Blizzard Entertainment released a Diablo IV Quarterly Update yesterday, and several devs chimed in on what the upcoming open-world RPG will offer players. Recently-appointed game director Joe Shely voiced that Diablo IV will be “an immersive world you can wander through and enjoy getting lost in.” These words held even more weight when art director of environments Brian Fletcher and lead exterior environment artist Matt McDaid added that Sanctuary (the game world/mortal realm) boasts five explorable regions with over 150 dungeons.
There’s much to do and see in Diablo IV. The dungeons that players encounter brim with dynamic weather, lighting effects, and props so that each foray feels unique and personalized. As far as visual storytelling and direction go, the team focuses on two pillars, “old masters” and “return to darkness.” Art director Chris Ryder said it best:
“We approach creating the environments of Diablo IV through a darker and more grounded interpretation than earlier installments. The “old masters” pillar gives us a lens to filter our art through, considering the techniques classical painters like Rembrandt used, with their controlled use of detail, tonal range, and expert use of color palettes. The “return to darkness” pillar is a through-line in everything from dungeons to lighting and embodies the idea that Sanctuary is a dangerous and dark medieval gothic world.”
There’s more insight from other creators at Blizzard, so click the link above to read the extensive Quarterly Update. Dan Tack got to play a demo of Diably IV back in 2019 and concluded his impressions by stating:
“Much has been said about the grim aesthetic that Diablo IV brings to bear, but it’s different seeing and playing in it. There is blood and bodies everywhere, a world without much hope, ridiculously dark – after Diablo III, it’s a stark contrast indeed. Moving through the world to try and find as many cool things as I can before the demo time runs out, I manage to clear out both dungeons available before the end … The task of slaughtering monsters en masse is as satisfying as ever, a loop that I’m sure will feel more meaningful outside of a demo where leveling and customization aren’t available. While Diablo IV is definitely quite a ways away, the demo is a great showcase for the direction that the game is headed.”
Are you excited about Diablo IV? Let us know in the comments below!