For me, and no doubt for many others, Diablo III is the single most anticipated game of our lives. For some, each unfolding expansion for World of Warcraft is what they set their calendars by. For the South Koreans, and many others, Starcraft II is holding their attention. And for me, both of these things I will play. But now that Blizzard have finally announced the third volume in their Diablo franchise, nothing will ever come close for me.
And yes, it’s possible other games like Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid, and Halo may also represent people’s joys, but I doubt it.
Blizzard has long dominated a lot of my life, even though I didn’t even know it. When I was younger, and my mother somehow managed to afford a Super Nintendo system, one of the games we played avidly — my mum, my brother, and I — was the game The Lost Vikings. It wasn’t until recently that I found out that was a Blizzard game.
High school came along, and I began to play Starcraft, and then Diablo II. These too were by Blizzard, as was my favorite game out of high school, Warcraft III. And, naturally, I followed through by playing World of Warcraft. But since I finished playing through Diablo II a few times, nothing has been quite the same, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting any possibility that Blizzard would make a sequel.
For awhile back in 2007 there were rumors that they would release Diablo III as a MMORPG, but they released Starcraft instead — a game I am eagerly anticipating in its own right.
However, with 2008 half over, and Blizzard’s Worldwide Invitational taking place this past weekend, and confirmed knowledge that Blizzard would announce a new title, we all eagerly held our breath hoping it would be Diablo III (it could always have been a sequel to the Lost Vikings).
We were pleasantly surprised, and I know that myself and Dave3 both had tingly sensations in our nether regions when we found out we’d be getting a sequel to a game that, between the both of us, has stolen at least 30 months of our lives.
In true Blizzard style, there is no release date. That is the way we like it though, as it means that Blizzard will release the game when it is ready, not when they said they would. It makes for a better game, and that’s why we love Blizzard.
However if you head along to Diablo3.com, you will find some nice goodies for you to peruse. A map of the world; a journal written and (if you so choose) narrated by Deckard Cain (stay awhile, and listen); two class profiles, the barbarian and witch-doctor; wallpapers, artwork, videos including a 20-minute video showing gameplay; and much more.
I have spent hours already watching the videos, reading the information, and I am already in love with a game I have not played. The cinematic trailer is, as always when it comes to a Blizzard trailer, phenomenal, and makes you quiver all over. So let the waiting begin, and Blizzard, make sure to keep us happy with lots of goodies.
Full press release below:
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.