By Liana ‘LiLi’ Ruppert
– November 22, 2018
It’s almost a joke now about how any game with any sort of difficulty will be immediately likened to that of Dark Souls, but in the instance of a scrapped Diablo IV idea – that’s exactly what the original game idea was tailored around.
Kotaku dove deep into the history behind Diablo and while many Blizzard fans have been anxiously awaiting actual news regarding the next full game, we do have an interesting insight into what it will be centered around – and what it no longer will be.
Unconfirmed Blizzard sources reportedly told the site that the initial vision for the fourth installment was to be very much like Dark Souls. It was going to be a “hardcored” dungeon crawler experience and would also introduce an over-the-shoulder camera style instead of Diablo’s usual mechanical perspective.
As we mentioned in our previous coverage about Diablo III’s cancelled DLC, work began on the new game almost immediately – though not to the smoothest of starts. Much of the original team has gone off to pursue other projects after a dejected vision shift for the franchise. Diablo III director Josh Mosqueira stayed on board for what was then referred to as “Project Hades,” until that Dark Souls-eque vision was also cancelled.
From there, Diablo III’s Rise of the Necromancer DLC work began where Code Fenris came into existence – the next phase for Diablo IV. This is also allegedly the current project codename for the fourth installment.
“There’s a lot of people who felt like Diablo 3 got away from what made Diablo Diablo in terms of art style and spell effects,” an anonymous Blizzard employee told the site. “They want to make [Fenris] gross, make it dark, [get rid of] anything that was considered cartoony in Diablo 3… Make what people were afraid of in Diablo 2, but modern.”
Since the bridge between Diablo II and Diablo III is so vast regarding the lore, this gap in the narrative is meant to be the space where Diablo IV will take off. Which is interesting, given that this exact premise is the entire appeal of the mobile game Diablo: Immortal.
To read the in-depth report from the site, check out the full expose here.