Over at Destructoid, Solivagant has an article up comparing Diablo 3 and Fallout 3. Of course, that’s a bit strange, since neither game has been released yet.

On the other hand, there has been (and continues to be) a wealth of information put out on FO3, as it’s scheduled to release in October of this year (Oct. 7 is the date Amazon gives). And some info on D3 is making its way to the public. Not a lot, since the announcement was made only this past weekend.

Nonetheless, going by what is available for both games, Solivagant compares the two, and decides that D3, as a sequel, is superior to FO3. He is also up front about Fallout being his favorite series, and not happy about the direction Bethesda is taking the franchise.

From what little we know about D3, it’s Diablo in a new package. Better graphics, an interactive environment, revised character classes (only two known so far), and, apparently, more tactical combat.

So will it be “same-old, same-old”? In some ways, yes. Diablo is first and foremost an action/RPG (or, as I think of it, fantasy shooter). That is what made the game popular, and has kept it popular through the second one. That isn’t likely to change with #3.

You recall I posted that seeing all the D3 stuff got me to play D2 again? I’m not the only one. There’s been a surge of activity on Battlenet since the announcement. And the Diablo Battlechest set is the #1 selling PC game on Amazon, and is currently sold out. Yeah, there’s plenty of interest. Blizzard would be crazy to change what works so well.

But what about Fallout? Bethesda is making some big changes there, including the switch from third-person to first-person view. That alone has set up howls of protest from the hardcore FO fans.

However, the FO fanbase is certainly not as large as is the one for Diablo. D2 is an eight-year-old game that is still not only being played, but being sold. We can’t say that about Fallout 2. There may be those playing it, but the number is small.

Coyote, on his blog, muses that Bethesda has decided to make FO3 for the “current” generation, because they will be able to draw in more players; the hardcore fans are too small an audience. He’s probably right.

Bethesda hasn’t been kind to the fans of the original FO series. They don’t really care about what made the first two games so beloved to the kind of people who hang out at No Mutants Allowed.

In both cases, the companies are doing what they know best. The difference is that Blizzard started with an original IP and built a huge, devoted audience of fans, keeping to what worked. Bethesda, on the other hand, has taken someone else’s IP and re-worked it into the style of game for which they are known, skipping over the original fanbase and aiming at a “new generation” of gamers.

Only time will tell if Bethesda has made the right choice. I have no doubts about Diablo 3, though; that one is going to be big. Some companies just seem to know how to update their stuff without antagonizing their fans.

Diablo 3 vs. Fallout 3 on Destructoid

Growing Better or Growing Stale on Coyote’s Blog