While Diablo Immortal just came out a few weeks ago, longtime Blizzard fans know that Diablo IV is the game to watch. The Diablo series debuted 26 years ago, and since then, we’ve had only three full games with one expansion apiece. As such, each new entry tends to be a highly anticipated event, and Diablo IV is no exception. A new gameplay trailer has shed light on the game’s playable classes and gameplay features – and console players should be pleased to learn that couch co-op is among them.
We first saw the Diablo IV gameplay trailer as part of the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase yesterday (June 12), and it’s fair to say that this was one of the bigger games on display. In case you haven’t seen the trailer, we’ve embedded it below:
Things kick off on a cinematic note, with a wandering Necromancer learning to ply her trade. From there, we get a glimpse of the character selection screen. A Blizzard rep explained that the company has now announced a full class roster for Diablo IV: Barbarian, Druid, Necromancer, Rogue and Sorcerer. This seems like a respectable cross-section of classes from the first three games, although it’s perhaps a little disappointing that there aren’t any brand-new classes in the mix.
You’ll be able to choose your character’s sex and customize their appearance, which is a major departure from the first two Diablo games. Diablo III, however, let you choose your character’s sex, and Diablo Immortal let you go a step further and customize appearance. As such, a full character creator isn’t exactly in uncharted waters for the series.
Diablo IV: Strongholds and PvP
We’ve known since last year that Diablo IV is going to be an open-world game, but yesterday, we learned more about what players can expect to find in it. The Xbox showcase presentation highlighted a few different gameplay elements: Strongholds, world events and PvP.
Strongholds seem like the most interesting of the new systems. Not every hostile area in Diablo IV will remain hostile forever. Some are “Strongholds,” which you can clear out and claim for yourself. When you conquer them, some Strongholds become towns or fortresses; others may simply open the way to even deadlier dungeons. In either case, it seems like Strongholds represent a way for players to have a tangible effect on the open world.
World events and PvP will probably be familiar to anyone who’s played through a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game before. (Like Diablo Immortal, Diablo IV isn’t exactly an MMO – but it’s not not an MMO, either.) World events are small, random stories that will sometimes crop up as you explore. They’re not full-fledged quests, but they might require you to clear out a group of enemies or help a non-player character. Some of them will also spawn enormous “World Bosses,” which might require a whole party of players working in tandem to take out.
PvP, or player-versus-player combat, is open only in certain areas, and if you do well enough, you’ll eventually get a literal target painted above your head. At that point, you’ll become what one dev described as a “loot piñata,” which should turn the tables pretty quickly.
Finally, at least on Xbox, you’ll be able to enjoy couch co-op with a friend or family member, just like in Diablo III. This feature is also self-explanatory, although Xbox players will be glad to know that they won’t have to travel the dangerous realms of Sanctuary alone. This is another feature that Blizzard devs first introduced last year, but it’s good to hear that we should be able to try it out at launch.
Speaking of launch, Diablo IV will debut in 2023 – and if the Xbox Showcase is to be believed, it will debut within the first half of the year. Tom’s Guide will provide more info for the game as Blizzard makes it available.