The Diablo III Announcement, Game Footage

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.

104 Comments

  1. RLacey says:

    @Zed: The gameplay trailer shows male and female versions of each class. Though that’s hardly impressive customisation :P.

  2. Brad Grenz says:

    I really like the painterly quality of the environments. Still waiting on the video download, though, so I don’t know what it looks like in motion.

  3. Mataway says:

    I don’t want to like it. I really don’t. I never even finished D2 with the expansion. My index finger still hurts from the hours of clicking.

    But the shinies and the ‘splodey… DO WANT!

  4. Chainsaw Union says:

    Guys, everyone is critiquing it but it’s still not even in the alpha. They’ve still got the beta to go through too. So any of your complaints I’m sure will be improved in the beta. But I guess all we can do at this point is critique/compliment it anyway. I personally think this game looks badass but the point made that it doesn’t look as dark and gritty as Diablo 2 is true. It’s a little disappointing. In D2 you always felt like you were in a dark, evil place. This dungeon just seems kinda dirty rather than dark and evil looking. Also the environment outside is all happy and naturey (aside from the fact that there are skeletons and demons everywhere). In D2 even when you were outside it was rainy or dark and cloudy. It just ALWAYS felt evil because that’s what the game was about, Diablo unleashing his demons upon the earth. I still can’t wait for Diablo 3’s release though. Based on this trailer I give it a 9/10.

  5. Al3xand3r says:

    They can critique stuff like art style all they want. It’s not like they’ll ditch years of world building because some fans said they don’t like this direction. What you see here is how the game will look when it’s done more or less. Though, personally, I like what I see in the video. As for gameplay, they can’t critique it cos we haven’t seen enough of it. Again, personally, I like the direction they are taking the improvements, making it more energetic and reactive.

  6. Bitkari says:

    Goody :D

  7. Jon Kristinsson says:

    I definately wouldn’t describe the outdoor environment as happy. And the “dungeon” was an abandoned cathedral. So it is pretty much just a dusty place. Inhabited by evil. It looked like the start of a game, that then becomes nasty, dark and evil as hell. I’d be much less scared of going into dark, nasty places if everything that preceded it was dark and nasty as well.

  8. Scott Parker says:

    This looks amazing. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

    My only complaint about D2 was that the music really didn’t match the epic feel that was present elsewhere throughout the game. Unless you were in a city, you were treating with typically drum-heavy ambient music that never amazed, even when overwhelmed or fighting bosses.

    Like I said though, the music that played any time you were “safe” in cities or elswhere really showcased what Matt Uelmen could do when allowed – I just hope we get more of that this time.

  9. asddasd says:

    worst stream ever :/

  10. RichPowers says:

    There’s only one downside to this announcement: what big reveal can we look forward to at the next Blizz Invitational? Dear god won’t anyone thing of the internet rumor-mongers!?!?

    I rather like the art style, even though plenty of people around the interweb have critiqued it as “not dark enough.”

  11. obo says:

    Any reason why the OSS community hasn’t slapped one of the dozen OSS 3D engines onto Rogue yet?

  12. Jonathan says:

    I always saw Diablo’s art style as straddling the Warhammer 40K line. So dark and butch it’s come right out the other side as utterly hilarious self parody. So really the art style fits in my opinion.

    That said I was never that big a fan of the grind gameplay. If they say they’ve put in a decent story and more emphasis on lore and place then I’ll be a happy chappy. Until they say so I’ll remain skeptical and wait the reviews. That said Blizzard are among the most notorious PC developer in terms of pushing deadlines back until they’re satisfied with the goods. But please tell me they’re working on Warcraft 4 or, dare I dream, a new IP.

    Edit: Screw you Gamevideos.com, fuck you! I’ll use Youtube instead.

  13. The_Archetype says:

    Any reason why the OSS community hasn’t slapped one of the dozen OSS 3D engines onto Rogue yet?

    The communtiy around Rogue-likes tends to enjoy their ASCII graphics. They have a certain lo-fi charm.

    Edit:The stuff in italics is a quote from obo’s post (just two above mine, so I doubt people missed it). There’s some way to actually quote someone, but whatever I’m doing it’s not right, so I’m just using italics.

  14. Will Tomas says:

    Meh.

  15. Meat Circus says:

    I’ve never played a Diablo. So answer me this:

    Diablo is basically Blizz’s ace dungeon design, without the tedious MMO treadmill bullshit, right?

    In which case, YAY.

    Diablo 3 looks pretty.

  16. Meat Circus says:

    @obo:

    There seems to be an active community doing just that for Dwarf Fortress.

  17. obo says:

    The communtiy around Rogue-likes tends to enjoy their ASCII graphics. They have a certain lo-fi charm.

    Bleh. And people wonder why nobody develops (edit: graphically-intensive) games for Linux.

    There seems to be an active community doing just that for Dwarf Fortress.

    I don’t want Dwarf Fortress. That’s too much. I just want to play a game of Rogue with a decent interface and Quake 2-level graphics. Diablo, basically, with Rogue’s randomness.

    If Dwarf Fortress gets a 3D makeover before Rogue… I’ll have to complain some more. XD

  18. Jonathan says:

    Reply to Meat Circus
    Indeed. As much as it pains me to admit it, it does make the game much easier to understand and as such a lot more fun.

  19. obo says:

    Speaking on the trailer: If I were that barbarian, I don’t think I would try so hard to smash that first stone bridge while I was standing on it. The environmental mutability looks awfully selective, but yeah, it’s just an alpha etc.

    I see a lot of the PS2 Baldur’s Gate games in here, mostly in the pacing and art style, and those dropped orbs that refill health. I wouldn’t be surprised, even with the game not being built for consoles, if it’s much more gamepad-friendly than Diablo 1 or 2.

    The trailer notes the online co-op emphasis, but will we be able to have or control multiple party members in single-player? I didn’t see that on the Web site.

  20. zima says:

    There is something 3D for roguelikes apparently… link to en.wikipedia.org

    But personally I’d just opt for better isometric gfx: link to en.wikipedia.org ;P

  21. Martin K says:

    If you check the website, I think you’ll find that there’s still a fair bit o’ grit there, spread out over all the sections and media, m’hearties. Oh, sure, that’s hardly conclusive, but, as stated, we ain’t see but Jack and shit so far, and they ain’t tellin’ a whole lot more than we’ve already seen. Still, I reckon the whole thing looks just fine. Pretty and atmospheric as hell, and if they’ve tuned the D2 gameplay to match the comparatively huge jump in prettiness and associated polish, I’ll be as happy as Larry (however happy he is).

    Also, WoW comparisons? [insert crude joke about visual impairment here] Myself, I’m enthralled with the two character class designs so far uploaded. That Barbarian is absolutely up to spec, as far as grizzled killing machines are concerned.

  22. Mil says:

    obo says:

    Any reason why the OSS community hasn’t slapped one of the dozen OSS 3D engines onto Rogue yet?

    There’s a dire lack of decent graphic artists in the OSS community. That’s why game types that need a significant amount of graphic art to provide a good game experience are quite rare in OSS development.

    I’m sure there must be lots of good graphic artists out there, but for some reason the OSS community hasn’t managed to attract them.

  23. Zed says:

    @RLacey: Danke. I posted before I was halfway through watching or the vid finished downloading. Which, of course, reset my download. Never finished it.

  24. zima says:

    btw @RPS staff, how long can you manage to not post new stories? ;) It’s perfect as it is now – best (well…only) gaming site I check regurarly, last 3 posts about D3, “The Device Has Been Modified” by Victims of Science (GLaDOS remix) playing in the background and on top of that I’m pleasently drunk.

    Let this moment last ;P

  25. Zed says:

    Just watched it, finally. The end baddie biting the male barb in half? That, I have to admit, was sweet.

  26. Vollgassen says:

    why does it have to have the exact same art style as WoW

  27. Radiant says:

    Spare a thought for someone who has never played Diablo [1 nor 2] and could give less of a shit.
    Although don’t hunt me and down and kill me! Just give me a reason to be interested; I really am curious.

  28. Ian says:

    How about you watch the videos.

    I was less than impressed by both of the previous Diablos, but *this* looks amazing…

    And the art style *does not look like WoW,* you people just want something to bitch about.

  29. sluz says:

    well, it kinda does look like WoW w/o the ghey colors :P
    the textures have that softness of a charcoal drawing.

    i dont know tho. the artwork is there for the environment but after playing lots of God of War you kind of look for more dynamic camera angles and outlandish kill styles in a kill things game. straight isometric is a bit bland and the barbarians moves just arent cutting it save for the amount of guts that spurt out when he jumps on things.

    after watching the different attacks again on the website vids.. they are pretty satisfying. whatever. must play

  30. DigitalSignalX says:

    Told a long time friend of mine (who I met playing D2) that in-game footage of D3 was online. First thing he asked was “Is it a MMO or the same?” He meant, is it WoW with Diablo’s IP slapped on it. After watching the vid, we’re both *very* happy that it’s not. That blizzard took what works, and just continued to polish polish polish.

  31. UncleLou says:

    i dont know tho. the artwork is there for the environment but after playing lots of God of War you kind of look for more dynamic camera angles and outlandish kill styles in a kill things game. straight isometric is a bit bland

    There is no better pespective to keep an overview what’s going on all the time than the isometric one. And no other perspective gives you that “it’s like playing with my Playmobil as a kid”. :)

    I bloody hate it that it as good as died in the recent years, and Diablo 3 keeping it that way (and it not being an MMO) are the two best news in the announcement.

    Artistically it’s too close to WoW for my liking, I hope it gets a bit more of its own style in the remaining development time.

  32. sigma83 says:

    WoW…. and diablo… aren’t even in the same fucking ballpark. WoW is MUCH too nice. Are you people looking at the same game as me?

  33. Ben Sones says:

    It really doesn’t look like WoW, and I think people making that comparison need to actually, you know, make that comparison. WoW is a game of bright, cartoon-y colors and stylized, exaggerated forms. Diablo III is more somber and more realistic–not photorealistic, mind you. It seems like they are going for more of the look of an oil painting.

    That “painted” look is actually the one similarity the visuals have with WoW. They aren’t painted in anything near the same style, but both games are similar in that they aren’t even trying to look photorealistic. I think one reason for that approach is that Blizzard has discovered that this sort of game art tends to age much more gracefully than most. It also allows them to rely less heavily on hardware-intensive technologies (most of which are focused on delivering photoreal graphics) to make their games look good, which in turn allows them to set system requirements that a broad range of player can meet. I think that Blizzard are some of the smarter game developers in the business in this respect.

  34. ZenArcade says:

    If you expected an intellectually stimulating, deep, complex journey into RPG land from Diablo 3 and are dissapointed by the footage, then please throw yourself off a huge bridge. Diablo was, and always has been, about having fun.

    You really cannot go wrong with the good old Diablo formula though, can you?

  35. Crash says:

    Thousand Pounder – fatty guy from abandoned cathedral have sub-title “Gluttony Incarnate”. I wonder if it’s part of the D3 plot: find and kill all seven deadly sins’ incarnates.

  36. spd from Russia says:

    beautifull! Im not a big fano of D2 (too repetetive and not much rpg) but this looks super-sweet. Cant wait.

  37. Frans Coehoorn says:

    I definately want this.

  38. UncleLou says:

    It really doesn’t look like WoW, and I think people making that comparison need to actually, you know, make that comparison

    Nah – it looks so much like WoW that you have to wonder if they’re actually using placeholdes from WoW at the moment for much of the stuff. It’s almost exactly the same artstyle, especially the character design, but also the general stylisation of textures etc.

    I find it almost unbelievable that some people don’t see that.

  39. Martin K says:

    Lou? What? What?! How…and he…and you…but then…what?! My head just exploded. I think you need these glasses more than I do.

  40. Ci2e says:

    It is nice to see Blizzard finally reveal Diablo III…

    ::The good::

    Blizzard kept the isometric view instead of making it full 3D like World of Warcraft.
    Lets hope Diablo doesn’t turn into an MMO and free online play sticks around.

    ::The Bad::

    The Witchdoctor is a class from Warcraft and it looks like it has replaced the Necromancer.
    The map design looks to be much narrower and smaller than Diablo II.

    That’s all I can think of at the moment, as more footage is released I’m sure we’ll see it shape into the Diablo III the majority wants to play. If not you either adapt to the change or skip it all together and I think Blizzard is one of the companies that listens to its fans…

  41. Alarik says:

    Ci2e: Yup, we NEED Necro :-/

    Heh, who am I kidding – we NEED Amazon!

    /dances around uncontrollably

  42. Jochen Scheisse says:

    I think what people mean to say is that the color scheme is that of WoW, which is kind of correct.

  43. Sucram says:

    Well the game certainly is Diablo. All the changes seem good to me so far. The generated quests seem good, making the random dungeons a bit more interesting.

  44. Ci2e says:

    A part of me is excited I can actually see official Diablo III content released officially from Blizzard and then the other part of me (impatient part) hates the fact that companies announce these things when they are more than 6 months away from release…

    I would actually pay Blizzard a monthly fee to alpha and beta test their newly developed content. Hell it would probably speed up the development process a whole bunch. The only bad thing about this would be the fact that everyone would be whining about this or that – once they collect feedback and change something one half is happy and the other half is whining again…

    Hell it’s still an awesome idea!

  45. luphisto says:

    My cousin got me into the whole wonderfull world of pc gaming with this game. I have been waiting and praying to all or any gods that will listen, benevolent or otherwise for a sequal that rings true to my deep streak of fanboyish love, and here it is.

    Although im a little frightened the witch doctor will replace my beloved necromancer(he summons shit and does disease damage 1+1=no necro) I am willing to accept changes as long as the core of the game still feels similar to DII (IE fun) and not like a diablo in name only.

    art style wise, i have no idea what people are talking about too me it looks great. why care that its more colourful? moer colour is good, i cant be the only one to get bored with the 100000th “black stone dungeon of doom” with black blue or red enemies. Also it doesnt look like wow, its WAY less cartoony which is what turned me off war3 and wow. those making these comparisons need to be sent for “re-education” preferably the .45 calibre type.

    I may be using false information for my opinions and have as such tried not to make sweeping comdemnation or praise. i believe i have kept my rabid inner fanboy subdued to write a mostly objective opinon. now i need to vent this pent up excitement somehow… please excuse me.

  46. Dave says:

    The Witchdoctor is a class from Warcraft

    No, the Warlock is a class from Warcraft. (And a mighty fun one, but I don’t see it working well in a game where you’re fighting dozens of nasties simultaneously.) This looks like the Necromancer rebranded a bit.

    Anyway, the Diablo III announcement encouraged me to pick up Titan Quest Gold this weekend and I’ve been having a blast with it. It lacks a certain Diabloesque something or other, but it competently scratches the itch and is cheap on Steam. It’s just a bit weird to see popups about friends playing TF2 or Portal while I’m in slaughtering Greek myths though.

  47. alphaxion says:

    I saw what looked like a necro in a concept art blast during the denizens of diablo panel discussion.

    apparently the textures are all painted – they use diffuse maps everywhere.

    I’m gonna have to resurrect my old necro only clan if they really are still in the game.

    My GF was just watching some of the vids of the denizens panel on youtube and he was bouncing in her chair as she pointed to where we were in the camera (we were right next to where the questions were being asked).

    I asked some of the diablo team how they felt mythos might affect the release of diablo3 – they’re not worried by mythos one bit and feel that there is plenty of space in the market for both of them. Mind you, they would have said that anyway ;)

  48. max says:

    to BrokenSymmetry: Because the same game play is what people want

  49. Fede says:

    As others mentioned roguelikes and 3d… Andrew Doull talked in his blog about an in-development 3d roguelike; link to the blog here.

  50. polar says:

    Blizzard games seem to share a common motif.
    1. The game insignia design is similar for all Blizzard games. They put the sequel number behind the title in the insignia. (WC III, SC II and now Diablo III)
    2. They announced Starcraft II much the same as Diablo III, with a world premiere involving a short cinematic trailer and and a 20 minute long gameplay trailer showing just enough to leave you tantalized.
    3. The outdoor art in Diablo III- the grassland and the rocks, are almost identical to the Starcraft terrain. Don’t know about WoW.
    In line with the Starcraft publicity, this announcement will probably be followed up by a month or two of silence, then a few gameplay trailers detailing other classes.