Here's what we hope gets confirmed at Blizzard's upcoming BlizzCon 2021 event.
With BlizzCon 2021--officially known as BlizzConline--fast approaching, it's more than likely we're going to hear some exciting announcements about Blizzard's biggest new games. While the schedule is hashed out at this point, with several panels centered around the company's key projects, like Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4, we're hoping that there are some larger surprises in store too.
To commemorate the intense hype and anticipation we have approaching this weekend's festivities, we decided to wax on about what we'd love to hear confirmed. Below we've detailed our biggest dream announcements that we hope are made at BlizzConline 2021. What are your dream BlizzConline 2021 announcements that you desperately want to get made? Let us know in the comments below.
Announce A Remastered Version Of The Original Diablo
The Diablo series seems to be getting plenty of attention as of late with games like Diablo IV, the mobile spin-off Immortal, and rumors of a potential Diablo 2 remaster. While much of the attention is on those games, I think Blizzard's action-RPG series's original entry is long due for another look. This is the one big hope I have for BlizzCon. If Blizzard were to announce the original game's return with modernized visuals and mechanics, I would be delighted. Seeing the return of the original crew of dungeon-crawlers in a modern light sounds like an incredible way to revisit the series's roots. Plus, adding in co-op and other modern updates can make for a game that not only enhances what made the original game so novel at the time but also shows newcomers the beginnings of the loot-focused action-RPG as we know it. The series no doubt found its true identity with Diablo 2, but I think there's a lot of potential with having the original Diablo make a return. -- Alessandro Fillari, Editor
Bring Back StarCraft Ghost
I remember it like it was yesterday, seeing screenshots of this third-person action StarCraft spin-off that starred the side character Nova and was planned for PS2, GameCube, and Xbox. Then it was canceled. Of course, we have no idea what the quality of the game would have been, but it showed a lot of promise with a seemingly deep combat system, an emphasis on stealth, and Nova's psionic abilities.
Previously unreleased gameplay footage surfaced last year, which rekindled the memories of looking forward to this game. It's the longest of longshots (and probably never going to happen), but how dope would it be if it were rebooted as a current-gen game? I'm not sure what the direction is for the franchise, but StarCraft could use a stimpack nowadays. -- Michael Higham, Associate Editor
Shock The World With A Lost Vikings Reboot
While Blizzard is commonly known for games from the WarCraft, Overwatch, and Diablo franchises, there was a time where it was just a humble developer formerly known as Silicon & Synapse, creators of the odd adventure game called The Lost Vikings. This game had the bizarre concept of seeing a trio of Vikings kidnapped by aliens and having to use their different weapons to overcome the technologically advanced invaders. It was an odd game even back then, but there's still a charm to it. Now that Blizzard is a massive AAA developer with tons of resources, I wonder if there's potential for a possible return for the brave and resourceful Vikings. I wouldn't mind seeing a more large-scale open-world adventure game that leans heavily into co-op gameplay, and I think a game like that could really surprise fans. I'm sure Blizzard can just settle for re-releases of its older games, but I think there's something more worthwhile for this forgotten series. -- Alessandro Fillari, Editor
Debut A New Overwatch Character And Give Us New Reasons To Play
Like a shot from a Widowmaker perched in a dark corner of Kings Row, Activision Blizzard tore us apart with news that Overwatch 2 wouldn't be released in 2021. The investor call where this revelation was revealed hit the numerous Overwatch-obsessed members of the GameSpot team hard and created many questions about the future. Most importantly--what are we supposed to do until then?
The answer to that is obvious: Play more Overwatch. But as the days go by, it's become much more difficult to settle for the same old, same old. We've been securing the same points and pushing the same payloads as the same heroes for a bit too long now, which means Blizzard really needs to give us players who are just biding our time for the sequel something to get excited for in the first game. Ideally, a surprise new hero would be perfect. Yes, the studio has already said that Echo would be the last new hero for Overwatch, but given that Overwatch 2 is so, so far away, maybe a surprise reveal is in the cards. The game could always use more heroes.
Naturally, since we won't be able to play Overwatch 2, being able to see more of it is the next best thing. At the very least, I hope there's something akin to that brilliant Overwatch cinematic trailer that depicted the skirmish between Winston, Tracer, Reaper, and Widow--featuring Punch Kid and his emo brother. That was such a powerful way to draw people into the world of Overwatch long before they could play in it, and I'd love to see Blizzard supercharge the fandom again with something as cool. -- Tamoor Hussain, Managing Editor
Make Hearthstone A Wild Blizzard Property Mash-Up
Years ago, Blizzard announced it would be dropping the "Heroes of Warcraft" surname from Hearthstone. This decision was probably more stylistic than anything--the full name had been a bit clunky and the new, simpler "Hearthstone" was much more elegantly simple. But it raised the possibility that the studio was eyeing a similar approach to its (at the time) other popular free-to-play game, Heroes of the Storm. Could Hearthstone no longer be beholden strictly to the Warcraft franchise?
Apparently, no, that wasn't in the cards. (Ha!) But since then I've wondered what it would be like to see Blizzard turn Hearthstone into a Smash Bros.-like repository for all things Blizzard history. Both heroes and cards could honor franchises as diverse as Overwatch, StarCraft, Diablo, and Lost Vikings. It could be an unworkable mess, but it would be such a wild, daring swing. I think Blizzard has been making good, solid moves for the future of Hearthstone, but I'll always wonder what-if. Maybe someday I can swap my Priest hero portrait for Lúcio. -- Steve Watts, Associate Editor