Unless you’ve been living in cave for the past 12 hours, you likely know that Blizzard has announced Diablo 3 at the 2008 Worldwide Invitational in Paris. This has been one of my most anticipated titles for the last five or so years, so I am quite ecstatic about the announcement. I was curious as to how the audio direction would unfold with the absence of series veteran Matt Uelmen, but from the sounds of things, Diablo 3 is in capable hands.
View gameplay footage along with our initial impressions of the audio after the jump.
The 20-minute video starts with some choral work alongside what sounds to be an orchestral arrangement of the beloved Tristram theme. The music is considerably more bombastic than the music that graced previous Diablo titles, suggesting that it is perhaps the game’s theme track, and not intended for use in-game.
From here, the dark, gritty ambiance that we’ve come to expect from the Diablo series takes over, complete with grating metallic noises and pulsating atmospheres. You should also recognize many familiar sound effects, including the sounds of dropped items and potions.
The second video first treats viewers to a boss encounter that features a tense orchestral theme with cool flute sections before heading outdoors into the wilderness for ethnic drum beats, choral pads, and awesome bell tone (maybe xylophone?) accents. An electric guitar even wails away in the distance, providing a sweet listening experience.
Based on their previous works, the atmospheric portions could come via Derek Duke while the orchestral pieces would likely be the work of audio director Russell Brower, although I’m sure we’ll learn more moving forward.
As a huge fan of the original Diablo and Diablo 2 scores, I must say I am impressed with what I’ve heard so far in Diablo 3. I do worry that the epic orchestral music may be out of place in the solemn world of Diablo, but we’ll have to see how the game takes shape over the next year. Check out the videos below and tell us what you think of the game’s audio. Does this new music satisfy your Diablo cravings, or is it simply an imitation of Matt Uelmen’s past work?