Diablo IV’s art director on the gritty tone: ‘Darkness does not mean bleakness’

Diablo IV’s art director on the gritty tone: ‘Darkness does not mean bleakness’


When Diablo II launched in 2000, it was praised for its grittiness, injecting a sense of realism into an otherwise dark, fantastical realm. With Diablo III, things went in a more expressive direction, with a style that art director John Mueller describes as “painterly.” Now, with the upcoming Diablo IV, Mueller says the goal is to blend those two approaches. “With technology the way it is now,” he tells The Verge, “we can have the best of both worlds.”

One of the challenges with a game like this is creating a world that feels dark and foreboding, yet also one that players want to spend hours and hours exploring. Diablo games are the kind that players typically lose themselves in, scouring dungeons for the best loot and teaming up with…

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