Diablo IV has officially been revealed at Blizzcon 2019, and the industry’s worst-kept secret not only got a CGI announcement trailer – it also got gameplay too, introducing the game’s “embrace the darkness” mantra and art style.
It also showed off the game’s first three character classes – Sorceress, Barbarian, and Druid – along with various examples of their abilities. The gameplay was darker and far less colourful than Diablo III, as promised, although it still keeps the same isometric camera angle – albeit with a lot more detail than previously seen.
The most exciting announcement here is the return of the Druid class, which has not been seen since Diablo II. Blizzard has replaced the usual Fire magic with Storm and Earth magics, but has kept the class’s animal companions – such as wolves or crows – and the ability to shape-shift into a werebear or werewolf. However, this particular ability has evolved into what the game’s director Luis Barriga describes as “seamless shape-shifting” – which basically means players can shift to and from animals forms within combat, at will.
The Barbarian class is “the embodiment of visceral, brutal combat,” as senior game producer Tiffany Wat describes. This class is “armed to the teeth” with all manner of weaponry, and Blizzard is introducing what is called the “arsenal” system – no, it doesn’t make the Barbarian a Gunners supporter, they get four weapon slots to choose from.
As for the Sorceress/Sorceror, art director John Mueller describes this class as “elemental carnage on the battlefield.” This class can teleport, turn into a ball of lightning, and is “an unstoppable wrecking machine”. The panel showed off some of these powers, and the Sorceress easily decimated enemies with powerful light, fire, frost and earth attacks.
There will be five character classes available at launch – and presumably more will follow as DLC – although when Diablo IV is coming out is another matter. It won’t be soon, that’s for sure.