No, you don’t need to play this one on your phone. Blizzard’s Diablo announcement at BlizzCon 2019 wasn’t further information on their controversially-received mobile title, announced last year, but a proper return to the gritty and demon-infested mainline franchise. In fact, with a tomb full of horrors and dark portents, the Diablo 4 announcement trailer kicked off the whole thing with decisive style.
Here’s everything we know so far about the upcoming title – which doesn’t include the release date, as Blizzard has yet to determine that. Be sure to bookmark this page and loop back around as more is revealed!
Back to Basics
“Darkness has returned to Sanctuary,” proclaims the very page officially breaking down Diablo 4’s feature set, and the classic low-fantasy aesthetic is immediately apparent in contrast to the game’s most immediate predecessor. Even the introductory trailer gives a nod to it, starting with a shot of a dilapidated church that’s clearly meant as an homage to the original Diablo 1.
But it’s not just the aesthetics that have gone back to grimness. The game will launch with three familiar classes – the Barbarian of Bul-Kathos returns, as fundamental to the Diablo franchise’s identity as the namesake demon itself, as well as the elements-wielding Sorceress, and the long-absent Druid. The Druid originally featured with Diablo II’s expansion pack, Lord of Destruction, and was missing from Diablo 3. As always: each class is heavily customizable, through both the equipment they can harness to the skill tree they develop over the course of the player's journey to conquer the forces of darkness.
But even as the game takes on a familiar form, major changes have definitely come for the land of Sanctuary. Rather than the chapter-limited regions of the original games, Diablo 4 takes on an expansive open-world form, with all reaches of Sanctuary available to the player early on. Five regions will be accessible:
- Scosglen – the shadowed wetlands that the Druids call home.
- Fractured Peaks – a snow-covered mountainside with horrors amid its hidden caverns.
- Dry Steppes – an arid grasslands infested by bandits and cannibals alike, driven to desperation by the harsh climes.
- Hawezar – swampland with snakes of all fantastical sizes, and the witches and cultists that lay claim to its reaches.
- Kejhistan – a land of sand and shadows, with ancient forgotten tombs hiding great evil.
Towns will be social hubs, and much of the open world can be shared among players as well – including world bosses that will take more than one player to defeat. Dungeons, on the other hand, are isolated instances – while they can be run as co-op events, you and friends must opt into doing so (of course).
And, yes, there will be PVP. Per the FAQ: “Some areas of the world will offer opt-in PvP experiences where you’ll need to watch your back while you adventure.”
Of course, given the incidents of Diablo 3, some major changes to the setting were inevitable. Though the titular villain himself did not make an appearance in the trailer, Lilith’s rebirth via the “blood of the willing” was a major spectacle unto itself.
See how it played out.
Written ByJames Chen@Obscurica