Potential Diablo II Remaster Will Require More Than Upgraded Visuals, Game’s Original Developers Believe; Feel and Atmosphere Need to be Retained
According to two of the original developers behind Diablo II, the rumored Diablo 2 Remaster won’t be an easy feat for Blizzard.
Last month we reported on a rumor that claimed that a remaster is in the works for a late 2020 release. Blizzard hasn’t confirmed or denied the existence of such a project, and during a recent interview IGN about Torchlight 3, Blizzard North co-founder and executive producer on Diablo II, Max Schaefer, and composer Matt Uelmen were asked about the potential remaster.
According to Schaefer, the ideal remaster will require more than higher fidelity visuals, and it will be rather hard for the development to retain the feel and atmosphere that was created with Diablo II when it released in 2000.
First of all, I think it's probably impossible to really capture it... It wasn't even a true 3D game, everything was rendered sprites and so to really capture the exact feel of what happens when you click in a 3D environment is going to be challenging at best.
[The development team on the remaster is] going to have to spend a lot of their time [on capturing that feeling], not just on recreating maybe slightly higher fidelity graphics and all that... that's the easy part. It's easy to go back and kind of 1:1, make the game look better. It's going to be the feel and the atmosphere that are kind of inherent in the technology that was behind it, which was... at this point we can look back and say it's kind of 'spaghetti code.'
It was [built using a] custom engine... it was stuff that hadn't been done before. I would assume that a remaster is going to be done using an established graphics engine with its own conventions and its own quirks, and so much of what made [Diablo II] special was the feel and the intangibles, so it's a daunting task. The ideal remaster would be something that actually retains that feel and that atmosphere, that has a modern take on the graphics. Honestly, I hope they pull it off. I'm glad they're doing it and I don't have to.
At this point, we’ll have to wait and see whether Blizzard has a Diablo 2 Remaster project cooking. As always, we will keep you updated. Meanwhile, check out some Act 4 gameplay footage of a Unreal Engine 4 Diablo II Remake that we covered recently.