Watch us play Diablo II Resurrected before anyone else – live stream 4/8

He is risen.  But it's good?  Find out in real time as I gain unrestricted world premiere access to the game via the Ars Twitch channel on Thursday, April 8.
Enlarge / He is risen. But it’s good? Find out in real time as I gain unrestricted world premiere access to the game via the Ars Twitch channel on Thursday, April 8.

Much depends on Blizzard’s upcoming remastering project, Diablo II risen.

After successfully spitting StarCraft Remastered In 2016, the Blizzard Classic team followed up with the unforgivable milkweed that is WarCraft III: Reforged—And I say “unforgivable” because we are currently eight months out of compliance after the latest preview of highly demanded features of that game. That’s a tough thing for anyone who decides to spend $ 30 (or more) on Forged, so it still needs to be fixed before we can pretend that the company’s shaky reputation is almost restored. (Representatives for various Activision and Blizzard projects have yet to respond to my ongoing questions about WC3R. After failing to show up at BlizzCon 2021, the developer blamed “the nature of the world today” in March for the lack of updates, even though fans had created their own bases. WC3R solutions in the same amount of time.)

That being said, there is arguably a broader audience in the world that has gone from WarCraft III however, he still has a soft spot for one of Blizzard’s most enduring classic games: Diablo II. Twenty one years later Diablo IIThe core of the game holds up remarkably well and certainly more so than the original, genius but clunky Devil. love Diablo II, and I love the idea of ​​a renewed and loyal Diablo II.

Its update was a terribly kept secret until its formal announcement in February 2021. Surprise or not, it’s a good shot at Blizzard’s semi-redemption. The company seems to think so, as it reportedly ripped the project off its original Blizzard Classic team and handed it over to Vicarious Visions. (The latest Vicarious Visions game, Tony Hawk’s 1 + 2 pro skater, demonstrated serious game remake skills).

The shortened road to hell

So I am curious to know D2: R It will turn out, and in about 24 hours, I’ll find out by diving into your first public technical alpha test. Starting at 1pm EDT on Thursday, April 8, we’ll be among the first in the world to test out a limited portion of the game’s remake, ahead of the demo’s broader public launch starting Friday, April 9. that test, sign up here and keep your fingers crossed.)

Blizzard also allows me to stream my game without restrictions, so if you don’t want to wait for my typescript prints, you can tune in by returning to this same page at 1:30 pm EDT on Thursday, April 8. I’m adding half an hour of buffer just in case. In case we run into technical difficulties for any reason, I have the original D2 client installed, and either way, I’ll be here streaming via the Ars Technica Twitch channel for three hours, until 4:30 pm EDT. We will embed the video here, but you will need to click on Twitch if you want to use its chat functionality. (On the other hand, if Twitch chat sounds bad for you for any reason, our built-in live stream will protect you.)

The D2: R The single-player demo includes the game’s first two acts (out of four in the main retail game and a fifth act added through the “Lords of Destruction” expansion pack), and will allow players to play three of the games. end. game classes (Barbarian, Sorceress and Amazon). I’ll only be able to stream a 1080p signal at 60fps, despite sales pitches like ultra-wide support and 4K-capable assets. But I’ll do my best to break what I see on my end as I quickly click through the demons and march east toward Lut Gholein. I’ll also take my time to analyze the most important selling points of the remastering, in particular the quality of life touches and the promise of switching between old and new graphics with the push of a button.

Remastering multiplayer testing will follow later this year, Blizzard says, so this week’s testing will only be “multiplayer” if you sign up for chat on Thursday and submit very specific game requests.

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