It is the year 2000 and my brothers and I convinced my parents to buy us Diablo 2 for our family’s Mac desktop. One of us would play the game while the other two hovered over the computer chair waiting anxiously for their turn. I started off as a Barbarian, with two giant axes in my hand as I traveled across Tristram, killing every demon that I came across. Blood and guts poured out of these demons as they gasped horribly during their final breaths. I was nine years old.
It is 2021 and I got access to the beta for Diablo 2: Resurrected for my gaming PC. My brothers are interested in the game but did not get into the beta. At least for now, I will be playing alone. I chose the Druid this time and once again set off into Tristram to surround myself with the blood of dead demons and piles of loot. I am now 30 years old.Diablo II Resurrected Gold
Walking back into this game over 20 years later was a wild experience for me. I saw my childhood, preserved in amber. I replayed a game that was foundational to the medium — and it still holds up. Despite how outstanding it felt playing Diablo 2 again, I couldn’t shake off the specter behind it. The unstoppable reality of our present. Indulging in my nostalgia doesn’t change the fact that my childhood is gone and what Blizzard was is no longer what Blizzard is now.