immediately after diablo 3 was announced the only thing i could find on all the websites was people complaining about the "ART STYLE" of a minor portion of two levels of the game from the first act in a pre-alpha build.
Every single photoshop I've seen is totally overdoing it for the first act. This is not diablo 2's universe anymore. Sanctuary has been healing for 20 years, and they are reflecting it in the designs used for the two levels they've shown you.
The ONLY thing missing that really made the graphics was light radius. Minor details missing are the specular lighting. However everyone seems to ignore that and instead try to completely redesign the graphics.
And then comes the constant comparison to WoW. I dont know about you, but after playing wow and then watching the video, although I can see similarities in the style of artwork, the diablo 3 graphics take on a much more gothic realistic and detailed direction. The constant comparisons I see are the barbarian to the warrior, the stone cobble textures, and the griffin gargoyle.
1) The barbarian's armor issues were summed up nicely in this thread http://www.diablofans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10590
But for those of you who dont like to read other threads: the art directions are completely different. Wow uses super high saturation and bright contrasting colors, and Diablo 3 uses much duller but more detailed textures. In addition, the armors both draw their INSPIRATION from the same ideas, thus why they look so similar.
2) As for the floor textures the same thing applies here. Diablo 3 has Less flat colors, more detail, less saturation.
3) Finally, the gargoyle everyone thinks is smiling.
All you have to do is realize that this is a zoomed in picture of a low poly count model with a flat color texture that really wasnt meant to be zoomed in on.