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Diablo 4 will return to the “dark, Gothic, medieval roots” of the series

According to leaks from the Diablo art book, Diablo IV will be darker and grittier - like the earlier games in the franchise.

November 1, 2019 Leaked pages from the Diablo art book suggests that Blizzard is aiming to take Diablo IV back to its darker origins.

It’s been pretty clear for a while now that Diablo IV is on the way, and the latest indication of that was an advertisement for an attractive coffee table art book that appeared in the German magazine GameStar a week ago. Now seemingly every page on the game from that art book have leaked online – shedding some first details about Diablo IV’s cast of characters and art style.

The introductory page, shared by GamesRadar features writer Alex Avard, gives the first details for the new Diablo. The game’s reported art director John Mueller says that, “Diablo IV will carve out a fresh way of seeing the world while returning the visuals to Diablo’s dark, Gothic, medieval roots.”

Diablo IV has apparently been based on three unique pillars – “return to darkness,” “embrace the legacy,” and “old masters” – meaning, every part of the game has to look like it was painted by a master painter such as Rembrandt.

You can see the results of that in further leaked pages from BlizzardMC club owner Reidor, who posted some truly gorgeous pieces from the book – although user Proudrunner one-upped everyone by posting the entire thing on Imgur.

Another leaked page shows concept art and lore for Lilith, the Succubus Queen who first appeared in Diablo II’s Battle.net-only Pandemonium Event that was introduced in Patch 1.11 in August, 2005 – and who can be seen in the leak above, too. Back then, you would have to collect three minor keys in order to fight the bosses holding the major keys that you would then use to open a portal to Uber Tristram. One of those bosses was Lilith.

If the page is genuine (and it certainly looks legit), it means Lilith is making a comeback in Diablo IV. According to the text, her updated design is an example of “plussing,” a term John Mueller used to describe artists’ process of iterating on each other’s designs, keeping elements they like and adding their own new flourishes. Here’s the page, via PC Gamer:

The page shows a demon banner sigil and Lilith portrait created for Diablo III, and a black and white concept drawing of Lilith’s updated design for Diablo IV created by John Polidora.

The text claims that the new version of Lilith is a “reimagining” of the character that is significantly different from her original appearance.

“I’ve always really liked that about any kind of IP,” Mueller is quoted saying. “[L]etting really talented artists get ahold of things and then letting them do their version of it. We’re doing that with a lot of the characters in the new game.”

Blizzard still hasn’t officially acknowledged the existence of Diablo IV, but odds are pretty good we’ll be hearing about it at BlizzCon today.