December 31, 2016, was the 20th anniversary of Blizzard's great action-RPG Diablo, and to celebrate it held a Darkening of Tristram event in January of this year that recreated the original game's dungeon in Diablo 3, complete with a pixelated graphics, stiffer animations, and other old-school visual elements. It was "beautifully done," as we said in our look at how Blizzard pulled it off—and it's coming back.
"Your journey begins on the trail of a group of mysterious cultists causing trouble in Sanctuary. As you hunt them down in Adventure Mode, you’ll uncover clues leading to a portal into Tristram’s past, and the terrifying darkness that took hold of the town so many years ago," Blizzard said.
"Follow the clues and you’ll soon find yourself in a realm of glorious RetroVision™, where an all-too-familiar cathedral looms. Explore the depths and you’ll discover familiar enemies and iconic items, all brought to life in the Diablo III engine. Meanwhile, deep beneath the catacombs, the Dark Lord himself awaits any intrepid adventurer who dares to challenge him."
It's a familiar tale, and that's led to a division of opinions in the comments: Some players are disappointed that it appears to be the same event as last year, while others are happy that they'll have a second shot at rewards they missed the first time around. Blizzard didn't say whether there will be anything new to pick up, only that players will have the opportunity to earn "unique transmogrification effects, achievements, portraits, pets, and more."
The Darkening of Tristram begins at midnight PT on January 1 and runs until January 30. And for those who missed it or have just forgotten (21 years is a lot of water under the bridge), here's a little reminder that the original Diablo is super bleak.