Fan-made screenshots make us wish Activision Blizzard would give Diablo II the full remake treatment. When it comes to video game remakes, few are more hotly anticipated than Diablo II. The rumor mills have been swirling for years that a complete refresh of the timeless demon-hunting tale would be in the works following the end of Diablo III's impressively long lifespan, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
There's a certain amount of cynicism when it comes to video game remakes, since many fans would rather see their favorite franchises move forward with new stories, rather than pander to nostalgia, which can be seen as lazy and uninspired. However, Resident Evil 2 proved the artistic viability of remakes, crafting a brand new horror experience within the familiar framework of the 1998 classic. Meanwhile, titles like the Spyro Reignited Trilogy showed that a variety of small improvements, as well as a complete visual overhaul, can add up to create a title which manages to exceed its original.
While Activision Blizzard appear to be ignoring their fans and looking at cynical cash grabs over triple-A experiences, fans have taken matters into their own hands, or they're at least making incredible art projects to showcase what a Diablo II remake might look like. A clever Reddit user by the name of Indoflaven used an upscaler to give Diablo II screenshots a shiny new coat of paint. The results are stunning, and give fans a hint of what a new version of Diablo II could have in store.
When it comes to Diablo, there are two obvious options for the next title in the series: Diablo IV or a remake of either Diablo or Diablo II. Sadly, Activision Blizzard chose a different approach, opting to partner with Chinese company NetEase for Diablo Immortal, a spinoff for mobile phones. Needless to say, longtime fans were not pleased with the announcement; Diablo Immortal has the appearance of a game driven by microtransactions, rather than a rewarding gameplay loop.
Part of why the fan-made images look so gorgeous is because players have spent the past nineteen years looking at Diablo II the same old way; the game is notoriously difficult to mod, which is part of the reason why fans have been clamoring for a remake. While many would surely prefer a full-on remake using the Diablo III engine, it's hard to imagine anyone being disappointed by an HD update along the lines of 2017's StarCraft: Remastered.
One way or another, more Diablo is coming. However misguided Diablo Immortal may be, it's ultimately destined to be a minor footnote in the grand scope of the series. Whether the next mainline Diablo game is an HD remake or Diablo IV, there will always be more demons and devilish monsters to slay. Until then, fans like Indoflaven will keep the series fresh with passion projects like this.