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[diablo 4 concept art]Why Diablo 4’s More Sinister Direction Is Good For The Series

Update time:2021-08-14 19:15Tag:

  Blizzard is going in a darker direction with Diablo 4, but the series could benefit from fully committing to this tone instead of going only partway.

  By Roger Fingas

  Published Apr 20, 2021

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  Diablo 4 - Inarius and Lilith

  Diablo 4 is still a distant?ship on the horizon, but fans do at least know Blizzard is returning to a grittier, more sinister version of its game world, Sanctuary. This is primarily reflected in its art style, which is both more realistic and more gruesome than Diablo 3’s. The same tone has come across in Diablo 4’s cinematic trailers and other promotional material too, but the whole series could arguably be well-served by leaning even further in that direction.

  The core of Diablo 4’s story is the return of Lilith, daughter of one of the Prime Evils, Mephisto. Much of the plot is under wraps, as would be expected at this stage, but Diablo 4’s graphics and concept art?suggest grim fights across desolate and haunted landscapes. There was certainly a degree of this in Diablo 3, but Blizzard went for a brighter, more painterly look in that game, rubbing some fans the wrong way.

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  Diablo 4 - Inarius and Lilith

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  Related:?Why Diablo 4 Not Releasing In 2021 Is A Good Thing

  Blizzard confirmed intentions to go darker in a 2019 interview with?Polygon, saying it was hoping to recapture the tone and lore established by Diablo 2?and to invoke?medieval Christian paintings that depict angels and demons literally warring for the souls of humans. Art director John Mueller told?Polygon?more oppressive imagery would be toned down for the final product to make it “approachable,” but this could be a mistake. Fans have long been calling for the opposite, and there’s little point in trying to?compromise for a wider audience, since a game about slaying demons in spurts of gore will likely never?get less than an M rating. Blizzard might as well follow its instincts wherever they lead.

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  Diablo 4 - Hellgate

  Above all, the series has often been at its best when it embraces the dark theology it?references. A literal devil will always be more terrifying?than a sorcerer or warlord, precisely because it invokes fears many people have been raised to believe. Religious or not, many people are likely subconsciously worried about suffering after death – i.e., Hell. If players are more terrified, they’re more engaged, and it’s this horror aspect that helped set the original Diablo apart. Descending into the?tunnels under Tristram felt like Dante’s Inferno?instead of any other dungeon crawl.

  It could be that Blizzard?is fully aware of this and that any fan concerns are misplaced. Certainly, there’s evidence of that in Diablo 4’s first cinematic trailer:?Lilith has a veil made of flesh, after all.?Blizzard would do well to stick to this vision and see it through to the full release.

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  Next:?Diablo 4: Character Classes That Should Return From Previous Games

  Source: Polygon

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  About The Author

  

  Roger Fingas

  (305 Articles Published)

  Originally from Ottawa, Canada, Roger now lives with his family in Austin, Texas. He has years of experience in tech writing, and his gaming specialties include FPS and VR games on the PC.

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