Retail chain Best Buy has created a ruckus this weekend when its Rochester, Minnesota store put up a promo board with digital countdown clock claiming Diablo III is scheduled for release on February 1st 2012. A follow up report with the store itself confirms the existence of this lifesize ad and an employee stated that said store will be open at midnight to support the launch, which isn't really much of a confirmation as it actually said so on the board so for all we know the BB person just read it right then and there. If that wasn't enough BestBuy.com lists the standard and collector's edition for release on Feb. 1st, UK retailer Gameplay now has it in stores for Feb. 3rd, while Target.com trails a few days behind on Feb. 7, 2012.
While all of this might lead a lot of people to believe February is Diablo time, the sign itself does not look "official" as some of the stickers/signs on it are crooked and out of proportion, and there's even a blatant misspelling (Feburary instead of February). Blizzard's community manager Micah Whipple tweeted that the date is in no way official, stating "We can't really keep every individual retail shop from making up a date." That statement would be in line with previous announcements where Blizzard said it would announce the date two months before release, and that stores would not know either until that moment.
Diablo III is being developed as the definitive action role-playing game, and a true continuation of the Diablo series. Players will create a hero from one of five distinct classes, such as barbarian or witch doctor, each equipped with an array of spells and abilities. As these heroes adventure through rich and varied settings, unraveling an epic storyline and engaging in combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, they’ll grow in experience and ability and acquire items of incredible power.
The game takes place on Sanctuary, a world of dark fantasy. Unbeknownst to most of its inhabitants, Sanctuary was saved some twenty years ago from the demonic forces of the underworld by a few brave and powerful heroes. Most of those warriors who directly faced Hell’s armies -- and were fortunate enough to survive -- went mad from their experiences. And most of the others have buried their haunted memories and pushed the horrors from their thoughts. In Diablo III, players will return to Sanctuary to confront evil in its many forms once again.
Diablo III will pick up the story twenty years after the events of Diablo II. Mephisto, Diablo, and Baal have been defeated, but the Worldstone, which once shielded the inhabitants of the world of Sanctuary from the forces of both the High Heavens and the Burning Hells, has been destroyed, and evil once again stirs in Tristram. Playing as a hero from one of five distinct character classes, players will acquire powerful items, spells, and abilities as they explore new and familiar areas of Sanctuary and battle hordes of demons to safeguard the world from the horrors that have arisen.
- Five powerful character classes to choose from, including the barbarian and witch doctor
- Brand-new 3D graphics engine enhanced with spectacular visual effects and Havok physics
- Numerous indoor and outdoor areas detailing new regions in the world of Sanctuary
- Interactive environments with dangerous traps and obstacles, and destructible elements
- Randomly generated worlds bolstered by scripted events for endless and dynamic gameplay
- Vast assortment of fiendish monsters, with unique attack patterns and behaviors
- New quest system and character-customization options for the ultimate action RPG experience
- Multiplayer functionality over Battle.net with support for cooperative and competitive play
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