The ice sheath splash has finally melted, it’s now official, and while I’m not exactly barreled over by the announcement because I’ve always felt a trifle conflicted about the merits of the Diablo series, I’m definitely intrigued.
What I (and plenty of others) speculated might happen came to pass at approximately 12:18 p.m. on June 28th at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Paris, France, where Blizzard finally confirmed that yes, Diablo 3 is in the works, eight prolonged years after Diablo 2, and over a decade after the original gave oceans of relentless finger-tappers a conduit for their compulsion.
Don’t believe me? Peep the the Blizzard homepage Flash splash (if you can get it to come up once folks on this side of the pond start to rise and shine).
What else do we know so far? Not much, but Blizzard says it’s going to be the biggest Diablo yet, that it’s going to retain the series focus on cooperative play, and that it’ll feature the return of Deckard Cain (the old dude from the last two who crooned “Stay a while, and listen!” when you clicked him). You’ll also get a new class called the Witch Doctor who’ll have access to jungle magic and be able to summon animals and insects, inflict diseases, and mind-control enemies.
As the game is now finally fully 3D, you’ll be able to zoom in or out on the fly. The interface has been unsurprisingly tweaked with onscreen hotbars for skills as well as the option to swap between them quickly with the tab key or your mousewheel. Instead of quaffing potions like Professor Snape on a bender, you’ll roll over red orbs to replenish your health. Environments can be pretty thoroughly pulverized, as well as utilized to effect the destruction of enemies. Certain enemies will be considerably larger, finally filling the screen like proper boss monsters. Armor now relates to class and renders uniquely depending on the character wearing it. And girls, you’ll finally have the option to pick female versions of character classes, including the Barbarian and Witch Doctor.
Check out the new official page which has slightly more info, and some of the official story details and features below:
Two decades have passed since the demonic denizens, Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal, wandered the world of Sanctuary in a vicious rampage to shackle humanity into unholy slavery. Yet for those who battled the Prime Evils directly, the memory fades slowly and the wounds of the soul still burn.
When Deckard Cain returns to the ruins of Tristram’s Cathedral seeking clues to new stirrings of evil, a comet from the heavens strikes the very ground where Diablo once entered the world. The comet carries a dark omen in its fiery being and it calls the heroes of Sanctuary to defend the mortal world against the rising powers of the Burning Hells–and even the failing luminaries of the High Heavens itself.
– Explore a fully-realized Sanctuary–the living, breathing gothic fantasy world of Diablo III rendered in gorgeous 3D.
– Battle the unholy forces of the Burning Hells with all-new character classes like the otherworldly Witch Doctor, or with re-imagined warriors from Diablo’s past: such as the fierce Barbarian.
– Rain Hell on your enemies wielding the interactive environment as a weapon: lay cunning traps, turn destructible objects against your foes, and use environmental obstacles to your advantage–all powered by the Havoc physics system.
– Experience the intensity of multiplayer Diablo III over an all-new, wickedly-enhanced Battle.net platform with numerous enhancements to make connecting with your friends easier–and cooperative gameplay more fun.
And finally, a few screenshots culled from the 30 or so Blizzard just posted: