Unsurprisingly, Diablo 4’s history is long and troubled. If we can even call it Diablo 4. This is one particular project that sounds as if it’s been chopped and changed, canceled and restarted, splintering off into different directions as Blizzard tries to understand what a Diablo 3 sequel would even look like.
So Kotaku’s sources say that in its current incarnation, Diablo IV is an isometric RPG that leans heavily into the style and aesthetic of Diablo II. We’re talking a bit moody, dark and grim compared to Diablo 3. However, it hasn’t been this forever, and it may not even be like this when it’s eventually out, which is why Blizzard hasn’t been prepared to reveal the game just yet despite working on it for a number of years.
In fact, one of the earlier Diablo IV projects was codenamed Hades, which is described in Kotaku’s article as a Souls-like version of Diablo. We’re talking third-person over-the-shoulder camera view, skill and timing-based combat. It doesn’t sound particularly like Diablo, but it’s a reasonable idea when considering it’s genuinely tough to provide a new spin on top-down action-RPG dungeon crawling.
Project Hades was shelved in 2016, and subsequently, a new project emerged dubbed ‘Fenris’. Again, this was a vision for Diablo IV, and it’s allegedly the current version that’s in development. Fenris won’t be ready until at least 2020, claims Kotaku’s sources, but “they want to make this gross, make it dark, [get rid of] anything that was considered cartoony in Diablo III… Make what people were afraid of in Diablo II, but modern.”
Discussions are still underway as to whether it’ll be isometric or third-person, but Blizzard is currently targeting isometric. There are also plans to make it more online-centric, citing Destiny as a potential inspiration. There could be hub cities where players can meet up and pick up quests before heading into instanced dungeons.
It’s not much to sate the desire of fans who perhaps felt a bit burned by the reveal of Diablo Immortal for mobile, but it’s nice to know Blizzard is investing heavily in the next major Diablo game for PC. The big question now though is - do you like what you hear? Is heading in the direction of Destiny the right move, or could this spell disaster? Let us know what you think!