Diablo III Game Poster Image

Diablo III

Gruesome, gory RPG is best suited for adult players.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value

While elements of Diablo III focus on teamwork, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.

Positive messages

This game entertains by depicting constant, gory, over-the-top fantasy and medieval-style combat, sending the message that violence is fun. Group play pairs players with others, creating a sense of cooperation and camaraderie. Its heroes-against-the-end-of-the-world narrative contains simple themes of duty and honor. 

Positive role models

Diablo III's heroes are stereotypical action-RPG warriors and mages. They're interested in doing good and saving the world, but they clearly delight in visceral combat and show no hesitation in killing.

Ease of play

Players can do nearly everything in the game with simple mouse clicks. Keyboard commands are required only for advanced play. The learning curve is shallow, allowing players of all skill levels to jump in and feel like sword and spell masters in no time.


Players spend nearly all of their time engaged in bloody, fantastical combat. Players will use swords, axes, and bows to physically impale and dismember their enemies (who are a mixture of humanoid monsters and bizarre creatures). They'll also have opportunity to use various forms of magic, ranging from simple energy spells to more disturbing conjurations that raise zombie dogs and hands from the grave. Regardless of the attacks players choose, enemies typically die in a shower of blood, with bodies often torn to bits. The action is presented from a raised perspective, which makes figures seem small and doll-like, but the constant and graphic gore is not to be underestimated.


Some female characters, including the player avatars, can be seen wearing mildly suggestive clothing, including skimpy tops and bottoms.

Not applicable

Players have access to an online auction house that allows them to buy and sell items for virtual coins earned in the game. A second auction house in which real money is used is scheduled to launch shortly after the game's launch. These transactions aren't necessary to finish the game, but the power and attributes of the gear available at auction may prove tempting for some players.        

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Diablo III is an action role-playing game that shows fountains of blood and severed body parts. Players are provided a distant, raised perspective of the action, which serves to lessen the intensity of the violence, but the carnage is almost non-stop and relentlessly gory. The game's story is a typical tale of heroes fighting to save the world from an ageless evil, and is filled with simple themes of duty and honor. Optional cooperative play creates a sense of community among players, but parents should be aware that this game supports open text chat. Also note that an online auction house allows players to purchase virtual items for real money, though these transactions are not necessary to complete the game.

What's it about?

In the making for nearly a decade, the long-awaited DIABLO III is set about 20 years after events of the second game. The action begins with series mainstay Deckard Cain, an aging scholar, seemingly killed when a fiery explosion destroys the ancient cathedral in which he is studying. Players choose one of five heroes -- a barbarian, mage, demon hunter, monk, or witch doctor, each with their own quick back-story -- before heading out to investigate the disaster. It is soon revealed that the world has become imperiled by the ancient and evil lord Diablo, and that you -- and potentially your friends, should you choose to play the game in cooperative multiplayer -- are its last hope. Players will spend most of their time engaged in brutal, bloody combat, employing a wide manner of attacks and skills to dispatch an enormous number of monsters. Loot -- items collected while adventuring -- is a key element, with players able to not only sell gear they don't need to in-game vendors, but also put it up for sale in online auctions, where other players can bid on it using virtual currency collected while playing. Another auction house, set to launch shortly after the game’s release, will allow players to buy and sell items using real-world money.

Is it any good?


This latest entry in Blizzard’s beloved action/role-playing franchise doesn’t do much to rock the boat. It offers up a very familiar formula in which players talk to non-player characters, accept quests, and then embark on journeys of battle and discovery. The graphics are detailed and atmospheric, but don’t push any technological boundaries. The character growth and management systems are slick and accessible, but perhaps feel a bit simplified as a result. And while the story and characters are engaging, they’re also shallower than you might expect, with the meat of the single-player experience ending relatively quickly. Cleverly integrated online cooperative play will keep many players coming back to engage in new quests and the search for ever better loot, but it comes at the cost of forcing solo gamers to establish a link with the servers. You can't play at all without an Internet connection.

Diablo III is polished to a high sheen, and quite enjoyable while it lasts, but it may prove more fleeting, less innovative, and more restricting than you'd expect of a title so long in the making.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about violence in media. Have you ever witnessed graphic violence in a game that stayed with you long after you shut off the console? How did you adjust to what you’d seen?

  • Families can also discuss online safety. How do you protect yourself from online predators? What would you do if someone began asking you for personal information, made inappropriate comments, or requested to meet in real life?

Game details

Subjects:Math: money
Skills:Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork
Self-Direction: achieving goals, self-assessment, self-reflection
Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, strategy
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment
Release date:May 15, 2012
Genre:Role Playing
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Violence

This review of Diablo III was written by

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Parent of a 9 and 12 year old Written bymezzb November 2, 2013

Except for excessive screen blood, it's ok for older kids

This is a very soft "MA" rating compared to super profane games such as military shooters, and open city crime simulators. There is no cursing, sex, or bad language. And all the violence appears to be against "monsters" (though some are of the humanoid variety, like zombies and demons). The perspective is also well above the players, meaning that none of the violence is "in your face". Also, it's a game best played cooperatively, and is a really fun couch game with two or more players. And it actively encourages sharing. In fact, if Blizzard had bothered to put a simple option to change the blood color, this would be a "T" for teen game all the way. It's really up to the parent to decide if it's ok. The game play is fine; the only reason we're even talking about it that the designers decided to put in a little extra blood and "chunks" into it, to attract the older teens and adults. The gameplay and setting are fine for older kids
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byTimothy Jones June 14, 2012

Not exactly what the website says, but similar

The game is violent, to be sure. There are humanoid creatures, such as zombies and skeletons, but it's not too bad. The viewpoint lowers how bad it is quite a bit, to be sure. The "blood and gore" stated isn't so much of blood and gore, as the blood looks more like a fountain of bones, and gore doesn't go everywhere, from what I saw. It's not too bad. The violence is definitely something worrisome. There is lots of fighting, and it's not something I would like my kids to play. The only reason I DO let them, is because it's fantastical violence, not modern. There are swords and magic, and things that most kids fantasize about, but know aren't real. The single player isn't too good, so most people would go for the cooperative game style. The cooperative game teaches people that they have to work together to make it through the game, giving them a little education on teamwork. I would recommend it as a game, and I think it's not as bad as it says.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written bydavid smith 1 May 23, 2012


great not as bad as cod or skyrim I say that sex is not a problem because its what you see on the street near a high school as long as your kid can tell the difference between what is good in a game but not in real life
What other families should know
Too much violence