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Blizzard unveils Diablo 3

Zach Yonzon

Despite an entire week of misleading ice and blue-lit eyes that was supposed to make people think it was the Lich King, Blizzard unveiled earlier today one of the most anticipated game releases in a long time, Diablo 3. It wasn't the best kept secret, as the week leading up to the event had the entire gaming community buzzing with rumors (and hopes) of a sequel to one of Blizzard's big three properties.

Diablo is one of Blizzard's most popular properties, along with Warcraft and Starcraft. The first game in the series, a dark fantasy role-playing game, was released in 1997 to much critical success. Its sequel, Diablo 2, was released in 2000, with equally glowing reviews. Diablo received a 9.6 on GameSpot's review, the highest score on a PC game to date. Diablo 2 holds a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records for being the fastest selling computer game ever sold, with more than 1 million units sold in its first two weeks of release. It still holds the record to date.

At the Worldwide Invitational, lead designer for Diablo 3 Jay Wilson, formerly of Relic Entertainment and designer on Warhammer 40K Dawn of War, spoke about the game. The latest sequel will be a 3D hack and slash with an isometric view, with at least one familiar class -- the Barbarian, an interface with health and mana bubbles. The game world will have destructible environments and quest or story events, "more so than previous games." Alongside the old (yet new) Barbarian class is the new Witch Doctor class, with spells and a pet mechanic. Diablo 3 will also see the return of Deckard Cain, one of Diablo's most popular characters.

Update: The official site is up, with screenshots, artwork, and the cinematic and gameplay videos. And oh, a kickass picture of Tyrael. Stay a while, and listen!

WoW Insider is on the ground in Paris at the Blizzard Invitational bringing you the big announcements and latest Wrath news as it happens. Check out our latest coverage!

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