Diablo III (Console versions)
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Diablo III is a very gory, bloody, and violent video game that pits mortal heroes against a malevolent, demonic force. Players will use all kinds of weapons and magic spells to destroy the evil minions and tougher boss fighters. The game is played from a top-down, angled perspective -- so it's not as graphic as a first- or third-person shooter -- but this combat is nonetheless very violent. Parents should also be aware that players can talk online to strangers, which may expose your kids to profanity and other inappropriate words.
What's it about?
Like its PC and Mac predecessor, this action-heavy role-playing game picks up 20 years after the events of Diablo II, after Mephisto, Diablo, and Baal have been defeated -- but the Worldstone, which once protected the inhabitants of Tristram from harm, has been destroyed, allowing evil to rise once again. Gamers can play as one of five unique character classes, such as the Barbarian and Witch Doctor, while acquiring new items, spells, and abilities by roaming through (and underneath) huge lands and battling demons big and small. Features include a new 3-D graphics engine, destructible physics-enhanced environments, a new quest system and both cooperative and competitive play available online through Blizzard Entertainment’s popular Battle.net gaming service.
Is it any good?
Yes, the console version of DIABLO III is an excellent game -- but not for young kids because of the strong focus on bloody, gory combat. Instead of using a mouse and keyboard, gamers will control the action using the analog sticks and face buttons on the controller, which feels good and intuitive. Plus this new Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version gives you a bigger screen to play on than your computer monitor and supports cooperative and competitive multiplayer matches (on the same TV or online) along with the lengthy single-player campaign. Each button can be linked to an attack or skill, which can be easily changed thanks to a cleverly designed radial wheel interface. Kudos to Blizzard Entertainment, which has successfully taken its award-winning "lean in" fantasy computer game and has ported it over to a "lean back" experience for your television.
Families can talk about...
Diablo III isn't the first time Blizzard Entertainment took one of its popular PC/Mac games and put it on TVs. The development team also attempted it with one of the StarCraft games, but was met with limited critical and commercial success. Should they make games for specific platforms or try to put it on as many machines as possible? What do you prefer?
What do you think is the impact of media violence?