Blizzard is betting on a more down-to-earth approach to the franchise.

In their quarterly Diablo IV progress post, Blizzard gave the floor to members of the art team to talk about their design choices through supporting images.

Between two attempts to promote Diablo Immortals, the mobile title whose announcement was seen as a liver hook by early fans, Blizzard still continues to convince fan base with some messages for the future Diablo IV. Today we were treated to the first quarterly announcement of 2022; an opportunity to take a look at the novelties of this long-awaited title.

Most of the elements belong to the artistic direction of the title. The studio has chosen an approach that is always inherently fantastic, but darker, consistent and “down to earth” than in previous episodes. This includes special attention to the overall atmosphere, materials and architecture that will give a visual identity to the world of Sanctuary.

Modern graphics engine

To achieve this, Blizzard overhauled its graphics engine. As we saw during last December’s gameplay video, it now includes the entire modern tech arsenal, starting with physics-based lighting. It is this detail that allows Blizzard to offer a new, more modern and elegant interpretation of the franchise’s graphic style.

Matt McDaid and Chaz Head, members of the art team responsible for creating the world diablo 4, took the time to offer a lengthy introduction to the various biomes they have lovingly designed.

They begin by describing the coast of Skosglen, an inhospitable and bleak shore where a few hardy inhabitants struggle to survive as best they can. The two friends explain that they paid particular attention to the consistency of this area in order to convey the intransigence of this survival biome.

This includes many dynamic elements such as fluctuating weather; as a result, it can quickly go from bright sunlight to real mashed peas with a completely different visual vibe. They also take the opportunity to introduce an entirely new environmental destruction system. Another gadget that should make the world of Sanctuary even more exciting.

A new look for a new life

Then they concentrated on the city of Kiovoshad. This is the area they describe as “cold, oppressive and harsh”; and it is clear that these are really the first words that come to mind when you look at this military stronghold. Again, there is stage work; therefore, we hope that the same will be true in the four corners of Sanctuary.

Between the fog, the mud, the darkness, and the imposing walls that surround it, we feel like the artists have made it a point of honor to make it an area that is certainly uncomfortable, but almost reassuring compared to the darkness that surrounds it. . Special mention deserves an excellent soundtrack, which completes this delightfully depressing atmosphere.

A denser world than ever

The two artists then lingered in the dungeons in the company of art director Brian Fletcher. First announcement: the good old formula still stands. “The dungeons are still based on randomized content from previous games.“, says Fletcher.

But this recipe has also been expanded and modernized. For example, there will no longer be a transition between different areas of the same dungeon; so it will be possible to walk in complete fluidity, without interruption.

We have also added new systems that allow us to go through even more dungeons than before.he clarifies. Indeed, the world of Sanctuary will hide over 150 dungeons; a formula that already promises long hours of research. But it’s not free for developers and artists.

It will be especially interesting to see how Blizzard handles the reuse of various elements of the scenery. This sleight of hand seems inevitable in the context of such an ambitious project. But that doesn’t break the terms of the deal; other games, including great ones ancient ring recently proved that this concept can work perfectly. However, each element must be intelligently recontextualized; we’ll see later how Blizzard negotiates this aspect of the design.

Basically, we won’t learn much groundbreaking about the game; but these few elements continue to show that Diablo IV It has everything it takes to be a great game. Suffice to say, Blizzard will be waiting in line.

Whatever the case, these few elements really show that a lot of substantial work has gone into the visual identity of the series; and if we trust the first images, the studio seems to have hit the bull’s-eye. The styling is certainly modernized, but remains true to the codes of this legendary franchise. It remains to be seen if Diablo Immortal will be enough to keep us waiting, despite the controversy in anticipation of this release, which is slowly but surely beginning to clear up.

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