Media reports from the Bliz event last week brought us interesting details about the artistic, 2D style game and character introductions previewed at the event. No images have yet been revealed, (filming was not allowed during the presentation, and Blizzard hasn’t released any official views) but the cinematic was described as similar to an illustrated book coming to life. With sound and narration, and animation, of course.
What we didn’t know is if we’d see just those, or if there would also be the fully, 3D style of cinematics, like what we saw in the 2008 intro cinematic. Bashiok’s answers to a thread today cleared up that confusion nicely:
Bashiok: Those who visited for the recent press tour saw the first minute or so of the intro cinematic, which is done in a stylized ‘sketch’ look. The idea being it’s Cain relating his prophecy via his journal, so it’s sort of his journal come alive, if you will. It’s also a lot cooler than it may sound (and on that note the voice/music/sfx were temp in the version we showed).
The 10 intro class cinematics (one for each class and gender) take the same style, but beyond that everything is high detail, high realism, holy-crap cinematics we’ve all come to love. And there’s a lot of it. And they are so bad ass. You’ll be happy.
So you don’t have a nice, out-of-the-gate, kick to the nuts cinematic like D2? Kind of an odd way to open up a game. Are you shown the intro cinematic, then create a character, see their cinematic? What are these in-game cutscenes like?
Bashiok: Like I said, they only saw the first minute or so of the entire intro cinematic which was the stylized bit with Cain reciting some of his journal. You start up the game, see the intro for the first time, log in, create a character, see the character intro, then start playing. It’s a logical flow.
Will the intro cinematic be included in the beta?
Bashiok: Good question. I’ll find out.
 No cinematics will be present in the Diablo 3 Beta.
I always skipped Diablo II’s cinematics cause i was online and didnt want to miss the next acts rush or hold up the players. Is there a way to replay them later?
Bashiok: Indeed! But, they’re pretty info-heavy*, I wouldn’t recommend skipping them. Personally I’m going to play the game alone for the first run through Normal, you can take your time, watch cinematics, and you get the extra story from having a follower.
*Info-heavy meaning huge spoilers, meaning I would avoid youtube/forums/the world during your first playthrough (once the game is released) if you want to avoid such things.
That’s great news, IMHO. The stylish 2D character and game intros sounded cool, but not if they came at the expense of the full motion, 3d, realistic cinematic stuff Blizzard’s Cinematic Department turns out. It seemed certain we would, and that the Leah-narrated intro cinematic was a bunch of highlights taken from it, but it’s nice to have that confirmed.
Incidentally, we’ve got a nice presentation of Deckard Cain’s Journal in the wiki, whence came the sample images embedded into this post. Sadly, you’ll have to use your imagination to see the animations and hear the narration, for now. (Well, not entirely. You can hear a sample of the game intro and the male [/wiki]Demon Hunter[/wiki]‘s dialogue, courtesy of the WorldStone Keep.)