The Diablo III Announcement, Game Footage

By Jim Rossignol on June 28th, 2008 at 12:40 pm.

Diablo III has been announced at the Blizzard World Wide Invitational in Paris. What we know so far, as well as some early screenshots and the gameplay trailer, can be seen below the cut.

Okay, that looks like fun. The exploding worm dude is nasty.

”Diablo III is first and foremost a co-operative game,” that’s the message from Blizzard. They’re not expecting you to play this on your own, so we’re looking at plenty of online options for slashing our way through those dungeons. The campaign is said to be of a similar length to that of Diablo II, with NPCs and story events taking place within the game world. The campaign will apparently feature a mixture of both randomly generated and hand-made static dungeons.

Diablo III is going to be delivered in a brand new, “real-physics” 3D engine developed by Blizzard. The game is so far confirmed for PC and Mac, and Blizzard have “no plans” at present to become console developers. It’s going to be supported by the revised version of Battlenet, which will go live with Starcraft II later this year.

PvP featured are “planned” but there’s no information on them so far, and the same goes for trading items.

Barbarian and Witchdoctor classes have been seen so far, so that’s fighter and summoner-wizard-shaman-type fantasy archetypes covered…

The release date is “when it’s done”, but it’s traditional for announcement-to-release to be just under a year for Blizzard games, so we’re looking at having it in time for Christmas 2009. The title has already been in development for four years, so that’s looking like a fairly realistic guess.

EDIT: The Diablo III website has just gone up with a load of stuff.

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104 Comments »

  1. Al3xand3r says:

    Meh, still going by the blurry screens? Just link to the D3 site already, lotsa proper high res screens and the 2 vids… Maybe also merge or replace the different threads to keep the whole discussion focused in one place?

    I’d like to note that while the gameplay video looked pretty damn great (if boring, but I’m sure the game’s more exciting than that) and very close to the D2 art style, if you actually look at the screenshots the WoW art style is evident throughout most every aspect, but especially the environments. It’s nice that it isn’t so apparentl when stuff are in motion because I’m sure some people won’t like that direction (I’m okay with it, looks great in the video).

  2. Jim Rossignol says:

    Thanks for the advice, A! :I

  3. Al3xand3r says:

    Lol, sorry, I can imagine it was hard to try and keep up with all possible places news could show up and end up missing it because it came up at the least expected place… The official Bliz/D3 websites :P

    You should make this post more attractive with posting some links to higher res screenshots and stuffs or people might miss that also ;)

  4. Albides says:

    I love how interactive the environment looks in the gameplay trailer. I’m almost ashamed to admit being impressed by the incorporation of the vertical, it being such a small but cool thing.

  5. Cedge says:

    “…it’s traditional for announcement-to-release to be just under a year for Blizzard games…”

    Is that sarcasm? Because the only times Blizzard has ever shipped anything within a year of announcing it, SNES games notwithstanding, were the expansions for D2 and WarCraft 3. Aside from that, though, StarCraft was two-and-a-half years, WarCraft 3 was nearly three years, WoW was over three years, and StarCraft II is 13 months and counting…

    Yeah…that has to be sarcasm.

  6. mpk says:

    The prospect of more Diablo II but with extra shiny excites and arouses me. I’m especially tickled by the thought of environmental interaction, and working out different ways to break walls down on bad guys heads.

    Also: Wall of zombies.

  7. minipixel says:

    *faints*

  8. Bananaphone says:

    *click click click* *splat* *click click click* *splat* (repeat)

  9. CakeAddict says:

    Blizzard ruines my life with their good games.
    Am I to be happy or sad?

  10. BrokenSymmetry says:

    Why is everyone so excited about Diablo 3 when everything points at it being exactly the same game as the previous two?

  11. Riotpoll says:

    Skill hot bar = win :D

  12. RLacey says:

    I’m staggered that they’ve managed to produce something that actually looks fresh.

    Me wants.

  13. Crispy says:

    Oh God this is going to be SO GOOD!

  14. James T says:

    I’d like to note that while the gameplay video looked pretty damn great (if boring

    …What?

  15. Jochen Scheisse says:

    Why is everyone so excited about Diablo 3 when everything points at it being exactly the same game as the previous two?

    Because the other two games were awesome, and it looks like they had just updated them with everything the new technology can provide.

  16. tackle says:

    Anyone else actually managed to SEE any of the videos?

    Trying with the blizzard downloaders now.. got 1 meg in 10 minutes, wheeha!

  17. Flint says:

    Wantwantwant. And look at how pleasantly the little buggers fall off the bridge :D.

    However,
    ”Diablo III is first and foremost a co-operative game,” that’s the message from Blizzard. They’re not expecting you to play this on your own, so we’re looking at plenty of online options for slashing our way through those dungeons.

    They better not cheap out on the singleplayer gaming.

  18. K says:

    I want to fight beautiful, angelic creatures for once. It always seemed like Tyrael was orchestrating the whole thing to me anyway. The trailer started off dull, got better, and now I think I’ll probably get it, even though I have no friends.

  19. antonymous says:

    So this is effectively going to be the arcade/casual/evendumber version of WoW? Why not, the old 1980s dungeonhacks seem to be a solid earner for the industry. I’m just longing for some kind of innovation. D3 might also become the first Bliz title from the crust..

  20. Sax says:

    @tackle

    Watch it online on their site, that works.
    http://eu.blizzard.com/diablo3/media/

  21. Al3xand3r says:

    Antonymous, you [have a different opinion to me], why can’t you innovate with your posts a bit more? I mean, come on, WoW insults and talks of dumbed down games? I expect more, but oh well, fanboy style hate rants seem to have a solid following in the community.

    Seriously, did you expect a game that is not a dungeon crawler from a Diablo sequel? And did you really expect so much innovation from a game with “3″ in its title?

    Also, comparing this to WoW is apples and oranges… Yeah, both are fruit just as WoW shares some gameplay design similarities to Diablo but they’re still far different and can be enjoyed by different audience types, of which none is more casual or dumber than the other.

    Just because we have MMOs like WOW doesn’t mean everyone is going after them and doesn’t care for smaller coop experiences like Diablo 2′s (which is still popular despite WOW’s release and its age) which offers a completely different pace and energentic fun. Also, if anything, combat looks majorly updated in this and not “just like Diablo 2″ at all, but far more engaging, reactive and fun.

    I actually found Diablo 2 too boring and gave up after finishing it once with a couple friends but this looks exciting all the same if it can deliver on the premise of the video and the rest unveiled information. My main beef with D2 was variety so if this has more classes, some more ways for cooperation between players, and a significant portion of the campaign is randomly generated like Diablo 1 then it’s a buy. Modability would probably be good also since I’d like some proper RPG-ing with that engine and I have faith that if it was possible we’d see mods that weren’t mere area expansions to the same gameplay style and pace.

    You don’t have to like it, obviously, but at least critique it for the correct reasons (ie, it ends up being a crap dungeon crawler), not just the opinion of “I don’t like dungeon crawlers” which means you’d never be happy with any Diablo sequel unless it was just in name, therefor not a real sequel. Again, it has a 3 in its title, it’s not some spin off like World of Diablo or something.

  22. mulayim says:

    Told ya.

  23. SwiftRanger says:

    Honestly, I’ve already seen more innovation in what they’ve shown of Diablo III than what is known about StarCraft II. It really looks a lot more exciting imo.

  24. Nick says:

    Diablo 3 Rox Wow Sux!

    Or something.

  25. sana says:

    Looking at the high-def screenshots it DOES look too much like World of Warcraft. Diablo 2′s gritty, dark looks seems to be absent in Diablo 3 and instead replaced with the low-contrast, hand-painted backgrounds, un-orthogonal geometry and flashy effects we’ve already seen in World of Warcraft and StarCraft II.

    And although the gameplay seems interesting, the way Blizzard’s new games all have the same friggin’ art style displeases me.

  26. Al3xand3r says:

    Yeah SwiftRanger, combat looks far more engaging and fun and reactive, that’s for sure. Not just holding down left click, hammering the potion hotkeys and the occasional right click for your assigned skill. When he starts using all the slams and jumpy attacks and wave blasts in a crowd of enemies it looks like a lot of fun, like some kind of console action title but in a good way. Certainly not like an outdated point & click controlled game at least, so they’ve done wonders with the interface and mechanics I guess.

    Sana it appears so in screenshots but the gameplay trailer looks quite a bit darker and grittier than WoW (even its grittier areas) to me, and pretty close to Diablo 2 (the barbarian looked like he jumped right out of it before starting to use the cooler skills and the camera zoomed in). I’m sure it has its own share of bright areas but the tougher dungeons should be as gloomy and intimidating as ever.

  27. antonymous says:

    Uh I like the dungeoncrawl but I would have liked to see something new like in Depths of Peril.

    Diablo needs punters badly :)

  28. Arnulf says:

    BrokenSymmetry says:

    Why is everyone so excited about Diablo 3 when everything points at it being exactly the same game as the previous two?

    Because everyone is so excited about Diablo 3 where everything points at it having exactly the same game mechanic as the previous two.

    Wiith better graphics and a polished interface.

    That’s what Blizzard excels at: take something tried and true and only improve its usability and looks. Like buying the next Corvette or something I guess… and I don’t mean that in a bad way.

  29. Jamie says:

    The game looks brilliant, but are the videos broken for anyone else? no sound and it stops playing every 20 seconds, on the official site it’s the same deal.

  30. sigma83 says:

    Jamie: Welcome to the bandwidth we third worlders are used to bwahahaha

  31. Jamie says:

    Yeah Kenya’s not all it’s cracked up to be

  32. Zyrusticae says:

    Seems Blizzard’s suffering some bandwidth problems. Unsurprising, considering how many fans they have checking the site all across the planet…

    Well, it sure sounds interesting, gameplay-wise. I do like the idea of the ‘adventure generator’, which might actually make replaying the game less, well, boring.

    Graphics-wise, though… it’s so inferior to Starcraft 2, I’m just having a difficult time stomaching it. (People comparing it to WoW need to stop. The only analogues between the two is that they both lack current-gen graphical features like normal mapping and high-resolution textures.) I mean, if nothing else, they could have raised the texture resolution just a tad – as it is now, it’s graphically inferior to Titan Quest, and that was released a long while ago!

    Oh, well. The Diablo games have never been particularly praised for their graphics (well, except maybe the first one)…

  33. Commando says:

    Doesn’t look quite as good as Titan Quest but it looks more coherent theme wise. Suprised how bright it is, very colour for Diablo.

  34. Flint says:

    I like the stylistic change in the graphics. The grittiness of Diablo 2 grew pretty boring and stale after a while, looks like this continue to be exciting for a longer time IMO.

  35. Turin Turambar says:

    Yeah SwiftRanger, combat looks far more engaging and fun and reactive, that’s for sure. Not just holding down left click, hammering the potion hotkeys and the occasional right click for your assigned skill. When he starts using all the slams and jumpy attacks and wave blasts in a crowd of enemies it looks like a lot of fun,

    Well said, Diablo was always for me an addictive game, but not a really fun game, this one seems like better in that. Let’s hope its not an illusion.

  36. Ci2e says:

    All I can say is, “Hell, it’s about time!”

    Hell Yeeeeeeeeeeah!

  37. Erlam says:

    “”Diablo III is first and foremost a co-operative game,” that’s the message from Blizzard. They’re not expecting you to play this on your own, so we’re looking at plenty of online options for slashing our way through those dungeons.

    They better not cheap out on the singleplayer gaming.”

    Are they actually going to manage to shoe-horn raiding into Diablo as well? Come on Chilton.

  38. LQB says:

    The dungeon bit in the gameplay trailer was pretty cool, and I love how items till drop onto the ground, but when they walked out into the wilderness I felt extremely disappointed, it looks like Warcraft, not Diablo.

  39. runningwthszzors says:

    Perhaps the skill system that both made it so amazingly fresh at the time and at the same time so limited when it came to branching out from a character build will be innovated on. The skill bar reminds me of the excellent game Nox, which copied the spell system from Diablo 1 but differentiated it as well.

    I know more is better, but if you decrease the 5 classes to 3 (that might end up taking specialist classes), I can imagine the game having a lot more replayability. I mean, the Diablo formula is so “simple” yet it failed so many Diablo clones.

  40. The_Mhor says:

    I hope that the level in this is set up for the video, or is made from set piece in the game, and that the main areas maintain the randomness that gave the prior Diablo gamess so much replayability…

  41. yutt says:

    I am amused at people projecting their WoW hate onto the visuals of Diablo 3.

    They look nothing at all alike. If you believe they do, you apparently haven’t played WoW. I had to double-check the videos and images to try to figure out what you were talking about.

    Oh well, your loss. :)

  42. cyrenic says:

    Less reliance on potions is awesome. It was always a pain managing all those potions back in diablo 2. The physics and animations look superb.

  43. Alex says:

    OH I HATE STAINING MY HANDS WITH THE BLOOD OF FOUL WITCHES.

  44. zima says:

    And here I am, still totally hooked up to Diablo2…

    I’m starting to hope they won’t realese D3 in “less than a year”, having to choose between them would make my heart bleed ;)

  45. Flint says:

    Less reliance on potions is awesome. It was always a pain managing all those potions back in diablo 2

    Speaking of potions, I wonder where the potion belt has disappeared from the HUD.

  46. robo says:

    FUCK YEAAAAAAAR

  47. Sceptic says:

    This doesn’t look good. The artistic direction is poor and doesn’t compare to the original diablos. (I’m not saying the visual artists at blizzard are bad, of course).

    Ugh, the game looks pretty bad. I wonder if it is more because of the design choices or the engine (it looks like the warcraft 3 engine).

  48. Zed says:

    It’s odd. I’ve been behind the elite new graphics curve for so long (read: always) that I could give a shit about graphics. I’m in the “can I run it?” crowd, not the “how does it look” crowd. I think it looks great, but I’ll probably skip it. I had a moment of metacognition while playing D2 and realized I coudn’t figure out why I was grinding away at it. Never went back.

    I would be impressed if they finally allowed you to customize your character a bit, though. Voices, gender, etc. Doubt it, though.

  49. Butler` says:

    Usually I hate being right all the time, but this is an exception.

    FUCK YES.

  50. Calabi says:

    The visuals do like kind of generic to me, but perhaps thats just the nature of 3D, Diablos mostly about the feel, and atmosphere anyway, though.

    I’m excited/disappointed and can/cannot wait until its released.