All the conspiracy theories can be put aside now because it’s here: Diablo III has been officially announced.
The splash screen from Blizzard’s site has made everyone go berserk and until today everything seemed possible, even a merger between the Diablo and the Warcraft universes.
The Blizzard Invitational was to be the perfect opportunity for a Diablo III announcement as it fitted right in the timeframe, with Diablo 2 launched on June 29, 2000 and the Lord of Destruction Expansion on June 29, 2001. True, it’s a day early, but nevertheless we will be seeing Diablo III. The game looks quite good although it wasn’t as mind-blowing as I would have expected. It seems to run on the same engine as Starcraft II (especially in terms of fire effects and splash damage) and the interface remains largely the same with mana and health spheres and the same kind of gameplay we were used to. One addition I find more than interesting consists of the red orbs some enemies will leave behind; these will restore your health without you having to resort to potions.
Diablo III still uses an isometric perspective, despite several rumors, but the engine is completely 3D at first glance and supports full physics (some curtains moved when an axe went past them). For the first time ever, players can even use part of the environment against their targets, by collapsing walls and doing other mischievous actions. In the gameplay demo, Blizzard introduced a brand new class, called the Witch Doctor, to show off the cooperative features. This character has power over minds, can summon pets and control disease and it makes for one hell of a sidekick for the barbarian.
Perhaps some will be disappointed that Blizzard hasn’t been more innovative and pushed the Diablo games into a new direction, possibly a 3D perspective like Hellgate London, but I for one am sure they made the perfect choice. It has all the chances to become even more addictive than Diablo II and, if they don’t delay the launch for too long, I’m sure it will be an amazing success. You should check out the trailers below for more goodies. Have Fun!