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Diablo 4 Vs. 3 Vs. 2 Graphics and Art Style Comparisons

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We have a couple of videos showcasing the differences between what we've been shown from Diablo 4 so far with previous entries in the series, and while they're perhaps not quote top notch clips considering the resolution used etc, you get the idea from them well anyway. First off we have 4 vs. 3 vs. 2:

This next one is a little better, as it compares actual gameplay, but it uses footage from the Diablo 3 beta, presumably since D4 is in a similar state, progress-wise.

 

 
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Diablo IV is veeeeery close to nailing the look the solidified Diablo II as the best in the series, aesthetically speaking.

Blizzard needs to cut the PG-13 crap and add more blood, more gore, more dirt. If they want it to be dark, as they stated, it has to be DARK.

There is something very unsettling about Diablo II's artstyle (and Diablo I as well) that is unique; maybe it has to do with the graphical limitations and spritework. Maybe it is the nostalgia speaking. But if Blizzard really wants to make people go apeshit with this game they have to capture that atmosphere.

Edited by Valhalen
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40 minutes ago, Valhalen said:

Diablo IV is veeeeery close to nailing the look the solidified Diablo II as the best in the series, aesthetically speaking.

Blizzard needs to cut the PG-13 crap and add more blood, more gore, more dirt. If they want it to be dark, as they stated, it has to be DARK.

There is something very unsettling about Diablo II's artstyle (and Diablo I as well) that is unique; maybe it has to do with the graphical limitations and spritework. Maybe it is the nostalgia speaking. But if Blizzard really wants to make people go apeshit with this game they have to capture that atmosphere.

Hm, interesting, I never really saw D2 as especially dark, probably because I played 1 first, and 1 was REALLY dark, in pretty much every sense of the word (hellooo light radius). To my eyes 4 seems a bit darker than 2 even, since it's more photo-real as opposed to the slightly cartoony look of 2 (not the artstyle, just the sprites as you mentioned), but to me being crazy dark isn't necessarily a good thing in and of itself. D3's problem really wasn't it's art style IMO, no matter what the legion of haters say, it's cartoonyness was just a convenient scapegoat for some deeper system issues. I can't say I'm sad D4 is darker, but it'll have to earn that atmosphere with a LOT more than just looks and corpses and blood.

Unfortunately for me the only thing that can really sell anything "dark/gothic/insert edgy cathchphrase here" is the world and story, and that's a pretty delicate line to walk. I say unfortunately because I truly lost all faith/hope for Blizzard writing on any level for any franchise (ESPECIALLY Diablo), but that doesn't stop me from D4 being my most anticipated game in a LOOOONG time. If you want REAL dark, take a look at Dark Souls (1 or 3) or Bloodborne. The first one isn't even that dark visually, but the atmosphere and tone is just insanem especually since it was created with basically 0 explicit story or dialogue.

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51 minutes ago, Starym said:

Hm, interesting, I never really saw D2 as especially dark, probably because I played 1 first, and 1 was REALLY dark, in pretty much every sense of the word (hellooo light radius). To my eyes 4 seems a bit darker than 2 even, since it's more photo-real as opposed to the slightly cartoony look of 2 (not the artstyle, just the sprites as you mentioned), but to me being crazy dark isn't necessarily a good thing in and of itself. D3's problem really wasn't it's art style IMO, no matter what the legion of haters say, it's cartoonyness was just a convenient scapegoat for some deeper system issues. I can't say I'm sad D4 is darker, but it'll have to earn that atmosphere with a LOT more than just looks and corpses and blood.

Unfortunately for me the only thing that can really sell anything "dark/gothic/insert edgy cathchphrase here" is the world and story, and that's a pretty delicate line to walk. I say unfortunately because I truly lost all faith/hope for Blizzard writing on any level for any franchise (ESPECIALLY Diablo), but that doesn't stop me from D4 being my most anticipated game in a LOOOONG time. If you want REAL dark, take a look at Dark Souls (1 or 3) or Bloodborne. The first one isn't even that dark visually, but the atmosphere and tone is just insanem especually since it was created with basically 0 explicit story or dialogue.

If there is one thing I want them to bring back for Diablo IV is light radius. Diablo I has always been my favorite because it has the best atmosphere, even though Diablo II is considered the best one. It felt intimidating, because you'd never know what to expect. A lingering sensation permeated the entire game, as if there was always something lurking.

But when I say that the game needs to be "dark" I don't mean just lightning, I mean gritty. There is a lot of blood in Diablo II, blood everywhere, and it never felt forced or exagerated. As you guys yourselves posted a few weeks ago:

Quote

DIABLO II BALLOONED to approximately four times the size of its predecessor. Even as the project swelled, Blizzard North’s developers worked on a micro scale, polishing individual elements until they sparkled.

“Max always had this saying: ‘There’s never enough blood and fire.’ That was what he pushed the artists to do: more fire, more blood,” remembered Michael Huang, IT engineer.

Max Schaefer’s emphasis on blood and fire was less suggestion and more ideology. Taken literally, it amounted to window dressing. Andariel’s lair at the end of Act One is painted in flames and pits of bubbling blood. Figuratively, “blood and fire” referred to small touches that made big impacts on the game, the action-RPG genre, Blizzard North, and the gaming industry.

However, I can certainly agree that Diablo IV has to overcome all expectations and not be just corpses and blood, as you've said. And yes, I want Diablo IV to be dark on the level of Dark Souls/Bloodborne, which saddens me because one of the concepts for Diablo IV was to make it as action adventure game akin to Dark Souls instead of a isometric action RPG.

One of the reasons why Dark Souls and Bloodborne are so good is that aside from their gorgeous aesthetics and cryptic storytelling, combat must be taken carefully, as even a single enemy can wipe the floor with you if you're not careful. Sure, it might not fit the Diablo concept of slaying hordes of enemies at once, but it sure feels way more engaging and it drags you into the world with more intensity and depth. It might be too much to ask, but I'd love if that was the Diablo IV we'd get. Less enemies on screen, more enemies that pose a real threat. Diablo I had that with The Butcher.

Edited by Valhalen
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5 hours ago, Starym said:

Hm, interesting, I never really saw D2 as especially dark, probably because I played 1 first, and 1 was REALLY dark, in pretty much every sense of the word (hellooo light radius).

What's more, when Diablo 2 was released, there were complaints about game taking place outside, as things like green grass and desert weren't considered as being dark enough for some people. After all, D1 is more like a dungeon crawler, so I guess for these people Diablo should have been confined to dark dungeons. Now it's mostly forgotten, as D2 is the "golden standard" for many.

Funnily enough, D4 still seems to me like a bit closer to D3 style than D2, albeit still somehow darker.

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On 1/8/2020 at 7:28 AM, Valhalen said:

Diablo IV is veeeeery close to nailing the look the solidified Diablo II as the best in the series

yup they even hired people from back in the D2 days to match it better.

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