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Diablo III male demon hunter revealed

"He's more of a Clint Eastwood type."

The male demon hunter is the latest addition to Diablo III's line-up of playable characters, Eurogamer can exclusively reveal.

Exclusive screenshots and art of the character are below.

Like the female version unveiled in spectacular fashion at last year's Blizzcon event, he's a weapon-based ranged character cut from dark, mysterious cloth.

"This is a class where you get to play at being a little bit on the edgy side," art director Christian Lichtner told Eurogamer. "This is a class that knows things about demons that no other class knows. They understand the nature of the conflict that Sanctuary is in - they understand that it's a fight between heaven and hell."

Lichtner explained that the development team was shooting for a lean, mean, muscular aesthetic befitting such an enigmatic, shadowy figure.

"The female demon hunter is obviously a lot sexier. The male? Well, he's more of a Clint Eastwood type. He's dark and moody – you don't want to meet him in a dark alley."

"He's definitely the most stylish, most metropolitan of our characters," added senior designer Jason Bender. "He's got a modern sensibility in that regard. I think of Trent Reznor when I look at him."

According to Lichtner, the design team tried out a number of different looks on their way to the sleek, agile killing machine you see below.

"When we first talked about the demon hunter... early on he was more like a Ranger. He looked like Aragorn from Lord of the Rings," Lichtner explained. "It was very straightforward and read correctly but there was nothing exciting about it, so we added a bit of a twist.

"We experimented with more of a desert ranger feel - like a Middle Eastern influence - and even that wasn't quite working. We gave him dual-wielding knives at one point."

In classic Blizzard fashion, his final form was the result of round after round of iteration.

"People would be surprised at how much thought and design goes into each class," Lichtner insisted.

"As a result, both on the male and the female side, we talk to both genders to see how appealing each class is to them. We want to make sure that when we create our female classes they aren't overly objectified. These are not your standard high fantasy characters.

"On the male side it's the same idea. We want these to be believable characters that feel like they have a real background; that there's some meat behind them."

That should complete the list of available character classes for the keenly-anticipated action RPG sequel. You've got male and female strains of Monk, Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Witch Doctor and Wizard to choose from.

There's still no firm word on when you'll get to put them all through their paces though. Blizzard top dog Rob Pardo last week said that a 2011 release was the goal, while Activision CFO Thomas Tippl hinted that, at the latest, it will be on shelves in 2012.