After an absence of almost 12 years, hell is about to break loose once more as the popular Diablo franchise returns. We check out the Lord of Terror's comeback.
Since arriving in 1996, the Diablo franchise has spawned comics, novels and a series of PC releases that have sold around 20m copies worldwide.
Now, 11 years since its last outing, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, gamers can return to the dark world of Sanctuary in Diablo III.
Retaining the spontaneous levels, detailed classes, near-endless loot and merciless waves of bloodthirsty monsters that made the series so popular, Diablo III looks set to make itself the most successful entry yet. It includes five classes, a deadly new Inferno mode and team-based player-versus-player Arena, where users can prove their abilities in intense duels.
Gamers can choose to step into the shoes of a Barbarian who can shrug off enemies with ground shattering slams. Then there’s the Wizard, which gives players the ability to burn, freeze and confuse the enemy. Demon Hunters can attack from a distance and lay lethal traps, while Monks boast healing powers and Witch Doctors can generate poison clouds, zombies, spiders and swarms of locusts.
Dark fantasy comeback
Diablo III retains the core isometric RPG dungeon-crawling gameplay that made the previous titles a hit. But it now boasts a fresh 3D engine, a revised inventory management system and an Auction House which allows for swifter item trading. Buying and selling in-game goods with other players online was a big part of previous Diablo games, and now users can even trade using real money.
Gamers can enlist the help of customisable followers including Eirena the Enchantress, Lyndon the Scoundrel and Kormac the Templar. The advanced Nightmare and Hell difficulty modes are also available for fans wanting a bigger challenge. Then there’s the brutal Inferno setting which promises the toughest Diablo experience yet.
Diablo III is set to bring the franchise back into the spotlight with what looks destined to be the most successful instalment to date. Blizzard has a reputation for developing quality, top-selling PC titles, and it’s highly unlikely Diablo III will be an exception.
Diablo III: Collector’s Edition
For die-hard fans of the franchise, the Diablo III: Collector’s Edition provides the ultimate package. The set includes the game, a Soulstone-style USB that contains Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, a ‘skull base’, art book, a behind the scenes Blu-ray/DVD set, soundtrack and extra in-game content.
Free-way to hell
Fans of the Diablo franchise that signed up for Blizzard’s World of Warcraft Annual Pass will be able to claim a free digital copy of Diablo III. More than 1m players have already signed up for the Annual Pass.
How to be a demon hunter
BradyGames has produced the official Diablo III strategy guide, which comes in both standard and hardcover limited edition guises.
A brief history of Diablo
Blizzard’s much-loved PC series has been around for over 15 years. It has become a firm favourite with the hardcore RPG devotee and spawned a sequel in 2000. Blizzard is now exploring the possibility of bringing the franchise to consoles.