The game wasn’t always too bright and colorful as today. As we can see from some new screenshots from the title’s early development, there was a darker version of Diablo 3 in the beginning.
One of the biggest criticisms that Diablo 3 faced, was about its graphics. Its “World of Warcraft” bright and (a-bit) cartoonish art direction caused negative comments from the fans of the franchise. To be honest, Diablo 3 is indeed colorful when compared to the extremelly dark atmosphere of the first two games. However, according to some new screenshots posted by former Blizzard North artist Oscar Cuesta, Diablo 3 was intended to be as dark as its predecessors.
Cuesta said the models “were pretty low polygon and we were only using base color maps,” and they’re obviously incomplete, but even so it’s clear that the initial vision for Diablo 3 was a much more direct continuation of Diablo 2: Grim and Gothic as hell but relatively restrained and muted. These screenshots were posted several months ago by the artist, but were collected yesterday at the Diablo fan site, PureDiablo.
According to Blizzard, Diablo 4 will be much darker and creepier than Diablo 3 and it will bring back the oppressive darkness from the first two games. That negative reception to the change in art style eventually waned, but never completely died down, so we really hope the company will not do the same mistake twice. You can check for yourself some images from the early development below.
Be sure to read the rumours about the Diablo 2 Remastered.