It’s one thing to look into a game as an individual product, but human nature tends to have people throwing down comparisons left, right and centre. When there is no official yardstick to measure something, the next best thing is to look at is something similar. Gamers compare all sorts of things all the time. Boxers have their own unique attributes on paper, but it is their ability in the ring that determines who reigns supreme. It is with this thinking that I present to you today’s two contestants in a gaming head to head battle.
In the blue corner, we have the child of one of the most beloved click-click action titles in existence, Diablo 3. In the red corner, we have a Borderlands 2, sequel to one of the most addictive pew-pew games of this era. Where Borderlands brings the guns, Diablo brings some strong magic. In a battle to the death, who would be victorious? As a side note, some plot spoilers may ensue and minor knowledge on both games may be required to understand what the hell I’m talking about.
At the moment, there are a total of 5 character classes to select from each game. Based on certain spells and skills, I think I have matched each up appropriately; Barbarian Vs Gunzerker, Commando Vs Wizard, Assassin Vs Monk, Siren Vs Demon Hunter, Mechromancer Vs Witch Doctor.
It’s pretty obvious that the two tanks would just fight each other into eternity, regenerating more health than damage taken. The Gunzerker might have the advantage in wielding two guns, but the Barbarian has big arms too. The Commando and Wizard possess no real close combat utility. The Commando would probably deploy his sentry, firing from behind the protective shield whereas the Wizard can make use of Diamond Skin and fire off spells from afar.
The Assassin excels at stealth and close quarters combat. The Monk is equally efficient up close, yet replaces stealth with some insane dodging skill. Picture this battle, a flurry of fists and sword slashes, yet none able to land a blow on the other. The Mechromancer and Witch Doctor would both make use of “pets” to do their bidding. Can you imagine Deathtrap fighting a Gargantuan while their masters battle alongside them? I’d pay good money to see that kind of action. Some good old large creep slugging action mixed with bullets and poison darts flying through the air . I’d imagine it would take a long time for either summon to fall, in which case they would simply be resummoned.
All battles seem are a stalemate thus far, so what can the Siren and Demon Hunter do against each other? Well I can imagine the Demon Hunter doing some nice cartwheel action, placing traps, shooting off arrows and dodging all kinds of fire from the Siren, and then the Siren simply raises her hand and phaselocks the Demon Hunter. Yeah I’m sorry but there is no dodging that overpowered ability. Maya takes this round for herself and her team.
ROUND 1 WINNER: Borderlands 2
If you haven’t already figured it out, the final antagonist in Diablo is actually… Diablo himself. Yeah, I’m just as shocked as you are! Borderlands presents Handsome Jack as the man out to make your life hell, an ordinary person who in my opinion is just as evil as Diablo himself. Both possess the classic antagonist trait of wanting to control the world, or simply world domination.
Jack gets extra points for being a character that a player really grows to hate. In Diablo, I was kind of just clicking along until I reached the end. Borderlands? Hell, I couldn’t wait to find Jack and put a bullet in his face. Regardless, that is not how this bout works. If Jack were to face Diablo in a fight, who would win?
I’m going to have to say Diablo, as Jack is just an ordinary man who has been twisted by power, yet doesn’t really possess any power himself. Some of you may argue that Jack would make use of The Warrior, and that is a valid argument. Unfortunately, if the Vault Hunters could dispatch of The Warrior using just weapons predominantly, I’m willing to bet that Diablo would make short work too via his diabolic spells and magic.
ROUND 2 WINNER: Diablo 3
This round is fairly straightforward. Diablo is a collection of linear questing. Go there, do this, kill that, save them. Oh but there are randomly generated areas? Too bad they all start to look the same after a few playthroughs.
Borderlands is far more flexible. You want to follow just the main quest? Fine, that is easily done. Want to spend hour upon hour laughing your head off at the absurdity, humour and sheer fun found in many of the side quests? Hell you can do that too! Play at your own pace; take your time or speed run. I have to give this round to Borderlands, as I was severely disappointed in the questing in Diablo, if you can even call it that.
ROUND 3 WINNER: Borderlands 2
Just one more level. Just one more and I’m done for the night. LEVEL UP! Alright one more. What the? its 3am already? Oh well one more level couldn’t hurt. It’s the experience bar that plays a big part in having us all come back for that little bit more. We all want our hero to pack that little extra punch as they grow stronger and stronger.
As each character levels up in Borderlands, they gain access to one unique class ability. Gained experience points are spent within a skill tree that either boosts your class special ability, or boosts your hero with some ongoing passive abilities. For example, you may allocate some points into an ability that lets you reload your weapons faster, or another that lets your turret shoot more bullets or fire rockets. I think it would be great to see a more ability orientated skills in the next implementation of Borderlands, as in each class doesn’t only have one specific activated ability. Otherwise, this current system is nice and flexible, allowing you to respec at a small cost, experimenting with different skill trees.
Diablo on the other hand is very much the same as its questing component. Oh you want to allocate points into a specific attribute? Sorry no, nothing doing. Want to choose your own special spells and magic? Nope! Here, have about 2-3 different runes per level which make a certain ability work a little differently. Granted, it’s nice to have a whole set of “new” abilities with each level, but ultimately the whole levelling business feels static and unrewarding. In fact, when I maxed out my first character class, I was still using an ability that I had unlocked at about level 10 or so. The rest of the unlocks just weren’t as useful.
ROUND 4 WINNER: Borderlands 2
Loot and plunder all that the eye can see!, shoot it! Steal all its goodies! Where on earth was that bat keeping that rare sword it just dropped?! HOLY MOLY that midget just dropped a frikking rocket launcher! LOOT AND SELL ALL THE THINGS! PROFIT!
Yeah I know you all know what I’m talking about. I can’t be the only one who gets a little bit excited every time I see an enemy drop some kind of treasure. Both games have various categories of rare items, with the rarest being… well, rare to find. Both games have a huge variety of weapons but Borderlands supposedly has millions upon millions. The shooter is all about accuracy, damage, clip size, recoil, etc. The clicker is all about different stats affecting your chosen hero.
This round is a little too close to call for several reasons. I love that i can find a weapon in Borderlands and actually see it in action. Diablo weapons play no role on most classes other than to look pretty in your hands. Yeah my witch doctor has this badass axe, but oh look she is pulling out her blow dart to “fwoot” people instead.
I do honestly like the fact that Diablo has several different modifiers on the weapons as well as armour that can be equipped. Bonus gold, mana regen, health regen, magic find, etc. It makes building your character a little trickier, as they are only as good as the stats and equipment they are utilising.
Both games drop their rares similarly. I have only ever found 2 Legendary weapons in Borderlands and in Diablo. Thing is, you can use golden keys to guarantee some sweet loot in Sanctuary, or simply pull out a credit card to buy something shiny in the auction house. Bah! This round is a stalemate.
ROUND 5 WINNER: Everybody who loves sexy items and loot
I have poured about the same amount of game time into both titles, yet I lost interest in Diablo 3 after the second play through. Oh I need play through and kill Diablo AGAIN just to make it to level 60? *Sigh* what a drag. Replay Borderlands 2 and do some side quests I missed? Find even better loot? Hell yes! I can do it again and again. Oh there is some new DLC coming out? Hot damn I’d better pick that up soon!
So you’d like to hear my completely biased and possibly illogical opinion? Hypothetically speaking, if presented with a life or death situation in which you are being forced to choose between either title, I’d highly recommend Borderlands 2. It’s addictive, insane, hilarious, and all out fun, which is what every game should be. It wins this battle with a score of 3-1!
Feel free to let me know if you disagree with any of the above in the comments below, or even let me know what aspects you would have considered if you were comparing both these games. Also, I’m interested to hear suggestions for any other games you’d love to see compared. Throw them at me!
Last Updated: December 7, 2012