We as a society really love to compare things head to head – even when we can’t really compare the two. We love to ponder the age-old questions like who the best basketball player ever is, which movie’s the best one to ever grace the screen or which video game is the best of all time?
Well, as you probably already know, you can easily make a case for several basketball players, more than a handful of movies, and quite a lot of games. Some would say no game will ever be better than Tetris, some would make a case for World of Warcraft, while some won’t even discuss anything other than a GTA title.
Now, we won’t try to answer any of those questions because, quite frankly, we’re a bit tired of them. But, the question we will try and answer is the following – is Diablo 2: Resurrected better than Diablo 3?
To make sure we stay as objective as possible, we won’t just say that one is better than the other just because we feel that way. Instead, we’ll break both games down into certain aspects and crown the winners as we go along. In the end, the winner should be clear as a summer day. Hopefully…
Aesthetics – D2R
Just to be clear – we’re not talking about graphics. We’ll get to that later. What we’re trying to discuss is the overall look and feel of the game. To be fair, this could be interpreted as subjective, but when you think of the word “Diablo”, what are the words that come to mind? For us, it’s the worlds like dark, gritty, hell, fire and so on. And, most players would agree.
If you’ve played both games, you’ll notice that the Resurrection isn’t as eerie as the original was, but then again, Diablo 3 is just too bright and “fun” for us. So, the overall aesthetic goes to D2R.
Graphics – D3
This should be an easy pick, right? After all, D3 was released back in 2012, and the D2R was released two months ago. However, it’s not that easy.
We have to try and ignore the fact that D3 went in a different direction aesthetic-wise and try and focus only on the quality of graphics themselves, but still keep in mind that one of these was made almost ten years ago. So, it’s a tough call, to say the least.
However, we do have to give a slight edge to the D3. D3 was really ground-breaking when it came out back in 2012, and we can’t even begin to think to say the same about D2R. Now, to be fair, you can’t really expect the hack and slash title to blow you away with its graphics, but as far as we’re concerned, if you’re trying to resurrect a 20-year old game – you better do it flawlessly. And, we’re sorry to say this, but we don’t feel like Blizzard managed to do that.
Don’t get us wrong, D2R looks far better than D3, but we have to consider the times during which both were made, so that’s why the D3’s the winner in this column.
Character Progression – D2R
Now, let’s talk about some of the things that “actually” matter, as some like to say. Character progression between these two games is heaven and earth, or better yet, heaven and hell.
With Diablo 3, you simply level up as you move along. You gain stats automatically as you level up, you gain new skills as you level up, and you also gain skill runes that you can later on use to tweak your character’s skills. This type of character progression was really frowned upon at the time because it didn’t require any skill or thought, and none of the decisions you were making mattered in the long run because all of them could be altered at any time.
With Diablo 2: Resurrected, we get to once again experience the old character progression model that required you to manually designate your attribute points if you wanted to progress your character, and once you made that decision – it was over. This kind of “meaningful decision-making” is what puts D2R’s character progression miles ahead of the D3’s one, even though you might need years’ worth of lfcarry.com to reach level 99 in Resurrection.
Gameplay – D2R
This might be nostalgia speaking, but we still feel like Diablo 2’s gameplay was perfect and genre-defining, and seeing how Resurrected came back to the same game mechanics (sort of), we have to give it a slight edge over the D3. Now, if this was D2 v D3, the edge would not be as slight as this one. D2 would be a clear winner. But, since Resurrection has some major drawbacks like getting stuck on detritus in the middle of a fight or objects blocking your vision of your enemies, not to mention the technical issues with servers and multiplayer – we have to settle for a narrow win here.
Many will try and tell you that you don’t play Diablo for the story, and to those we say – switch to another Blizzard title. Both of these games tell a story. It’s not just about running around and slashing monsters.
Diablo 3, with all its expansion packs and DLCs, tells a pretty decent and interesting story – we’ll give it that.
However, the eerie tale and lore of Diablo 2 are just unmatched to this day. Now, there are some subtle changes in the resurrection of the D2, but still, this story is just the one for the ages. From the dialogue, over characters, all the way to the end game – the Diablo 2: Resurrection takes an easy win for the best storytelling, and it is not even close.
Final Verdict – Is Diablo 2 Resurrected Better Than Diablo 3?
Well, by looking at this list, it is quite clear that Diablo 2: Resurrection is the clear winner of this head-to-head matchup. However, just comparing these does not tell a full story.
While it is true that R2D is a solid effort by Blizzard to recreate its second most-iconic game – it still came up short. The game is buggy, the multiplayer sucks (for now), and there’s just too much to fix at this point. However, it has only been two months since release, so those things will probably get patched up.
However, in our opinion, Diablo 2 Resurrected is better than Diablo 3. Just not by a lot.