Diablo II: Resurrected should be a fun nostalgic experience for PC players when it launches later this year, but it will also be first time console players have got their hands on the game. Obviously, Diablo III was on consoles, but how will a game like Diablo II, which was more rigidly designed around mouse-and-keyboard controls, work with a controller in your hand? Well, during a recent interview with GameSpot, Diablo II: Resurrected executive producer Rod Fegusson promised Blizzard was working hard to make sure the game felt good on consoles.
Fundamentally, it's the change of, you're telling the character where to go, to you are the character giving them that direction through the sticks. The dev team just did a fantastic job. The very first time we implemented controller support it was already very playable. It felt great to play. Ranged attacks feel really good, melee attacks feel really good. Auto gold pickup works so well. There's certain things that get turned on as an option. Those things you can also turn off.
It was really just trying to make it feel native, even though it wasn't. You don't want it to feel like "Oh, this is a PC port, therefore it feels kind of clunky." We've dedicated a lot of effort to making that feel smooth. To feel like you have precision, that you can do what you want to do. It feels like a great console experience.
Fergusson went a bit deeper into some of the changes they’ve made to the console version of D2, and some they felt went too far…
It's basically a focus on understanding what the controller is good at. We try some things, and we go, "That's too far." For a while, when we plugged in a controller your inventory auto-sorted for you so you didn't have to do inventory Tetris, and we were "Oh, this kind of breaks the game." So, [we had to find] creative ways to allow you to move things between your inventory and your belt or your inventory and stash and shortcuts. Some skills, like Sorcerer's Teleport, it depends on where you click to, so now we're having to predict a certain range of distance based on how you use the controller.
The Diablo II: Resurrected multiplayer beta will kick off sometime in August on all platforms, so you’ll get to test out the new console controls then. The beta is open to anyone who pre-orders.
Diablo II: Resurrected hacks and slashes onto PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and Switch on September 23.