The rumours continue to swirl that a Diablo 2 remake will be announced at BlizzCon Online 2021, to bring the beloved game to next-gen systems.
The hellfires of fandom are burning brightly, as rumours of a Diablo 2 remake are finally starting to make a little more sense ahead of BlizzCon 2021. When Activision Blizzard announced there would be more remakes/remasters coming in 2021, we all quickly jumped on the bandwagon that Diablo 2 would be one of these mysterious titles making the leap to next-gen.
At first, it was just hearsay, but with BlizzCon just days away, we're told a Diablo 2 remaster will be announced this week. Well, that's one way to make up for COVID-19 moving BlizzCon 2021 online. Heading back to the turn of the century, Diablo 2 was released in June 2000 and followed in the footsteps of the highly successful original in 1997. Due to internal struggles and the closure of Blizzard North, Diablo 3 wasn't released until 2012, while a fourth game is due out at some point in the future. To be honest, we've given up on guessing when.
News of a Diablo 2 remake is nothing new. Last year, there were reports that Crash Bandicoot remaker Vicarious Visions was working on the game under the title Diablo II Resurrected for a late-2020 release. However, that all reportedly changed due to coronavirus. With a new year, it could be time for some new hope.
What's the Diablo 2 remake rumour?
I've already mentoined everything. Short summary:
- Lower your expectations
- Some progress reports on OW2
- OW1 is dead
- Diablo 2 remaster
Trusted leaker @Metro claims the long-rumoured Diablo 2 remake is going to be announced at BlizzCon Online. In case you don't know who they are, they have a strong track record after confirming Diablo IV a few days before its official announcement at BlizzCon 2019. Alongside the rumoured Diablo 2 remake, he thinks Blizzard could give us a glimpse of some new Overwatch 2 heroes. While there have been complaints Blizzard hasn't been moving fast enough in terms of developing the Diablo and Overwatch franchises, we'd always suspected this year's BlizzCon was going to be one to watch.
Remember that a Diablo 2 remake would be exactly that, and not a remaster. In 2019, Diablo creators Max Schaefer, Erich Schaefer, and David Brevik told ExileCon (via GameSpot) that all the code and assets are gone, meaning Blizzard would have to start from scratch. While that would give us a wholly new experience, it might explain why it's taken so long to get a Diablo 2 remake to shelves.
Considering Diablo 2 is cited as one of the greatest video games of all time, this alone means you could've made a remake years ago and watched the money flow in. Now, as we wait for a fourth main game and enter a new generation of consoles, the timing seems perfect.
What else could we see in a Diablo 2 remake?
The latest news comes just after Brevik explained there was a Diablo 2 expansion that was partially built but never released. Discussing what could've been on Twitter, Brevik confirmed he had a "multi-page design doc going over new classes, new areas, new mechanics and story concepts". Sadly, he then added, "That's as far as it got". Well, it wasn't quite as far as he got, Brevik went on to reveal he'd got to work on the expansion six to 12 months before his departure from Blizard North. "This is one of the reasons it was never made," said Brevik. "It was before the 1.10 patch (in terms of timeline). We were also working on our version of Diablo 3 at the time, plus another unannounced project".
We'd always suspected as much, with Brevik tweeting back in 2016 that's he'd planned to introduce a new class called Cleric. Sadly, Diablo 2 was left with just the Lord of Destruction expansion from 2001. Despite Blizzard North working on both the Diablo 2 expansion and Diablo 3, its vision for a third game was scrapped as the project was handed over to Blizzard Entertainment. It led to a mass exodus (including Brevik) and the eventual closure of Blizard North in 2005.
Considering there's so much buzz surrounding a Diablo 2 remake, could this superstar next-gen version include Lord of Destruction and a second expansion? Looking at how much Sony's Demon's Souls remaster tweaked the source material, it's not completely outside the realm of possibility. Either way, we're completely sold on the idea of a Diablo 2 remake being announced at BlizzCon. Just don't blame us if it's another false rumour. As we edge closer to BlizzCon 2021, there isn't long to wait to find out what's really going on.
Images via Blizzard Entertainment