*** Update Sunday, June 29: More pics added ***
Blizzard announced the latest installment in the Diablo series at its Worldwide Invitational in Paris.
The announcement included a cinematic trailer and an in-game demo, both of which can be seen on the game’s Web site at www.diablo3.com.
Returning are Deckard Cain, who makes an appearance in both movies; the shattered town of Tristram (or at least its ruined temple); the confirmed player class barbarian; and what looks like a rogue from the Sisters of the Sightless Eye.
The biggest departure from the other titles is the inclusion of destructible terrain. As the barbarian madly whirlwinds across the screen, he breaks banisters with the same ease as he smashes zombies into paste. There’s also a scene in which he destroys a balcony’s supports, causing the rubble to crush dozens of monsters.
Another pleasant surprise — the game play demo features both male and female barbarians and witch doctors. Previous entries in the franchise have married gender to class, preventing players from choosing to play male archers or female sword-swingers.
Click for larger images:
Read the press release and FAQ page:
DIABLO® III UNVEILED
Blizzard Entertainment® announces highly anticipated sequel at
2008 Worldwide Invitational in Paris
PARIS, France – June 28, 2008 – Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today revealed Diablo® III, the newest entry in its critically acclaimed action role-playing-game franchise. The announcement was made during the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment® Worldwide Invitational at the Porte de Versailles Convention Centre in Paris, France. A cinematic trailer and an extended gameplay demonstration with commentary from the development team introduced the game to the thousands of players in attendance.
“We’ve wanted to expand on the epic story and gameplay elements of the Diablo universe for some time now,” stated Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We know that players have also been long awaiting a return to the series, so we’re very excited to be sharing this announcement with Blizzard gamers here in Paris and around the world today.”
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, Battle.net®.
Blizzard Entertainment is developing Diablo III for simultaneous release on the Windows® and Macintosh® PC platforms. Further information about the game, including details on the other character classes, major new features for the single-player and multiplayer components, system requirements, pricing, and availability, will be announced as development progresses. To learn more about Diablo III, please visit the official website at www.diablo3.com. With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available. Visit http://www.blizzard.com/jobs for more information and to learn how to apply.
About the Diablo Series
Launched at the end of 1996, the original Diablo helped popularize the action role-playing-game genre, earning widespread critical and commercial success. The game’s sequel, Diablo II, shipped in 2000 to similar acclaim, winning several Game of the Year awards and at the time becoming the fastest-selling computer game ever. Diablo II’s award-winning expansion set, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction™, debuted in 2001, becoming Blizzard Entertainment’s sixth-consecutive #1-selling game. To date, the franchise has sold more than 18.5 million copies worldwide.*Diablo’s gothic horror theme has also inspired a number of licensed products, including novels and action figures.
About Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Best known for blockbuster hits including World of Warcraft® and the Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo series, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. (www.blizzard.com), a division of Vivendi Games, is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard’s track record includes ten #1-selling games and multiple Game of the Year awards. The company’s online-gaming service, Battle.net, is one of the largest in the world, with millions of active users.
Diablo III Fact Sheet
Diablo III is being developed as the definitive action role-playing game, and a true continuation of the Diablo series. Players will create a hero from one of five distinct classes, such as barbarian or witch doctor, each equipped with an array of spells and abilities. As these heroes adventure through rich and varied settings, unraveling an epic storyline and engaging in combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, they’ll grow in experience and ability and acquire items of incredible power.
The game takes place on Sanctuary, a world of dark fantasy. Unbeknownst to most of its inhabitants, Sanctuary was saved some twenty years ago from the demonic forces of the underworld by a few brave and powerful heroes. Most of those warriors who directly faced the armies of the Burning Hells — and were fortunate enough to survive — went mad from their experiences. And most of the others have buried their haunted memories and pushed the horrors from their thoughts. In Diablo III, players will return to Sanctuary to confront evil in its many forms once again.
Diablo III will be a fitting sequel to Diablo II, with the easy interface, fast-paced action, and visceral gameplay that Diablo players have come to expect and enjoy. It will also include many new features that will take the Diablo action-RPG experience to the next level.
Ø Five powerful character classes to choose from, including the barbarian and witch doctor
Ø Brand-new 3D graphics engine enhanced with spectacular visual effects and Havok physics
Ø Numerous indoor and outdoor areas detailing new regions in the world of Sanctuary
Ø Interactive environments with dangerous traps and obstacles, and destructible elements
Ø Randomly generated worlds bolstered by scripted events for endless and dynamic gameplay
Ø Vast assortment of fiendish monsters, with unique attack patterns and behaviors
Ø New quest system and character-customization options for the ultimate action RPG experience
Ø Multiplayer functionality over Battle.net with support for cooperative and competitive play
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