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DIABLO IV To Bring Series Back To Its Bloody Horror Roots

Tons of exciting news today coming from Blizzcon 2019. We’ve got a new WoW expansion, Overwatch 2… and a little game called Diablo IV. Fans of the demonic hack-and-slash-and-loot franchise are thrilled to hear that they won’t have to wait 12 years for a sequel this time around. Diablo IV has been announced, and not just in that “here’s a CGI trailer, we promise it’s coming” kind of way. There’s a ton of news about it, so I’m going to do my best to recap it all here.

In Diablo IV, players will return to the perpetually plagued world of Sanctuary. As the cinematic trailer showed us, the baddie this time is Lilith. Not much is known presently about this demon, other than she has a wonderful taste in blood-cloaks. To tackle the challenges ahead, players will be able to pick from one of five characters. So far, only the following three have been revealed:

  • The Barbarian, known for their unparalleled strength and brutal melee combat, utilizes a new and more powerful system in battle, Arsenal, which arms them with the ability to carry and rapidly switch between four different weapons at a time by assigning them to individual attacks.
  • The Sorceress hearkens back to their Diablo II roots and shapes the elements to obliterate their foes by impaling them upon jagged spikes of ice, electrocuting them with bolts of lightning, or raining flaming meteors from the sky.
  • The Druid is a savage shapeshifter whose updated playstyle empowers them to fluidly transform between werewolf, werebear, and human form to unleash the raw power of nature’s fury on the forces of the Burning Hells. 

You can see how they play in the new gameplay trailer:

As you can see, this is a markedly darker chapter for Diablo. While Diablo and Diablo II did have their fair share of horror, Diablo III took a markedly more cartoony turn. A lot of hardcore fans were upset with this aesthetic shift, myself included. So to see Diablo IV pile on the blood and core warms my little heart.

There are a ton of new features coming to Diablo IV, most interesting to me is the ability to meet other players in a shared open world. This will be the first time that Diablo has that MMO style emergent PVP/E, where it’s up to you to decide whether you gank someone or team up to raid Hogger. More from the official press release:

True to the franchise’s roots, Diablo IV will deliver visceral combat, gruesome and varied monsters, an epic hunt for legendary loot, and endless playability and progression. Players will find a lifetime’s worth of adventure scattered across a land rooted in unique ecologies and inhabited by dangerous new foes. They’ll delve into randomized dungeons packed with unpredictable adversaries and unimaginable treasures. While continuing to fully support solo and coordinated party play, Diablo IV will also provide opportunities for groups of players to encounter each other in the same shared world—whether to tackle bigger challenges . . . or possibly even slaughter one another in player-vs.-player combat.

You can check out the whole press release here, which I highly suggest you do. It goes into more detail about Diablo IV’s contiguous open world, and some of the hero customization options. It’s not surprising, but talent trees, skills, legendary item sets, and runes will be returning. On top of that, you’ll also have a mount this time around that you use to travel the vast open world. You can customize the mount, hopefully with demon heads as pictured below.

So, there you go. A nutshell of what to expect from Diablo IV. No word yet on when the game will drop and for what platforms, so this might be the first PS5 game we are seeing. Attendees at Blizzcon will have a chance to play the demo, so check back in with info on that when I bombard my friends with questions. How about you guys? Excited for Diablo IV? Let me know below!