The Past, Present, And Future Of Diablo”, a detailed report on the current situation at Blizzard published by video game blog Kotaku, revealed a lot of interesting information, among which is the rumor that the company had a scratched version of Diablo 4 had many similar aspects to Dark Souls. The project was codenamed Hades, and it was intended to be a hardcore action game with an over-the-shoulder perspective, instead of the top-down view that has become traditional in Diablo games.

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A canceled version of Diablo 4 features over-the-shoulder perspective

According to this report, the Hades project began after Blizzard decided to abandon the second expansion of Diablo 3, which led to the breakup of the team that was developing it. Those who stayed, Diablo 3 director Josh Mosqueira included, worked on this project for two years between 2014 and 2016, but it too was ultimately canceled.  Two sources from Kotaku said that even though a lot of effort had been put into the game, it just wasn't coming together.

After that, the team went on to work on two different things: The Diablo 3 DLC Rise of the Necromancer, and another Diablo 4 project, this one codenamed Fenris, which is reportedly the one being developed at the moment. A good news for those who hate the cartoony art style of Diablo 3, the project in development will supposedly follow the dark and gritty style of the first two entries in the franchise.

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Diablo 4 is reported to be taking after Diablo 1&2

This approach seems pretty reasonable. When Diablo 3 first came out, its colorful visual style was not well received. It strayed too far from what makes Diablo Diablo. Fans love the dark atmosphere of the first two Diablo games, and the sight of the Butcher bursting out of his chamber under the Tristram Cathedra yelling “Ahhhh…Fresh meat!” in Diablo 1 probably still haunts the nightmares of many people to this day. Returning to this style would, at the very least, attract the attention of long-time fans. On the other hand, though, it might also alienate relatively new players who got to know the series through Diablo 3 and its lighter style.

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Many fans prefer Diablo 3 to be darker

The report seems to be pretty optimistic about Diablo 4. Those who are unhappy about Diablo Immortal can also rest easy, as project Fenris is being developed by a completely separated from the one making the mobile title. Hopefully, we can hear more about this project in the coming year.