Blizzard Entertainment has provided a quarterly update on Diablo IV that comes with a host of gameplay videos that highlight its many, many dungeons and environments. The seven total videos are a bit of a tour through the game’s five major regions, taking hopeful fans through places like Kyovashad, Orbei Monastery, and Scosglen Coast. Other videos — such as Forgotten Places in the World, Wretched Caves, and Flooded Depths — highlight the more than 150 dungeons crammed into Diablo IV. Each peek behind the curtain shows a look at the pre-alpha build but still paints a promising picture for those looking forward to the next mainline Diablo experience.
Diablo IV art director Chris Ryder said the team is going for a “darker and more grounded interpretation than earlier installments” this time around, adding, “The aim is for believability, not realism.”
“Believability comes through our use of materials and deliberate construction of architecture and artifacts you will come across as you play through dungeons and the open world,” Ryder said. “In addition, regional weather conditions, varied local biomes, and a sense of history set the foundation of how an object or place should look visually in a medieval world like Sanctuary.”
The weather adds to this grounded feeling, created to have a greater effect on environments in Diablo IV than in past titles. Rain will coat surfaces and form puddles, making the ground seem believably muddy in the process. Retreating to a tavern will then evoke feelings of warmth and safety as a result.
Blizzard’s first quarterly Diablo IV update of 2022 dives deep into the backgrounds behind each location. For example, lead exterior artist Matt McDaid described Kyovashad as “oppressive, frigid, and harsh.” These elements could contradict the location’s status as a heavily guarded settlement, though, so it was important for the team to create an area that jelled with the world around it.
“We believe it appropriate to provide a gradual buildup of smaller defense structures upon approach to the settlement,” McDaid said. “Doing this hints to you that something greater lies ahead. Upon reaching the gates you are confronted with steep stone, perimeter walls and a deep cavernous moat that wards off any unwelcoming visitors.”
Diablo IV is still without a release window. Until we learn more, you can check out the new Diablo IV environments and dungeons from the quarterly update below.