It’s BlizzCon weekend, which means exciting news for the gaming world. Just within the first day of the annual convention, major updates for two of Blizzard’s franchises were announced–Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV.
I’ve played a wee bit of Overwatch and a ton of Diablo. While I’m much more of a Warcraft fan myself, Overwatch has certainly made Blizzard much more relevant with younger generations of gamers, and the full cast of characters and interwoven story lines have international appeal. I’ve always been impressed by how fans take their chosen franchise to a new levels with their art and fan-fiction, but the Overwatch crowd always outdoes itself.
Now, the reveal. Between the voice-acting and storytelling–somewhere within the eight-minute cinematic I got goosebumps and started tearing up. It’s official, the cavalry is here and Overwatch is BACK.
The second Overwatch game will of course feature new heroes and skills, along with every single one of the original characters. Oh, and cosmetics. You can’t forget cosmetics. There will also apparently be far more PvE elements, according to game director Jeff Kaplan, so we’ll see how all those modes balance out.
We’ve been hearing about Diablo IV for awhile now, but that’s also because it’s been seven years since Diablo III was first released. Each iteration of the series has come about a decade apart, and whether that has benefited the franchise’s popularity is debatable. Apparently the Starcraft-based FPS was cancelled in order to push Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV, so hopefully the new games benefited from the bonus budget.
Honestly, video game cinematics deserve their own Academy Awards section. Here’s a great example of why. (Not for the faint of heart.)
Anyway, it’s clear that Diablo IV is taking a much darker tone that’s more reminiscent of the first two games. (I love horror, so, I’m into it.) It’s set many years after the events of the third game, so there’s no telling where it will take us. Except–the unholy Mother of Sanctuary, Daughter of Hatred, Queen of the Succubi, (and Leah’s cousin lol) Lilith, has been summoned.
Lilith made an appearance in the Pandemonium event in Diablo II and was only mentioned in Diablo III. There’s a ton of lore to her existence, regardless, so I’m sure fans will be combing through the archives for a bit. Here’s to hoping the story in D4 is much stronger than it was in the last game.
Blizzard had been under fire for their recent handling of a situation, in which HK gamer Blitzchung publicly broadcasted his support of the protests in Hong Kong during the Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament. He was subsequently banned and disqualified from receiving his Hearthstone title and winnings, which led to the hashtag #BoycottBlizzard trending for weeks. While Blizzard has since tried to do some damage control, many gamers have opted to stand in solidarity with Blitzchung by not posting about BlizzCon. There have been protests outside of the convention center in Anaheim, as well.
By dropping updates about two major titles Blizzard likely hopes that the news is big enough to overshadow recent events, and—let’s be honest–it is for most gamers.
Here are the full reveal presentations for both Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV that were shown at BlizzCon Day 1.