Game Music

BlizzCon 08: New Diablo III Tunes, New Co-Composer Announced

October 12, 2008 | | 6 Comments Share thison Facebook BlizzCon 08: New Diablo III Tunes, New Co-Composer Announcedon Twitter

I am really excited about Diablo III. I’ve been looking forward to the game for years, and now that it’s officially on the way, I’ve been dying to get my hands on it.  Although many guessed that Diablo III would be playable at BlizzCon, I was pretty skeptical given that the game had previously only been shown by Blizzard staff.

Well, I was wrong, and the game was playable on the show floor at BlizzCon this weekend.  Four playable classes, including the newly announced wizard were playable, and gamers had the choice of engaging in a single or multiplayer campaign through Tristram and three layers of the catacombs in the approximately 30-minute long demo.  It was a great chance to hear some of the music in the game, which is sounding quite good.

Read about the three tracks featured in the demo after the jump.

I’ll start by saying it was reassuring to see that the game still felt like Diablo. Swarms of enemies and loot were around every corner, and the team has even added in new elements to enhance the game experience. Players no longer have to click on gold to pick it up, but rather just walk over it, and the mini-quests that players can complete for extra experience points are a nice addition. On the other hand, the healing orb idea that has taken the place of healing potions has made the game quite diffuclt.  I found it hard to beat through the swarms to get ahold of them, or to find them at all when my HP was low.

Without spoiling too much, the Tristram area looked really great with a thick layer of fog overhead. This area offers a new track that happens to be one of my favorites so far. It features a familiar 12-string guitar along with a sparse string backing that creates a desolate atmosphere. While the guitar melody has no hint of the Tristram theme in it, it’s good to hear something new rather than having every track in the game rely on the classic “Tristram” theme. Interestingly, at the evening’s Video Games Live performance, Tommy Tallarico introduced guitarist Laurence Juber as a co-composer of the music of Diablo III.

From here, players descended into the catacombs. While the track here was featured in the demo at the Worldwide Invitational, the narration was in the way of the sound. This track offeres a taste of what we’ve known and loved from the Diablo series: wailing ambiance, rhythmic percussion, and lots of unsettling dissonance. I am again guessing that this is the work of Derek Duke although this has not yet been confirmed (UPDATE: This is likely the work of Joseph Lawrence).

Once players progress to the demo’s boss battle (not the same one from the WWI), the familiar “Diablo III Overture” is cued, but the piece is mixed into the game at a much lower volume than we heard in the previous demos. I had been afraid that the bombastic orchestral take on “Tristram” would be too much for the quiet and twisted world of Diablo, but the simple change in volume actually does wonders for working the piece into the game.

I’m certain that this is only the beginning. In an interview with Russell Brower that we conducted at BlizzCon (which we’ll have for you later), it was mentioned that the audio team has created 7 hours of music for Wrath of the Lich King. I hope this is an indication that we’ll be hearing a lot of new music in Diablo III. In the meantime, we can only watch for more trailers and demos while we wait for the game’s release.

With Russel Brower, Laurence Juber, and Joseph Lawrence on board for Diablo III, are you confident that the music in the game will live up to its predecessors? Would you buy a 7-volume soundtrack of the game if it did indeed feature that much music?

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