Blizzard

PS4 Diablo 3 may be playable offline, possible Blizzard PAX East surprise teased to press

PS4 Diablo 3 may be playable offline, possible Blizzard PAX East surprise teased to press

The story going around the Internet is that the recently-announced version of Diablo 3 for the PlayStation 3 and 4 will be playable offline. “You can have four people on the same screen - no split-screen, we just zoom the camera out. Or if you’re offline,” Blizzard production director John Hight told Geoff Keighley in a recent GameTrailers interview.

I reached out to Blizzard for confirmation that the console version will be playable online, and I couldn’t get a firm yes or no out the company, although I was told they’d be reaching out once they’re ready to go into “deeper detail.”

Is there another surprise waiting in Boston?

The idea of a console version of Diablo 3 where you can not only play with your friends on the same television, but also play offline, which is something that is impossible in the PC version, is incredibly tempting. It would also go a long way to kill the “always-on” rumors that have been spreading around the new consoles.

That’s not the fun bit though. While Blizzard and I were exchanging e-mails, I received an invitation for an event at PAX East. “We’ve been working on a little something, different from our other games, and we’re pleased to invite you to be the first to see it. It’s not a sequel, expansion, or that rumored next-gen MMO, but it’s something we’re excited for you to get your hands on,” the invitation stated. It’s described as the “new Blizzard project” later in the invitation.

Now, it’s very possible that this is just the general invitation to come check out Diabo 3 running on consoles. The game was officially announced after all, and we were told it would be playable at PAX East. If that’s the case, however, why not just say it? There’s no surprise to Diablo 3 at PAX East, so it makes no sense not to come out and make that explicit, right? I sent an e-mail back asking if this was an invitation to see Diabo 3, or if we can expect another surprise. I’ll let you know what I hear.

Even if the event and interview are simply for Diablo 3, I’m still excited. The game is going to feel very different once you have direct control of the player instead of clicking where you’d like them to move, there will now be a evade command to quickly escape the mobs of enemies, and there is even the possibility of offline play. It’s going to be an interesting way to play the game, and I’m looking forward to trying it out.

On the other hand, why not just say in the invitation we’ll be seeing Diablo 3? I am absolutely prepared to look silly when they get back to me to say that it’s simply Diablo 3, but until then, do you think there’s any chance there could be something interesting waiting for us in Boston? Any wild speculation?