We don’t need to talk about why Diablo 3 is going to be a game worth looking at whenever the developers get around to releasing it, since our beta impressions spoke volumes. While the series has its place in history due to its mastery of RPG systems like crafting and inventory, gamers these days tend to enjoy a healthy dose of story with their gameplay. Blizzard has obviously heard the call, revealing a brand new cinematic trailer at this year’s Blizzcon that is sure to impress fans.

We don’t mean to imply that a perfectly-made RPG needs a grand and sprawling story to be worth playing, since more than a few games over the past year have disproved that theory. But with games getting more and more cinematic in presentation, and the community of players growing by the day, its in Blizzard’s best interest to attract more than existing fans to Diablo 3.

Nothing sends a clear message like a finely-crafted CG-cinematic cutscene, and thankfully the latest released brings plenty of details. The new villain for the game (of what may be several) is none other than Azmodan, the Lord of Sin. Previously considered a Lesser Evil, Azmodan looks to be gathering his very own army in a brand new attack on the land of Sanctuary.

He may not have been seen as powerful as the franchise’s past antagonists, but this brand new cinematic entitled ‘The Black Soulstone,’ is pulled from the campaign and paints a very threatening portrait. The scene depicts Deckard Cain’s niece Leah trying to understand the cryptic writings of her uncle, when Azmodan delivers a dark message of events to come.

Take a look now:

 httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlhWqmVeDno

We have to hand it to Blizzard, they sure know how to grab our attention. First it was the stunning opening cinematic for Cataclysm, and now we’ve got a dark and foreboding look at the stakes of Diablo 3. It’s hard to say exactly how much bearing this scene will have on the direct plot, and whether Azmodan will be acting alone, but it is definitely a look at the direction the developer is taking.

Die-hard fans will immediately begin speculating on what Azmodan’s appearance could mean in terms of story and gameplay, but we’re just happy to see that the game is taking steps to appeal to the un-indoctrinated. Knowing that Blizzard has got their health system working and a new crafting and looting mechanic in place is all well and good, but we enjoy a glimpse of the bigger picture.

We may not know exactly when Diablo 3 will be released, but it will certainly be next year. Now that (one of) the game’s main villains has been revealed, are you more or less excited to get your hands on a copy?

Diablo 3 will be released sometime in early 2012 for the PC, with a later console release being strongly implied by Blizzard.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

SCROLL FOR NEXT ARTICLE