Diablo 4 vs Elden Ring: 5 major differences between the games

Diablo 4 and Elden Ring promotional image
Both the games were nominated for GOTY but only Elden Ring won the award (Image via Blizzard Entertainment, From Software)

Diablo 4 and Elden Ring are both amazing games that fans love to spend hours in. Not only do both these games come from different backgrounds, but they also cater to different audiences. For instance, Diablo 4 places a heavy emphasis on multiplayer, while Elden Ring heavily focuses on a single-player mode with multiplayer components.

There are many other differences between Diablo 4 and Elden Ring, and this article will explore them in detail.

Note: This list is subjective, reflects the author's opinions, and is not in any particular order.


5 differences between Diablo 4 and Elden Ring

1) Gameplay style and perspective

Diablo 4 uses an isometric perspective (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Diablo 4 uses an isometric perspective (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo 4 uses a top-down view camera for its gameplay which has always been present in the series. The gameplay of this RPG falls in the hack and slash genre with a heavy emphasis on fast-paced action and fighting hordes of enemies while collecting loot to level up your character. This type of gameplay has been a staple of the Diablo series for a long time now.

Elden Ring uses the third-person camera perspective which helps in getting an immersive view of the environment while also having an up-close look at your character. As for the combat, we have traditional RPG action here, which is known for its difficulty as it comes from the family of Souls games. You'll have to manage your stamina, have precise timing, and form a strategy to win against enemies.


2) World design and exploration

Elden Ring has a vast open world (Image via FromSoftware)
Elden Ring has a vast open world (Image via FromSoftware)

Diablo 4 offers a world design incorporating interconnected zones that you can explore. There is a well-designed structure here that is focused on guiding the player toward quests through these interconnected zones called dungeons. Since there is a heavy emphasis on dungeons, the gameplay primarily revolves around clearing them by looting and killing enemies.

Elden Ring features an open world that focuses on exploration, either on foot or on horseback. The motivation to explore the open world of the game comes from the fact that exploration helps you discover hidden areas, side quests, and secrets scattered across the map. The freedom lets you tackle challenges in the order that you prefer without forcing you to follow a specific path all the time.


3) Character progression and customization

Diablo 4 offers in-depth character customization (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Diablo 4 offers in-depth character customization (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo 4 uses a class-based system that lets you choose from predefined classes like Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid with each sporting a unique skill tree and abilities. The strength and progression of your character are heavily dependent on the gear and weapons you use during your playthrough along with the loot that you collect as you progress through the game.

Elden Ring allows you to extensively customize your character and create unique builds from scratch. These builds can be made up of various magic, abilities, and weapons that make the build stand out. Progression of your character is based on how you level up, meaning you have to level up your strength, intelligence, and more to have personalized character growth.


4) Combat mechanics and difficulty

Elden Ring Godskin Apostle boss fight (Image via FromSoftware)
Elden Ring Godskin Apostle boss fight (Image via FromSoftware)

Diablo 4 has fast-paced combat where you face off against hordes of enemies that are defeated by using the skills and abilities of your character. These abilities usually have splash area damage and work on a cool-down system that refreshes after a certain time. Even though the combat is challenging, it is still accessible to the majority of players and also gets easier thanks to co-op play.

Elden Ring has a slower combat loop where you can die easily if you try to rush through a fight. Each hit has to be precise and planned as enemies can be ruthless when you face them. The game punishes you with hard bosses and requires you to learn from your mistakes. You'll have to memorize attack patterns to dodge and parry at the right moments.


5) Narrative and storytelling

Diablo IV focuses on the conflict between heaven and hell (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)
Diablo IV focuses on the conflict between heaven and hell (Image via Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo 4 has a narrative that follows the traditional structure of the series where the progression of the player is tied to the story. We get a main story in which we witness a conflict between Heaven and Hell, along with some side quests to keep the player busy. The game takes place in a gothic setting filled with lore involving towards angels and demons that play significant roles in the story.

Elden Ring, on the other hand, tells its story through the environment because of its open-world nature. This subtle way of telling the story is done by revealing the story through item descriptions and NPC interactions. You have to figure out the story on your own as you explore this game's deep lore, which is set in a fantasy world with dark elements.

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