Feature

Game on for Diablo and Overwatch

Release dates for Overwatch 2 (far left) and Diablo IV (left) have yet to be announced.
Release dates for Overwatch 2 (above) and Diablo IV have yet to be announced.
Release dates for Overwatch 2 (far left) and Diablo IV (left) have yet to be announced.
Release dates for Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV (above) have yet to be announced.

Key announcements at this year's BlizzCon include new versions of two popular video game franchises

New versions of two popular video game franchises - Diablo and Overwatch - were among the key announcements at BlizzCon, the annual gaming convention by famed developer Blizzard Entertainment, held last weekend in Anaheim, California.

Blizzard unveiled Diablo IV, the fourth generation of its genre-defining action role-playing game (RPG), and Overwatch 2, the second version of its team-based multiplayer first-person shooter.

Here is what you should know about the two games.

DIABLO IV

The game takes place decades after the events of Diablo III. Humanity and heaven have suffered great losses, with heaven forced to close its gates. Mankind has been shut out and left on his own.

This particular slice of hopelessness happens right when Lilith makes her triumphant return.

She is Mephisto's daughter and represents a link to an even greater threat, suggesting that she is a mere stepping stone to a bigger antagonist.

On the gameplay side, Diablo IV remains a classic isometric hack-and-slash action-RPG - a genre that the original game defined - and features an incredibly grim, non-linear campaign.

The game will contain a shared open world with five distinct regions, along with a weather and a day/night cycle. As usual, this open world will be littered with hundreds of dungeons and legendaries to find and loot.

The five regions have unique biomes and geological features, with social hubs such as villages and towns, where players can meet one another and receive quests.

Diablo IV can be completed without engaging with social abilities, and players can always go to the new player-versus-player (PvP) zones if they do not like making friends.

Dungeons are still randomised and so are exterior dungeons. They are incredibly dark - keeping players on their toes. Players will still be able to go to hell, but we did not get a close look at that.

Three classes were revealed for the game - Sorceress, Barbarian and Druid - but there will be five classes in total at launch.

The Barbarian will arrive with the Arsenal System, featuring four weapon slots and allowing players to use one-and two-handed weapons in the same build.

Items can be assigned to each skill slot and the Barbarians will automatically pull out the weapon they need depending on what skill players use.

On the Druid side of things, the developers have replaced fire magic with storm and earth magic, stating that fire magic did not feel in tune with nature.

Customisation is a bigger thing in Diablo IV than it has ever been in the series, with the game allowing players to fully customise their characters. Hair, skin, scars, jewellery, tattoos and more can all be customised, along with the usual talent trees and skill ranks.

Diablo IV will be released on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but there is no confirmed release date.

OVERWATCH 2

There is a new Push PvP mode in Overwatch 2. It is a new addition to the list of core game modes. This means it will be permanently featured on the Quick Play and Competitive menus alongside standard ones such as Payload.

Basically, in Push, players start from opposite ends of a symmetrical map, making their way towards a large robot located at the centre.

From there, they will have to escort the robot and the barricade marker to the opponent's side of the map. Whoever gets his marker further into enemy territory by the end of the timer wins.

In addition, there are all-new player-versus-environment (PvE) story and hero missions.

The story missions allow players to take control as one of four heroes to complete certain objectives.

The hero missions will supposedly form the bulk of Overwatch 2's PvE replayable missions. They are divided by location, such as Route 66 and the new Rio De Janeiro.

The other big piece of PvE content has to do with the introduction of the levelling and talent system.

As gamers play with the various heroes, they will gain experience and level up. After achieving a certain level, they will unlock new abilities, or Talents, which they can equip to suit their play style.

Like Diablo IV, there is no confirmed release date for Overwatch 2.

But it will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

•This content first appeared on hardwarezone.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2019, with the headline 'Game on for Diablo and Overwatch'. Print Edition | Subscribe