Blizzard Resurrects Diablo, Release Date Announced
Thought your old friend Diablo, the "Lord of Terror" was dead? Think again. Just when gamers figured it was actually possible to kill Blizzard Entertainment's most fiendish devil, the company has announced it will be releasing a new version of the hyper-popular action-Role Playing Game (RPG) in September, 2009.
It's been seven years since the last time gamers embarked upon that most terrifying quest of vanquishing Diablo and his brothers. Not since the June, 2001 release of the Diablo II expansion set "Lord of Destruction" has anyone heard word on the series. Many gamers, this one included, had assumed Blizzard would give up on the franchise after killing off its three main villains.
However, in this world of Grand Theft Auto IVs and Halo 3s, sequels to proven franchises mean big money for developers and publishers alike.
So, what can we expect?
Teaser and gameplay trailers have only hinted at the storyline, but gameplay appears very similar to that established over a decade ago with the release of the original Diablo. Gamers will be again following their characters (the original five classes are available, and as of now Blizzard has also revealed the "Witch Doctor") from a 3/4 top-down angle through deep jungles and, of course, many, many dungeons. It's fairly obvious that Blizzard knows its old formula will sell -- thus far, gameplay emulates Diablo II, right down to the sound of Deckard Cain's voice. (Source: blizzard.com)
Improvements are evident, however. The graphics have, obviously, been given a generous facelift. Gameplay trailers reveal that the interface has been improved to make casting spells even easier. In addition, Blizzard execs reveal that they're pursuing a "God of War" feel in hopes of emphasizing the "action" part of action-RPG. It will be interesting to see whether or not this throws off the balance of a game that nicely pandered to both spell-casting and hack-and-slash fans of the series. (Source: 1up.com)
As was the case in the last major release of a Diablo game, the announcement of Diablo III comes light years ahead of its ultimate (and surely very tentative) launch date.