The long-awaited isometric action RPG sequel, which is coming to consoles and PC, returns to the series’ dark origins, Blizzard told attendees at the California event.
The game has a “dark” art style in deliberate contrast to the more colourful look of Diablo 3, which famously divided fan opinion in 2013, and stars key villain Lilith, a character who appeared briefly in Diablo 2.
Diablo 4 will feature randomised dungeons in a “dynamic” open world, Blizzard said, with “deep customisation” through talents, skill points, runes and legendary loot.
For the first time in the series, the world of Sanctuary will be a “contiguous, seamless landmass,” comprising diverse regions ranging from the desert of Kejhistan, to the forests of Scosglen, to the wilderness of the Dry Steppes, Blizzard added.
The game will support solo and coordinated party play and also provide opportunities for groups of players to encounter each other in the same shared world, to tackle bigger challenges together or battle eachother in PvP combat.
At BlizzCon, Blizzard revealed the first three of Diablo IV’s character classes, all of which are playable in a demo at the show:
- 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.
Diablo IV is being developed using modern technology, Blizzard claimed, that pushes the franchise “to dark, new depths.” This technology is at the heart of everything players will “see, hear, and feel—delivering much higher fidelity and a more engrossing experience,” it added.
“Sanctuary has been a home to Diablo players for more than 20 years, and it’s with our own deep passion for the series and a deep appreciation of the community that we announce Diablo IV today,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard, in a prepared statement.
“We’re excited to be returning to the dark, quintessential Diablo gameplay that players love while expanding the world and story in new ways, and we can’t wait for more people to be able to experience it.”