Diablo 3, being a sequel to Diablo 2 once bared the same grim art style as its predecessor. Believe it or not but before Blizzard went and made the game all colourful, sparking criticism from fans, the game actually looked dark and unsettling. However, fans slowly began to accept the colourful Diablo 3 art style after a while.
Oscar Cuesta, a former artist at Blizzard North recently shared a number of early pieces of environmental art created in an early build of Diablo 3. In addition, the build showcases what the game originally looked like before the developers changed the art style. The artwork was posted almost seven years ago but was only recently spotted online.
If anything, the game looks quite dated. In comparison to the current Diablo 3, it has not aged as well as the current art style. Most likely the main reason why Blizzard decided to opt for a cel-shaded game was to give it longer life visually.
Oscar Cuesta explains that the models were very low polygon and were only using base colour maps.
Take a look at the artwork down below (click to enlarge)
We know Blizzard has taken a darker route with the upcoming Diablo 4. The game will feature a dark open world with more blood and unsettling visuals. Just the way we like it. The game is currently in development for PS4, Xbox One and PC.