The rumours were true: Vicarious Visions (which was shifted from Activision to Blizzard) is indeed developing a new version of Diablo II.
BlizzCon, which became online (and dubbed BlizzConline), had an announcement for Diablo II: Resurrected that will launch on all major consoles on the market today, and if you want to give the game a shot on PC, you can register for a technical alpha test here. This new version of the game will include the expansion, Lord of Destruction, too, and – as seems to be the trend nowadays – you can switch between the old and the new graphics with a single button press (meaning that the loss of the original code doesn’t seem to be much of an issue after all…)
„Diablo II was a pivotal game for Blizzard and millions of players around the world. With Diablo II: Resurrected, we’re excited to bring this classic back to PC and also to consoles—with cross-progression on supported platforms—so that players can relive their memories, or experience Diablo II’s timeless gameplay for the first time, on their platform of choice. With the new high-resolution audio and video in Diablo II: Resurrected, the game is as fun and engrossing today as it was twenty years ago,” said Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack in a press release.
Let’s quote the relevant parts from the press release: „[…] Diablo II was hailed by Time magazine as “arguably the best role-playing game of all time, the best dungeon-crawler of all time and the best PC game of all time.” […] Diablo II: Resurrected takes the 2D sprite-based classic and brings it into the present with full 3D physically-based rendering, dynamic lighting, revamped animations and spell effects—all stunningly delivered in up to 4K resolution. All 27 minutes of the game’s classic cinematics, chronicling the journey of the mysterious Dark Wanderer, are being remade—shot for shot—from the ground up. The nightmarish sounds of Sanctuary and its memorable soundtrack have also been reinvigorated to support Dolby 7.1 surround sound. By levelling up the game’s audio and visual capabilities, Diablo II: Resurrected will showcase the depth of gameplay and hallmark designs that continue to entertain players around the world to this day […] adding a few highly requested quality of life improvements, such as a shared stash.
Diablo II: Resurrected features seven highly customizable character classes for players to choose from—the Amazon, Barbarian, Necromancer, Paladin, and Sorceress from the core game, as well as the Assassin and Druid from the included “Lord of Destruction” expansion. Players will be able to make each character their own by selecting skills and talent builds, crafting and socketing items, collecting complete gear sets, acquiring unique arms and armour, assembling Rune Word combinations, and much more.
[…] It will take players […] through all four thrilling Acts of the original Diablo II campaign. They’ll meet beloved mentor and scholar Deckard Cain, fight alongside the Archangel Tyrael and encounter other pantheonic characters who have become an indelible part of gaming history. This edition also includes all of the content from the “Lord of Destruction” expansion, with the journey continuing into Act V, where players will brave the dangers of Mount Arreat before facing Baal, the eponymous Lord of Destruction,” Blizzard wrote.
Diablo II: Resurrected will launch this year (possibly around November-December) on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, PC (as a Battle.net-exclusive, which seems to be a trend with Activision Blizzard titles), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Let’s hope it won’t flop as hard as Warcraft III: Reforged did… You can find an image gallery here.