similar boat as myself. I mention all of this so that you can frame your expectations accordingly. I’m not here to talk about sneaking in gaming sessions on my PC using a dial-up connection 20 years ago. Instead, I’m taking the game at face value and after having done some research on the original. With that in mind, let’s get to it.

So, what is Diablo II: Resurrected? It’s a remake/remaster from Vicarious Visions of the original 2000 game created by Blizzard. Diablo II is a hack-and-slash action RPG. The plot finds players in the world of Sanctuary shortly after the conclusion of the first adventure. The hero of the original game attempted to seal the evil of Diablo within himself only to ultimately be corrupted by it. Now dubbed the Dark Wanderer, he traverses Sanctuary trying to reconnect Diablo with his brothers Mephisto and Baal. Diablo II sees a new hero rise up to try and prevent Diablo’s return.

As a fantasy game, Diablo II Resurrected checks off all of the boxes that a fan of the genre could ever want. The medieval setting, the grim, dark atmosphere, hosts of monsters and demons, and heroes with swords, magic, and lances are wonderfully represented here. Presented from an isometric, overhead vantage point, the game retains the classic feel of the PC original, but it has received a number of improvements visually. This is especially evident in the cinematic scenes—they’re gorgeous and easily among some of the best on the console. For those who want the graphics to be a bit more authentic to the era from which the game spawned, there is the option to switch back to the original visuals by pressing ZL and Minus at the same time. I wish more remakes and remasters offered this option, it’s a delightful touch.

Gameplay is a fairly stock loop of heading out to explore the randomly generated maps, slay monsters, gather loot, and then return back to town to organize and sell inventory. Players can customize both online and offline characters from a set of different stock avatars, each having abilities and weakness unique to their class. While there aren’t a ton of classes to choose from, the variety is solid and players of various gaming preferences will likely find at least one that suits them. Although Diablo II was designed around the multitude of buttons on a computer keyboard, I found the mapping to a traditional controller to be very well done. Diablo II: Resurrected might have a legacy PC game at its core, but the transition to a console like Switch works just fine.

This extends to the gameplay itself. Diablo III on Switch is a wonderful title in its own right, but Diablo II: Resurrected is nonetheless fun by comparison. Although an older game, the hack and slash gameplay is still highly engaging. Traps are numerous, enemies are aplenty and varied, and there are various boosts and buffs to be found throughout a given dungeon. There’s also loot. A whole lot of loot. Which isn’t itself a problem, but the inventory system makes managing it all a bit cumbersome. I found the setup not dissimilar to the inventory system in Resident Evil 4, where Leon’s gear needed to be puzzled into the attache case he used to store everything from rocket launchers to fire grenades. In Diablo II: Resurrected players are going to spend a good stretch of time figuring out what to store, what to ditch, and what to sell.

It’s not game-breaking, and it’s also a carryover from the original Diablo II, but having to travel back and forth to town to manage all of this inventory could become frustrating. Maybe I was playing wrong and trying to accumulate too much stuff, but nothing seemed to be pushing me away from my loot hoarding ways, so on I went. Part of me would have liked to see an expanded inventory option, but like I said, it doesn’t ruin the game and for a project like this, where maintaining the spirit of the original was clearly a major priority, I’m glad it wasn’t changed. Others might not be so forgiving, though, especially those who have no love or experience with Diablo II on PC, so take that into consideration.

Still, there’s so much to love about Diablo II: Resurrected that inventory woes aren’t likely to turn many players away.With five acts to play through, there’s also a whole lot to see and do. Progressing and powering up is immensely rewarding. It’s no wonder that Diablo II inspired so many similar games over the years. If you’re like me and playing Diablo II: Resurrected with fresh eyes and no pretext to speak of, I give it a strong recommendation. I expect that fans who fell in love with Diablo II the first time around are also going to get quite the thrill out of this enhanced version of a genuine classic.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

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