Video games have a long and storied history of taking spiders — already an upsetting concept — and making them worse. Diablo IV seems more than prepared to live up to that legacy.
Today as part of a quarterly update post focused on art, Blizzard showed off a number of Diablo IV characters, armour sets, and enemies. While insights into how systems like armour dyeing will work are interesting, the baddies stole the show. There is, for example, the Blood Bishop, who is basically a giant exposed heart that pulses and writhes menacingly. Then there’s the Skeleton Lord, a sinewy abomination who seems to be under the mistaken impression that bones go on the outside of flesh, rather than underneath it.
But the centrepiece of Blizzard’s shop of horrors is easily the Spider, which rides a bloated, pockmarked corpse with the goal of “feeding upon and birthing spider spawn.” Associate art director Nick Chilano is very proud of it, even though it’s an affront to all of my senses.
“The spindly legs and back thorax instantly tell you what it is,” Chilano wrote. “That thin look of the legs as it moves down to a thicker body give it a nice balance to settle the shape language from top to bottom. The saturated red of the spider, on top of the cooler and more subdued body, help pop the spider visually so your eye catches it as soon as they show up on screen. When we look closer, you can see the spectacular highlights on the bloated body, the torn and pulled flesh, and the bulging pustules. So, up close gruesome details are visible from the game camera because of the clear shape and colour grouping.”
That’s a lot more words than I would have used to describe it, but that’s mostly because I cannot stop wordlessly staring as said spindly legs repeatedly probe holes in the corpse’s chest while pus-weeping egg sacks pulsate in its stomach. This creature is a marvel of artistic and graphical design. I hate it.