Path of Exile vs Diablo 3
If you enjoyed playing the Diablo games while growing up, chances are that you have searched for a replacement over the years. Luckily, Blizzard released Diablo 3, and will soon release Diablo 4, but some people still need a replacement. Whether you liked Diablo 3 or not, Path of Exile came to the gaming forefront with speed. Not only is Path of Exile free, but it is an incredibly enjoyable game. We often get asked which is better when comparing Path of Exile vs Diablo 3. So, we decided to compare the two.
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Path of Exile
Path of Exile is a free-to-play game RPG that’s been making the rounds among fans of the genre since it launched for PC all the way back in 2013. Last year, the game was finally released for the PlayStation 4, and before that it made its debut on the Xbox One in 2017, meaning that the game is available on pretty much all the main home consoles on the market, except for the Nintendo Switch.
The game has been quite well-received thanks to its classic Diablo-like looting gameplay and its commitment to keeping the game getting better every year. During the 16th British Academy Games Awards, Path of Exile received the “Best Evolving Game” award, a testament to the efforts the developers have taken in expanding the base game.
With Path of Exile 2 coming sometime later this year, now is the best time to get started on the game that began it all. While the game keeps growing, most of the fundamental basics are still the same as they were when the game was released. One of these basics are the classes, archetypes that define the base skills of your characters.
- Face Ultimate Evil
- Call Upon Your Allies
- Rise as a Champion
- And Lift the Demonic Siege
Back in 1997, Blizzard was a quite well-known name among PC gaming circles, thanks to the outstanding Warcraft. That same year would see the beginning of the Diablo franchise, and with it, a new and enormous fandom was born. Then, in 2000, Diablo II would become a cornerstone of PC gaming and a reference of excellence among gamers for years to come.
Flash forward some years to 2012, Diablo III would enter the scene as a continuation of a legacy spanning almost two decades. Expectations were high, almost impossibly so, and fans were eager to see what a new generation of consoles and PCs meant for a game like Diablo.
Diablo III takes the basic aspects from its predecessors and refines them in a way that is more approachable for veterans and newcomers alike. Many of the elements that are essential to the Diablo formula, like loot and the isometric camera angle, make a comeback in Diablo III.
For returning players, Diablo III offers some key differences over its immediate predecessor, namely a more demanding need for online play. This decision to make what once was an optional aspect of the game mandatory creates a strong divide among fans. Diablo wasn’t always about online play, but Diablo III requires a constant connection to be able to play, and that may not be ideal for some players.
Combat – Winner: Diablo 3
At its core, the combat and loot mechanics in Diablo III are more or less the same that players have grown to love since 1997. The colored loot system is the very same that was before, with rarity assigned to gear based on different colors. The most common items are grey colored, but you’ll be hunting orange legendary gear most of the time.
Combat is arguably the most important aspect of the game, and, as always, classes determine which play style you should be aiming at. There are 7 classes in Diablo III, and each one of them covers a role in basic fantasy RPG fashion. While most classes are very self-explanatory (like the barbarian) others are more appealing for experienced players, like the necromancer or the witch doctor. Due to its new focus on online play, party balance now plays a more important role than ever before.
Fans of the older games will undoubtedly appreciate the decision of keeping the camera in an isometric perspective. While the angle remains, it is now enhanced by fully rendered environments, complete with detailed textures and rich detail that make the world of Sanctuary livelier and darker. Character models also get the high-definition treatment, creating a nicely crafted and impressively detailed world that oozes charm and invites the player to bask in its lore.
Plot – Winner: Diablo Series
Speaking of lore, the story of Diablo III is kind of divisive. The plot of the game definitely comes way behind its gameplay. The main quest consists of the player meeting allies and travelling all over Sanctuary to seal away all of the lords of hell. It’s basic, a little barebones, and even simplistic compared to what we expect in most modern RPGs, but Diablo III isn’t a game to play for its story: it’s all about the grind and the loot.
As a timewaster, Diablo III might be the most effective game ever created. It aims to do one thing and does so without the obstruction of plot or complicated gameplay. If you enjoy collecting and watching your character grow, then this is the game to get. It’s a little rough around the edges, especially for people expecting a single-player experience, and it might not be everything that Diablo II veterans were hoping for, but Diablo III works flawlessly as its own thing.
Price – Winner: Path of Exile
Yes, we had to give Path of Exile at least one category where it outshined Diablo. For now, Path of Exile is a completely free to play video game. Sure, there are paid features but they are not needed to enjoy or win the plain vanilla game. With Path of Exile 2 coming out soon, we hope that the developers stick to their word and keep the game free to play for everyone. Blizzard on the other hand, they nickle and dime their customers with new games, features, and upgrades. So, if you wanted to know which game is priced better for the debate of Path of Exile vs Diablo 3, the answer is simple, the free one (Path of Exile).
Where to Buy
Diablo is available in most major platforms, both present and past gen, as well as PC. With so many ports, it’s baffling to see that there’s no cross-play option available yet, not even cross-save. We hope Blizzard takes some cues from other developers and finally includes this option some time in the future. Path of Exile is only available on PC, Xbox One and PS4. Just be sure that your computer can handle whatever game you choose. If you need a better computer, check out our buying guide on the best gaming PC under 1500.