Sunday, June 29, 2008

It's True: Diablo III Unveiled at WWI

As expected, Saturday at the 2008 WorldWide Invitational (WWI), Blizzard announced a sequel to another of its huge franchises: Diablo III.

Blizzard had been teasing gamers with screenshots at its website, and anticipation had been high since it acquired the domain name earlier this year.

That's the good news. Typical of Blizzard, there's no release date announced yet. However, based on how long they've been developing Starcraft 2, with an anticipated (leaked?) release date of December, it looks like we'll be waiting about 18 months or so.

Blizzard's already opened up an official site, with tons of stuff on it, including:
    • The cinematic teaser trailer shown at the 2008 Worldwide Invitational
    • A 20-minute gameplay demo video
    • More than 60 screenshots and pieces of concept art
    • Deckard Cain's journal, narrated by Deckard Cain himself
    • And much, much more
    From Blizzard's press release:
    Diablo III will pick up the story twenty years after the events of Diablo II. Mephisto, Diablo, and Baal have been defeated, but the Worldstone, which once shielded the inhabitants of the world of Sanctuary from the forces of both the High Heavens and the Burning Hells, has been destroyed, and evil once again stirs in Tristram. Playing as a hero from one of five distinct character classes, players will acquire powerful items, spells, and abilities as they explore new and familiar areas of Sanctuary and battle hordes of demons to safeguard the world from the horrors that have arisen. The first two characters classes -- the barbarian and the witch doctor -- were shown as part of the announcement at the event today in Paris.

    Diablo III will feature a custom 3D-graphics engine to render lush indoor and outdoor areas of Sanctuary with a high level of detail and vivid special effects. The game's physics-enhanced environments will be interactive and destructible, offering traps and obstacles that create added danger for players and monsters alike. These elements, along with a new quest system and random scripted events, will be integrated into the game's random-level generator, giving Diablo III the ultimate combination of dynamic gameplay and replayability. Cooperative and competitive play will be available online through an upgraded version of Blizzard Entertainment's renowned online gaming service,®.
    First and foremost, Diablo III will stick to its cooperative gameplay roots, one of the things I loved most about prior releases. Friends and I could travel together and defeat Baal, with the only competition being over who could pick up the dropped treasure first.

    Watch the official trailer below. This is the one unveiled today; other sites have been showing the February trailer.

    Check out their gameplay footage here:

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

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