Blizzard has published a seven-and-a-half-minute Diablo IV video called “The World of Sanctuary” that dives into how the project’s many elements come together to create a perfect dungeon-crawling experience, in addition to showing some more gameplay. In the video, multiple members of the development team talk through the thought that went into the art direction, environments, monsters, exploration, and more. Diablo IV is trying to offer an experience that speaks to newcomers and returning fans, and that meant bringing the series back to its roots with a dark visual style and monsters that look like they’ve been ripped straight out of hell.
When fans got their first look at Diablo IV, they immediately latched on to its burnt, dying world. The team says they were aiming to bring the art style back to a Diablo II-like, macabre feel.
“How would the people of Sanctuary show their world? What kinds of art would they use to describe the world?” Senior Quest Designer II Harrison Pink said. “One of the things we really wanted to do was make the game feel like a painting.”
Not all of the five Diablo IV zones will look the same, however, as places like Kehjistan feature a dusty glow, while Scosglen is inspired by Scotland. The Fractured Peaks, meanwhile, will see players traveling through snowy mountains, the Dry Steppes takes players into a shadowy desert region, and Hawezar adds to the variety with swamp locations. Each of these regions will greet players with creatures familiar and new, with some enemy types, such as the Fallen, receiving “darker and scarier” redesigns. It all plays into environments that encourage exploration in different ways.
“We also have these massive World Bosses that are so big that the camera has to pull out even further,” Pink added. “And you’re going to have an opportunity to fight these bosses with your friends or with strangers to take down these huge World Bosses.”
Of course, for all of the new details we learned today, the real highlight is that we get to see even more Diablo IV gameplay ahead of launch. You can see the discussion and gameplay for yourself in “The World of Sanctuary” below.
In case you missed it, Blizzard announced its Diablo IV open beta schedule for PC and consoles over the weekend. An early access beta for those who pre-purchased the game will take place from March 17-19, with the full open beta coming just a week later from March 24-26. While progress will carry over between each set of dates, save data will not carry over to the final release when Diablo IV launches on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X | S on June 6, 2023.