There are big games announcements and there are huge game announcements, and there is a rare breed of game announcement that its sheer hugeness renders you utterly unable to write a decent opening paragraph. Diablo 3 is one of those games.
Why is Diablo 3 so special? Because it’s only the sequel RPGers have been waiting nearly ten years for, and is being developed by Blizzard: the creators international MMO phenomenon World of Warcraft and soon-to-be integral member of a newly merged earth-destroying mega-publisher, Activision Blizzard – that’s why.
Blizzard made a grand unveiling at its Worldwide Invitational on Saturday, finally putting an end to the vast amounts of speculation being thrown around ahead of the event. We don’t yet know when Diablo 3 will be out, but in its usual form, Blizzard will be releasing the RPG simultaneously on PC and Mac.
Although Blizzard is now best known for its one-MMO-to-rule-them-all, World of Warcraft, before that it also had an immensely popular series going by the name Diablo. In fact, seeing as the Warcraft franchise had its roots in RTS, Diablo could be said to be as much of a forerunner to the MMO as its Orc-riddled cousin.
The two previous titles set the standards for dungeon hack and slashes and the sophisticated multiplayer modes meant each game enjoyed an incredibly strong community backing (and they probably still do actually). Both games remain to this day one of the best examples of cooperative gaming and if you are new to the idea, it genuinely is still worth checking them out. I’m not saying that in a nostalgic way. Seriously, at least try Diablo 2 – you won’t be disappointed. Even its graphics are still bearable (not something you can say of many other games released eight years ago).
Anyway, 90% of you probably know all that already, so it’s time to look at what Diablo 3 will do that its predecessors and the numerous Diablo-clones have not done. Here’s the skinny:
- New 3D engine rendering full 3D characters and environments. However, you can see from the gameplay videos that the trademark top down view is still in use.
- Interactive and destructible environments – the landscape is powered by Havoc physics. Blizzard states that this will allow you to use the terrain as obstacles and weapons to lay in the path of your enemies .
- New character classes – old favourites like the Barbarian are back, but new classes, such as the Witch Doctor, are being introduced. There will be a total of five available.
- Randomly generated environments are returning once again to keep gameplay different each time.
Multiplayer is a huge factor in Diablo 3 of course, but although MMOs are the media darlings of the PC gaming world right now, Blizzard is sticking to Diablo’s roots. As a result it will be a coop experience, however Blizzard say it will have more of a focus on making it easier to connect with your friends. I suspect something like Xbox Live or Steam friends systems will be put in place.
For trailers, gameplay footage, tons of artwork and screenies, head over to the game’s official page below.