Step aside, Butcher: Diablo 4 Season 5's PTR introduces Burning Butcher, an even more menacing version of the classic foe

Diablo 4
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Prepare yourselves, Diablo fans – Diablo 4's upcoming fifth season is set to give a makeover to one of the action RPG's scariest classic enemies, The Butcher, and he's looking more menacing than ever in his spicy new form.

Although Season 5 isn't actually out yet, and isn't expected to be until early August, its Public Test Realm server was live from June 25 up until July 2, giving players a full week to get a taste of what's in store. Some of those bravely delving into the depths soon found themselves battling it out with a familiar face with a new name, Burning Butcher. The regular ol' Butcher has been in Diablo 4 yelling "fresh meat" and hunting down players since launch, but if this new look is anything to go by, it seems his new counterpart could be even more tough.

As spotted in this video by Diablo content creator Rizarjay, Burning Butcher comes blazing onto the screen with a huge, flaming charge attack, and although he's a little difficult to see amongst all the action, his appearance looks even more terrifying. He has more horns on his head, and a red-hot, lava-like glow which seems to be emanating from cracks in the skin on his back. 

The BURNING BUTCHER Added in Diablo 4 Season 5 Public Test Realm - YouTube The BURNING BUTCHER Added in Diablo 4 Season 5 Public Test Realm - YouTube
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While Rizarjay deals with him very quickly (so quickly that you might want to slow the video down if you want a proper look at the guy), in the comment section, the YouTuber clarifies that he'd appeared on a Tier 3 Infernal Horde. Considering Rizarjay was playing with a "geared out Barbarian," too, Burning Butcher was never going to put up a massive fight in this case. "He should definitely be more difficult when Season 5 comes," the YouTuber speculates.

There's no doubt Burning Butcher's look is intimidating, but perhaps nothing can compare to the supersized version of the regular one that was discovered in the game last year. He's not supposed to be that big, and some speculated a dungeon modifier may have been the cause of his untimely growth spurt, but nevertheless, he was a very terrifying encounter indeed.

At this point, it's hard to tell just how deadly a foe Burning Butcher is going to be. There's no doubt that Blizzard is going to be making plenty of adjustments to the season based on the feedback from the PTR, and he might end up getting caught up in those. We still have around a month to wait before that full launch is upon us, so the new foe will just have to sit tight for his barbecued fresh meat for now.

Diablo 4 head says "we hear very loudly" that the action RPG isn't fulfilling the sword and board paladin experience fans want, but Blizzard wanted to "bring a new experience" for the DLC.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.