Diablo, along with Warcraft and Starcraft, is one of Blizzard’s three longest-running and most recognizable franchises. The original game and its two sequels – Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 – were all met with critical acclaim, so it’s no wonder that one of the biggest video game companies would want this franchise to go on.
Following Diablo 3 and its DLCs, Blizzard announced the controversial Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon 2018. However, the fact that this was a mobile-only game caused a lot of backlash in the community, as the fans were hoping for a full-fledged Diablo 4 that would be playable on PC and consoles.
Fortunately for all the Diablo fans out there, Diablo 4 has finally been confirmed. In this article, we’ll go over everything we know about the upcoming fourth entry in the franchise.
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Diablo 4 Release Date
Diablo 4 was officially confirmed to be in development at BlizzCon 2019. However, no specific release date was set. Diablo 2 followed the original game relatively quickly.
The first game launched in 1996, followed by an expansion the following year. Then, Diablo 2 was launched in the year 2000, followed by an expansion the next year. However, there was a 12-year gap between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 when the latter was finally released in 2012.
Diablo 3, however, had not one but two expansions – Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls and Diablo 3: Rise of the Necromancer, which released in 2014 and 2017, respectively.
The second expansion launched in June of 2017, meaning that Diablo 4 could have been in development for quite a while now, but since no release date was set when the game was announced, we simply can’t expect it to hit the shelves anytime soon.
And sure enough, Luis Barriga, the game’s director, has confirmed that the game is far from finished, even though the BlizzCon 2019 presentation might suggest otherwise. As such, inevitably, Diablo 4 won’t be coming out in 2020, and 2021 seems unlikely. Based on Barriga’s statement, it sounds like the game is still years away, so, realistically, we probably shouldn’t expect it before 2022.
Another source of confusion regarding Diablo 4 and its ambiguous release date are the platforms that it’s being developed for. Namely, Blizzard has stated that the game was being developed for PC, as well as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
This seems a bit odd, considering that the next-generation PlayStation 5 and the as-of-yet unnamed new Xbox console are set to launch towards the end of 2020, well before Diablo 4 itself is expected to come out.
Granted, Diablo 3 was released on a wide variety of platforms, including the PS3, the PS4, the Xbox 360, the Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch, PC, and even macOS. However, it was still released before the 8th generation consoles rolled out.
That said, even if Diablo 4 is being developed primarily for the PS4 and the Xbox One when consoles are concerned, it will be playable on the PS5 and the new Xbox via backward compatibility.
It would be a waste if the game didn’t take advantage of the new consoles’ advanced hardware, but a “remastered” version or a graphics update is not out of the question when it comes to the console versions of the game.
Diablo 4 Trailer
Blizzard treated the fans to a stunning 9-minute cinematic announcement trailer at BlizzCon 2019. It is dramatically darker and gorier than what we’re used to seeing from Blizzard, even when it comes to Diablo.
This franchise is generally grittier than the company’s other IPs. It shows the summoning of Lilith, a figure that was previously referenced in older Diablo titles, and it seems that she will be filling the role of the “big bad” for Diablo 4.
The cinematic was also accompanied by a shorter 3-minute gameplay trailer. It features the kind of gameplay that you’d expect from Diablo, and it showcases the three classes that have been confirmed so far: Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid.
Diablo 4 Gameplay Mechanics
While the game is nowhere near finished, we did get some brief insights regarding how the game will play. As seen from the trailer above, it will feature the same old isometric combat that the franchise is known for. So far, the three classes were revealed:
- Barbarian – The indispensable class that has been present in every Diablo game so far, the Barbarian, focuses on dealing massive amounts of damage with melee weapons.
- Sorceress – A class with less physical fortitude but more flexibility, the Sorceress wields an array of elemental spells that allow her to deal AoE damage and control the battlefield.
- Druid – A class that is defined by its animal NPC companions and its ability to shapeshift.
Apart from those three, two more classes will be available in the final game, making for a total of five classes to choose from. It remains to be seen whether some of the old classes will be making a return or if Blizzard has something brand-new in store.Another noteworthy aspect of the game’s mechanics is that it will take place in a shared world, meaning that the player will be able to encounter other players in-game.This was met with some skepticism among the fans, as Diablo was always primarily a PvE game. Fortunately, players won’t be forced to engage in PvP if they don’t want to, but it remains to be seen whether playing offline will be an option.
The Final Word
Diablo 4 is coming. We just can’t be sure when. As mentioned in the article, the game could be as little as two years away, but the development will likely take longer than that.
In any case, it seems to be shaping up to be a proper Diablo experience – much more so than the disappointing money-grab that was Diablo Immortal – and we are very excited to see what the final product will look like.
In the meantime, there’s enough time to replay the previous Diablo games – or play them for the first time, if you haven’t had the chance to do so until now.