Long awaited Diablo IV announced at BlizzCon 2019

Diablo III screenshot.
Diablo III has proved hugely popular. Photo: Blizzard Entertainment.

Latest sequel

Diablo IV takes place several years after the events of the previous titles, with millions of characters having been slaughtered by the actions of the High Heavens and Burning Hells. Blizzard was particularly keen to emphasize that Diablo IV would be darker than previous titles in the series, while the developer also confirmed that barbarian, sorceress, and druid would be involved as classes.

The development of Diablo IV has involved cutting-edge technology, which Blizzard state will deliver a high fidelity and engrossing experience. The gameworld of the title is also reputed to be vast and detailed, with players in Diablo IV dealing with a grittier and deadly universe than the previous release in the series.

Rumors have been circulating for some time that a fourth Diablo title would appear in the imminent future, but developer Blizzard had declined to discuss the title previously. There were hopes among the fan community for the series that Diablo IV would appear at last year’s BlizzCon, but in the actual event only Diablo Immortal, a mobile spin-off, was announced.

Diablo IV screenshot.
A teaser image of the Diablo IV title. Photo: Blizzard Entertainment.

Shrouded in doubt

And the future of the series was shrouded in further doubt, when Diablo Immortal failed to launch. Indeed, the mobile title has still yet to be made available, although the digital release of the original Diablo title in March softened the blow for regular Diablo players.

While Diablo IV will include various elements from recent releases in the series, its developers state that the game will largely return to the style of the original. “We’re going back to the franchise’s dark roots,” game director Luis Barriga revealed during the BlizzCon event. “We’re approaching this game with complete reverence, and we hope that it shows.”

Not too much has been given away about the gameplay for Diablo IV, other than a few statements made by the developers, and a small amount of footage. But the launch video for the title featured a group of travellers entering a sacred tomb, with the characters later finding out that they had been tricked, beginning a chain reaction that summons Lilith, seemingly the antagonist of the game.

Diablo Immortal mobile release.
The Diablo Immortal mobile title has been repeatedly delayed. Photo: Blizzard Entertainment.

Open-world gameplay

However, possibly the most interesting new feature with Diablo IV is the open-world gameplay that Blizzard proclaimed in its presentation. Previous releases have consisted of several chapters, but the latest entry in the series will provide players with vast zones to explore.

Diablo IV will be available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, although the developer was reticent when it came to revealing a release date. If the game isn’t released next year, and is instead pushed into 2021, it would mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release of the initial title in the series, which landed on December 31, 1996.

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