Snow stormThe latest quarterly update dives us into the hellish environments and dungeons of Diablo 4showing various biomes that we will explore in the game (at each launch).
In a new in-depth blog post, Blizzard has shared a series of videos exploring the world of Diablo 4 – one that clearly lives up to the dark and oppressive vibe of its predecessors.
As you can see in our video above (which merges all of Blizzard’s gameplay clips into one easy-to-watch montage), the development team is using the “old masters” you may know from the world of art as a source of inspiration for his visual aesthetic.
But what does Rembrandt, for example, have to do with Diablo? Well, according to art director Chris Ryder, it’s the controlled use of detail, range of tones, and expert use of color palettes by craft painters that the studio looked at in order to improve the world of Diablo. 4…and we think it’s showing (at least if the videos shared by the studio are anything to see).
Ryder also notes that the company wants to focus on a “return to darkness”. This pillar of the design philosophy embodies the idea that Sanctuary is “a dangerous and dark medieval gothic world” and that Blizzard intends to “play the iconic Diablo game camera, choosing where to add or remove details to help with the legibility of the playing space or accentuate the visual interest as needed”.
The result, Blizzard hopes, is a game that’s dark and oppressive, but also beautiful and readable. Ryder says Diablo 4 is aiming for “credibility, not realism” – which makes sense for a game that plays so heavily on its high-fantasy elements as Diablo 4. As such, you can expect “weather and lighting play a bigger visual role” than you would see in Diablo games in the past.
In the video, we take a tour through the Scosglen Coast, Orbei Monastery, Kyovoshad Settlement, some Sanctuary Dungeons, and we also get a glimpse of some “Forgotten Places of the World”. Using these visual stimuli as a springboard, associate art director Brian Fletcher notes that Diablo 4 will feature more dungeon variety “than ever before”. Should be good for replayability, then.
“In order to support over 150 dungeons, we had to change the way we create environment art so that it was flexible enough to be used in multiple locations and not just in a single dungeon,” explains Fletcher – and how the team will ensure that new environments are designed to support what certainly sounds interesting.
“New dungeon features such as floor transitions or smooth walkthroughs are exciting, but my favorite new feature is what we call tile set transition scenes: these are scenes that allow us to connect two different sets of tiles together in the same dungeon. Imagine running through a crypt, to find a hole in the wall that seamlessly leads you deeper into a vast network of underground caves. While keeping the random layouts that change with each dungeon run.
Diablo 4 was announced in November 2019 at BlizzCon, alongside Overwatch 2. Neither game has a release date at the time of writing.
The game’s development was overshadowed by a slew of Activision Blizzard stories following reports that the company fostered a toxic culture. These allegations came to light following a lawsuit filed by the State of California for bullying, harassment and sexism in the workplace.
To combat future issues at the company, Actvision plans to address workplace abuse and improve its hiring practices.
Since the titles announcement, Microsoft has agreed to acquire Activision Blizzard in a deal worth $68.7 billion.