Diablo III

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Diablo III Game Poster Image
Gruesome, gory RPG is best suited for adult players.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 16 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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 & Representations

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.

Violence

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.

Sex

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

Language
Consumerism

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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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,... Continue reading
Adult 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 quit... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old June 18, 2012

Diablo III

Diablo 3 is a good game for learning because if you didnt now Diablo Is Spanish For The Devil . and diablo is made of peoples Anger. and there is a Part of the... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byLukeTheGreat May 22, 2012

Not quite as bad as it could be, but still violent.

This is possibly the most highly anticipated game in history, so it's understandable that concerns may be raised about its quality. Thankfully, it manages... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love action and role-playing games

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate