New Diablo 4 Gameplay Session Shows Off the Barbarian in Action

Latest Diablo 4 gameplay footage shows off Barbarian's Arsenal system, Blizzard's new cinematic approach to story-telling, and more.

This month, Game Informer’s monthly issue is all about Blizzard. In that vein, they’ve started to put up some in-game footage from the upcoming Diablo 4. First up, is a 24-minute gameplay session that shows off the Barbarian in full combat. This new footage gives us some brand-new insight into a few of the new features coming to Diablo 4. Give it a watch below.

There is a lot to unpack here. Seeing some of the stuff the devs talked about at Blizzcon is neat. For example, early in the demo, we get to see the Arsenal system working in battle. This system lets the Barbarian equip up to four weapons to use in combat. You can change which skills use which weapons and completely customize how your abilities affect your opponents. In the early stages of the demo,  you can also see a big change coming to Diablo 4: a more cinematic approach to story-telling.

In every other Diablo game, your character’s model is purely used for dress-up. Blizzard never really uses them in cut-scenes or to help move the story along. This demo shows how Blizzard is going to use your character more as it tells the story. We see a transitional cut-scene that features an up-close look at the Barbarian. At first, I found the change a little odd; however, if Blizzard does it right, I’m more than happy to get a bit more story-telling in my loot grinding.

The demo also gave a quick look at runes and runewords, which are making their return from Diablo 2. These seem a lot more open than they were in D2. You won’t be as locked into finding specific combinations to make useable options. This opens up customization quite a bit, but also means players might have less trading options available. One of my biggest video game achievements was spending a month trading my way up to a Zod rune and making my own “Breath of the Dying” flail. That said, if the change opens up runewords for more players, it’s probably a net win.

The full demo obviously shows off a lot of the Barbarian in combat. In that respect, it looks like a lot more Diablo; however, the new additions and darker tone have me excited about the game’s future. Diablo 4 doesn’t have a release window yet but will be coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One when it eventually arrives.

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Ricky Frech

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