Blizzard Entertainment revealed the next installment in the storied dungeon crawling franchise Friday during BlizzCon 2019.
The existence of a new Diablo game isn’t exactly a surprise — not only has it been teased and leaked, a Kotaku report notes that the sequel has been in development for long enough to have its direction rebooted at least once. From the onset, the plan for Diablo 4 has been to take the series back to its roots, particularly when it comes to the art direction. The hope is to make Diablo 4 darker, gorier, and more sinister, like Diablo 2 before it. Inspiration was taken from old medieval paintings, and the trailer showcased during BlizzCon featured plenty of blood. The trailer also showcased Lilith, mother of the Nephalem — in other words, a female Diablo.
Game director Luis Barriga took the stage this weekend, and noted that this time around, Sanctuary will be front and center. You’ll find other players out in the world in friendly towns, but you’ll also be able to enter PVP zones. Blizzard wants to combine the sense of dread from Diablo 1, the loot chase from Diablo 2, and the combat from Diablo 3. Diablo 4 will release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
During a separate gameplay trailer, playable classes in Diablo 4 seem to include mage, druid, and barbarian. There are mounts!
Diablo 3, which was released in 2012, had a rocky launch that began with widespread connection issues. From there, controversy spurred thanks to a combination of balance issues, as well as a troubling implementation of an auction house that encouraged players to spend real-world money to acquire better gear.
As the years went on, Diablo 3’s developers ironed out the loot kinks, released some beefy expansions, and closed the auction house. Ultimately the game went on to sell over 30 million copies, and is now available on consoles. Last year, a mobile MMO version of the franchise was announced with Diablo Immortal, but the lack of Diablo 4 news at the time meant that the announcement was met with swift backlash. But now fans can rest easy knowing that yes, Blizzard is working on a new mainline installment of its loot-centric RPG.