Diablo III Vs. Fallout 3

By now everyone heard about the announcement of Diablo III, with good old Leon Boyarsky of Fallout fame as Lead World Designer. Comparisons between Diablo III and Fallout 3 were bound to happen, with NMA pointing to Solivagant’s blog at Destructoid with a passionate and controversial piece called How to make a proper Sequel:

And now we got D3. It looks the same as D2 and D1. Two orbs. Mouse clicking. Iconic classes. It looks gorgeous as well. Using the same isometric (sic) perspective. And from what I can see, people are lapping it up. People are loving it, me included. Why? Well I guess it’s reassuring to see a team that is made up of several different members from D2’s team (even though it’s still Blizzard) behind the steering wheel of this game, and how they managed to make the game be like what Diablo III SHOULD be like, in the hearts of fans and gamers in general.

All of this disturbs me. Why? Because I’m a fan of another franchise. One where action takes a sidestep into turn-based chaos, and dialog, options, different routes, take the center stage. A game whose setting was, and still is, unique.

You may know the series called Fallout. But what the gamewebs and the magazines and the boards are feeding you, isn’t what Fallout is. That’s a definition I’ll leave for the fans of the franchise, known throughout the net as the most rabid fans there are, “glittering gems of hatred” as one has called them.[…]

So what is it Bethesda? Do you think Blizzard doesn’t have the resources to pull of a Diablo III in full 3d mode, with a third person perspective? They tried something like that with StarCraft: Ghost, and when they realized it wasn’t working out, they abandoned that concept. Now we have StarCraft 2, completely recognizable as a true sequel to the first RTS gem, and Diablo 3 which is shaping up to be exactly what the fans were clamoring for.

Before Bethesda unleashed their screenshots and their trailer, I still held hope that they would create a new engine, and shower us with isometric turn based goodness. But I was wrong.

It would take Blizzard to show them how to do a proper sequel.

But now it’s too late.

On a different direction Fallout 3 producer Ashley Cheng is a bit disappointed about how Diablo III is being developed:

I must say I am disappointed that Blizzard has stayed on the conservative side in terms of design with their updates to Diablo and Starcraft. Diablo will be interesting since World of Warcraft has a lot of Diablo-like qualities. I have no doubt, however, that they will be incredibly fun, addictive and polished games.

Well Fallout 3 is the last in line of a series of games that have streamlined and tweaked a mold that comes from 1994, The Elder Scrolls: Arena. That’s pretty conservative too, at least in my eyes.

I think Jay Wilson sums a few important differences between Blizzard and Diablo III with Bethsoft’s game design philosophy on Fallout 3 in these comments transcribed by Joystiq:

Replayability revolves around randomness: random environments, items, encounters and — new to Diablo III — random adventures. Higher difficulty levels are also key to the series’ replayability. The epic heroes enable large scale combat, and are massively powerful classes in that they don’t just have powerful skills but also feel powerful, almost over-the-top, in their gameplay. With strong and unique archetypes, heroes have their own identities, and these hallmarks of Diablo II will be improved upon in III.

Approachability revolves around a design mantra of Blizzard’s, “if you can click a mouse you can play Diablo.” The familiar isometric gameplay is continued in III, and Jay mentioned that they didn’t consider other alternatives — “it’s Diablo. Gameplay is simple to learn, but deep, and the difficulty curve is smooth — Blizzard think they did this well in Diablo II and intend to keep it up


12 thoughts on “Diablo III Vs. Fallout 3

  1. Ashley is always the same shit. As much of a nice guy he may be, god is he a boring…

    Not only boring, he is disrespectful, predictable, unimaginative and dull. What’d he want? A StarCraft FPS and a Diablo FPS? REALLY|!!1? Ain’t Halo 4, Call of Duty 5, BioShock 2, Gears of War 2 and pretty much EVERY OTHER SINGLE STUPID GAME that’s released nowadays enough?

    Including FOE, of course.

  2. i wish fallout 3 had the same PoV as diablo 3…. but….. i dont think you can compare the 2.

    Ashleys an idiot. thats like saying GTA 5 should be a FPS or an MMO. Oblivion was hardly different than Morrowind. its called a franchise and building equity in these franchises requires sticking to a same mold and then changing the mold as needed.

    “New to diablo 3?” HAHAHAHAHA I never played the same level 2 times in that game!!!

  3. I like a lot of things Blizzard has released about D3 so far. I wonder how much of this “deeper” stuff is coming from Leon. Sounds good to me. 🙂
    I noticed a lot of comments about the lack of grit. Which I think stand, but I saw some pics “how it looks vs. how it should look” and I think the problem isn’t in the base colors (blue vs. grey). I think it’s actually in the lack of darkness. It’s obviously not something that should be applied universally, if it’s supposed to be day time and I’m outside, I expect to see everything around me and expect it to look somewhat colorful. I don’t think they went overboard there, it’s how the nature around me looks on a normal day. But if it’s night time or I’m in a dark place (like the catacombs), then I don’t want to see much in front of me. If you played D1, you probably noticed that in some place you were able to see very little in front of you. Which was a good scare factor because you had little to no time to prepare by the time you noticed that monster right in front of you. So all that needs to be done is to limit how much in front of you you can see.
    At least, that’s the way I see it.

  4. The first sentence of Morbus is a literal translation of an idiomatic expression from Portuguese European, and means “same old,same old”. It is not derogatory as a few might think.

    Also I don’t agree with Veracity about Ashley being an idiot, quite the opposite really. I do disagree with his opinion though, that doesn’t make him an idiot in any way.

  5. Ashley had the same reaction to Starcraft 2. Who is he kidding though? He’s going to play the shit out of both of them, a hell of a lot of people are going to play them and they’ll both likely be solid products that allow everyone involved to buy bling bling chandeliers. What more should you be aiming for as a game designer if you’re not looking to satisfy both fans and bank accounts?

  6. Both companies are doing what they know how to do best. I’d actually be worried if Blizzard decided to make a first-person perspective game and Bethesda went isometric. I think people forget that Bethesda is simply doing what they know how to do best. They have the staff, resources, and experience to make a great first-person perspective RPG, and that’s exactly what they’re doing. Imagine what would happen if Blizzard picked up the Fallout license–we’d have a Diablo post-apocalyptic click-fest (okay, that could be kinda fun).

  7. Has Bethesda ever done an isometric RPG? If not, how would they (or anyone else) know if that’s not what they do best? If you’ve never done something, how do you know if you’re (not) good at it?
    Furthermore, what about a company which does many different kinds of games? I think that you don’t need to shape the game according to what you do best, but rather shape the game according to what fits the most.

  8. All of Bethesda’s flagship games are first-person RPGs, which means they have invested a lot of time in their technology/technique… which imho, makes them “good” at it.

  9. besides, they already invested plenty of resources into just acquiring the license. Do you really think there’s enough left over for the game!? HAR HAR.

  10. Also, Bethesda should ALWAYS stick to what they do best. And if you don’t know, I’ll tell you: Fallout is not what they do best. They’ve NEVER done a game like Fallout, and Fallout 3 won’t be a game like fallout, most likely, at least not in quality…

    Ahah, I’d like to see that. Many years will pass before I see a company pull a stunt like that. Ah, buying a completely different IP and doing completely different games all of the sudden. Ah…

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