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Diablo IV announced at BlizzCon 2019

By Darren Price
Mon 4 Nov 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

An ancient evil threatens to engulf Sanctuary in darkness, and new heroes have been called upon to face challenges the world has never seen before.

Over the weekend, Activision Blizzard announced the next chapter in their action-role-playing series, Diablo IV, at their BlizzCon 2019 event in Los Angeles. Attendees at the Anaheim event were the first in the world to get their hands on a demo of the upcoming game.

Diablo IV draws players into a grim storyline that gives them the freedom to forge their own path across the world of Sanctuary - a bleak and shattered hellscape bereft of hope and beset by demons.

True to the franchise’s roots, Diablo IV promises visceral combat, gruesome and varied monsters, an epic hunt for legendary loot, and endless playability and progression. Players will find a lifetime’s worth of adventure scattered across a land rooted in unique ecologies and inhabited by dangerous new foes. They’ll delve into randomised dungeons packed with unpredictable adversaries and unimaginable treasures.

Whilst continuing to focus on single and party play, the fourth instalment will provide opportunities for players to encounter one another in the expansive world of Sanctuary. Players can team up to face bigger challenges or to fight one-another in player-vs-player combat.

“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,” says Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack.

“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.”

In Diablo IV, players will battle to bring hope back to the world. They will need to vanquish enemies ranging from cannibalistic demon-worshipping cultists to the all-new drowned undead that emerge from the coastlines to drag their victims to a watery grave.

For the first time in the series, Sanctuary will be a contiguous, seamless landmass. It will comprise off diverse regions, from the burning desert of Kejhistan, to the verdant werewolf-infested forests of Scosglen, and the harsh and rugged wilderness of the Dry Steppes.

At BlizzCon, Blizzard revealed the first three of Diablo IV’s archetypal character classes, all playable at the show.

The Barbarian, known for their unparalleled strength and brutal melee combat.  The character utilises 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 character hearkens back to the classic Diablo II. They shape 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. The character’s 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. 

These three iconic characters build upon the series’ history by preserving the core Diablo fantasy while allowing players to explore new gameplay possibilities with fresh inspiration. Players will be able to experiment with character builds through customisable talent trees and skills, a loot system filled with legendary and set items to collect, runes and rune word combinations, and even personalised mounts for traversing the open world.

Diablo IV is being developed using modern technology 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 opens up countless possibilities for the Diablo series, from smooth character animations, such as the Druid’s fluid shapeshifting, to the seamless, vast overworld players will travel across in search of the next loot-filled underground dungeon.

Diablo IV is currently in development and will be coming to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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