Genre: Hack Slash Dungeon Crawl
ERSB Rating: M (Mature)
Released: May 15, 2012
Platform: Featured, Macintosh, PC
Violence: Blood and gore depending on the class of character you pick
Diablo 3 is the third entry into Blizzard’s fabled Diablo series that has been around for over 15 years. Taking place in the fantasy world of Sanctuary, Diablo 3 takes place 20 years after the ending of Diablo 2 as there is some carry over story-wise for the game.
The story begins as follows: “The demons of the Burning Hells have long desired to invade the realm of men. To this end, a powerful group of demon lords known as the Lesser Evils exiled their brethren, the Prime Evils, from the Hells and sent them to the human world of Sanctuary… Now, a star has fallen from the heavens—a grim omen that heralds the End of Days. Sanctuary’s frightened inhabitants are turning to abandoned legends and prophecies for answers. They have no hope against a full onslaught from the Burning Hells. The heroes of the past are gone or dead. A new champion must rise…” (Taken from the game’s manual)
Players start off by creating a character from one of 5 classes of characters:
Witch Doctor: Necromancer
Barbarian: Melee warrior
Wizard: Spell caster
Monk: Martial artist
Demon Hunter: Archer
Next, you follow the storyline along with your character gathering treasure, defeating bad guys, and progressing through levels of difficulty in which you can continue on to harder and harder run-throughs of the game. Depending on how good you are, the time to complete the game can range from approximately 10 to 20 hours. For myself, it was about 15 hours when on my first play-through. One of the more captivating parts of the game is finding new equipment, or gear as its called by many, to equip your character to more easily destroy the evil in the game. As you follow along the story, there are many battles scenes, twists, and turns that will leave you craving for the next cut-scene to unfold.
Moving beyond the story, Diablo 3 requires an always-on internet connection in order to play, so make sure you have broadband internet before purchasing this game; otherwise you will be in for a rude awakening. Some are frustrated with this but Blizzard’s official response is that it is there to fight piracy of the game. However, with that being said, Diablo 3 encourages online co-op play between gamers and it is fairly easy to match up with another group of people playing or a group of your friends as you take on the games many stages and bosses. There is also an Auction House that uses real money to trade high-level items and gear players find as to avoid having to purchase items from scam sites. Make sure you know what you’re doing before using the Real-Money Auction House.
The graphics are swell as usual. I’ve run the game on my laptop with an integrated graphics card as-well as seen it played on an actual desktop and it does look and run well. Bugs that pop up aand gameplay imbalances are usually taken care of fairly quickly through patching on Blizzard’s end. The soundtrack for the game is a great fit to the mood and scenes you experience during the game. The tracks range from serene to moody, as-well as the climactic boss fights in which the roaring melodies and dissonances fills your ears. After spending a good chunk of time in the world of Diablo 3, I was quite impressed from a technical side from what they’ve accomplished in their latest installment.
Content wise though, the game is difficult to not judge accordingly on. Diablo 3 borrows heavily from Christianity and eastern myths to fill its story and back-story with characters and ideas that are not appropriate for young children. It is your classic good versus evil story with elements thrown in of Heaven and Hell. It is not anti-religious in its use of these motifs, places, and characters; However, not all of it will line up with your theology most likely. If you are concerned about the spiritual content of the story such as Hell and demons being a main part of the story, then be cautious in playing this game.
There is also quite a bit of blood and gore shown with all the hacking and slashing of monsters and minions. The game centers around the violence used to resolve the problems of Sanctuary. Depending on which class you pick, there are varying levels of blood and gore when enemies and bosses are killed. For example, if you play as a Barbarian, you hack and slash your way through tides of enemies and bloods and gore flies with each swing. If you play a Witch Doctor, you summon evil to fight by your side in the form of golems, monsters, and other apparitions to do your bidding. Or you could pick the Demon Hunter and destroy your enemies from a range with a little less blood shooting out of enemies when you kill them, and so on. The choice is yours when it comes to what kind of character you create and the ways you progress through the game.
The ESRB rates the game M for mature, or 17 years or older and the best advice I can give you is to heed their warnings and not let your younger children play this at least without parental supervision or approval. But the content as far as the game’s dipping into spirituality, is not healthy for someone who is weak in their faith on this issue.
Therefore, I recommend the game only for those who are mature enough to realize the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to morality and spirituality within the context of a video game. If you as a parent have a problem with this, explain why to your child and help them understand in that way why it might be best to wait on playing this game. If you do not have a problem with the spiritual content of this game, still be watchful and mindful of the playing habits of your kids.
If you’re looking for another exciting hack and slash dungeon crawl from the Diablo series, Diablo 3 is your best option for this summer’s gaming finest.
Diablo 3 Game Gallery[nggallery id=9]