As some of you know, I enjoy playing video games in my spare time. But video gaming is not as simple as it was in the days of Nintendo, when most games were G-rated and violence consisted of killing King Koopa. As young gamers like myself have grown up the video games have also become more adult in content. Now it is common for a game to have a “M” (Mature) rating and to include significant amounts of profanity, violence, and sexual material.
In my experience, most parents are not gamers and are unsure whether to let their child play Call of Duty or Halo or The Last of Us. So, in an effort to serve parents and fellow gamers I thought I would review the games I am currently playing. Hopefully this review will help you make an informed decision about what games you play and let your children play.
Today I am reviewing the most recent release from Blizzard, Diablo III.
In a strange sense, Diablo III, is a very spiritual game. You must wage war against the forces of Hell itself as they try to enslave humanity and corrupt all that is good in the world. Fighting as a Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Witch Doctor, Monk, or Wizard, you must destroy demons, skeletons, ghouls, spiders, undead, and other demonic beings. Contrary to some games, the line between good and evil is clearly drawn. There is no moral ambiguity. You are fighting for good. In the final stage of the game you even enter heavenly realms in order to rid them of demonic forces. While the spiritual elements certainly aren’t Christian in any sense, there is a clear distinction between what is good and what is evil. I’m grateful for this particular distinction which is lacking in games like Grand Theft Auto.
Some parents may be concerned about the scary factor of the monsters. While there is some element of scariness to the monsters this is most definitely not a horror game in any sense of the word. Most of the monsters and demons are actually a bit on the cartoonish side.
Some parents may also be concerned about the use of magic in the game. While magic certainly has a place in the game (you can play as a wizard or witch doctor), the magic does not have any sense of being occult-like. Rather, it feels like the magic you find in a fantasy novel, such as Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia.
Diablo III is a violent game. Sort of. Throughout the game you are contanstly slashing your way through hordes of demonic forces. When you kill certain enemies blood sprays and bones fly. But the violence has a fantastical, cartoonish feel to it. Unlike the ultra-realistic violence of Call of Duty, in which you slit people’s throats, aim sniper rifles at enemies heads, and mow down line after line of real people, Diablo III feels more like a Lord of the Rings sort of violence. Almost like the battle at Helm’s Deep.
I’ve embedded a video of the gameplay below to let you get a feel for what it looks like.
The plotline contains no sexual content at all, which is a welcome relief in today’s overly sexualized gaming environment. There are one or two offhand suggestive remarks made by characters, but they go by so fast it’s easy to miss them. The only possible objectional content would be that some of the female characters can be immodestly dressed. However, it isn’t necessary to play as a female character.
There is little, if any profanity. There may be the occasional use of “damn” but I’m not even sure about that one.
I thorougly enjoyed this game. The game play was stellar, the story was enjoyable, and the artwork was excellent.
Obviously I wouldn’t let a young child play the game. However, I would be much more comfortable letting a teen play this game than I would other, more realistic games. The line between good and evil is clear. The violence is cartoon-like. And there is very little sexual content or profanity.
RATING: 9 out of 10