As many avid Blizzard fans (or gamers in general, really) already know, Diablo III’s release is less than a week away from becoming reality. The May 15 launch date is welcome news to jonesing players who were unable to get their hands on a beta invite during Blizzard’s extensive beta-testing period (if you’re interested, you can check out our earlier impressions of the beta here). We already know that Diablo III begins in the town of New Tristram, where a fallen star has plunged through the town’s cathedral, leaving scorched earth and a plethora of demons in its wake. As (bad) luck would have it, the star has also awakened the undead, who are now laying siege to the township. Enter, you.
For those gamers new to the Diablo franchise but wanting to jump directly into the fray with Diablo III, IGN released a video this past week summarizing all the lore of the first two games in five minutes. The Diablo series has gone more than a decade between entries, so ardent fans might also be forgiven for needing a refresher.
As the release date nears, Blizzard has begun to ramp up marketing and promotion, which culminated this week in the release of a seven minute animated short starring the Lord of Terror himself, detailing a significant turning point in the eternal war between Heaven and Hell.
Unfortunately, we here at Tor.com do not yet have the requisite clout to obtain an advance copy of the game for review purposes, so our game review will not be ready by May 15. (If anyone from Blizzard is reading and wishes to remedy this sad state of affairs, please contact us!) However, be on the lookout for our take on Blizzard’s latest offering as soon as our pre-orders are in our grubby little hands.
In other gaming news this week, Wolfenstein 3D — a founding father of FPS — turns 20, Bethesda looks at Skyrim, then thinks “NOT BIG ENOUGH!” and announces an Elder Scrolls MMORPG, Nintendo and Sony engage in some old-fashioned trash talkin’, Dead Space 3 brings co-op gaming into the fold, and Bioshock Infinite gets delayed.
- A very happy 20th anniversary shout-out to Wolfenstein 3D, the first shooter I ever played and one of the historical pillars of the FPS genre. In honor of this milestone, Bethesda has both released a browser-based version of the original game (meaning you can play Wolfenstein 3D at work today if you so choose... not that we advocate that or anything) and made the game available as a free download for iOS users. To commemorate the occasion, here’s a screenshot of Hitler wielding akimbo chainguns.
- Penny Arcade’s PAX Prime, their annual Seattle-based gaming extravaganza, sold out completely in less then a week. Hope you got your tickets. We did!
- Legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto took a few potshots at Sony’s latest handheld platform, the PlayStation Vita. Drama!
- Final Fantasy X brought gamers many gifts, including an incredible story, amazing visuals, and the best/worst video game laugh of all time, courtesy of Tidus. Thanks, Kotaku.
- Bioshock Infinite has been delayed until February 26, 2013, purportedly to make the game even cooler. Do developers ever give any other reason?
- Dead Space 3 does co-op. Now you can blast individual limbs off of horrific aliens with a friend! Note: also makes for an ideal date night. Tor.com not responsible for any resultant break-ups.
- Gabriel Knight creator Jane Jensen’s new studio, Pinkerton Road, has achieved its Kickstarter goal with time to spare for a sci-fi/adventure game in the GK vein entitled Moebius.
- Finally, Bethesda and Zenimax Online Studios have announced the development of an Elder Scrolls MMORPG, in which the player will traverse across the entire kingdom of Tamriel, not just the puny, tiny little province of Skyrim.