What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although the ESRB rates the games as Teen games, they truly split the line between a game for teens and a more mature audience. Considering the amount of violence, the dark nature of the games, and concerns with language and sexual content, these games would be better suited to an older audience.
What's it about?
In WARCRAFT III/WARCRAFT III: THE FROZEN THRONE, players take the role of one of four major civilizations: orcs, humans, night elves, or the undead. Each has its own history, but they are intertwined. Each also has its own specialties -- from different military units to different upgrades. In general, the game is very similar to other Real-Time-Strategy (RTS) games.
One major difference with Warcraft III is the addition of heroes. Heroes can build up experience and then get special skills and spells they can use to help their own forces or defeat the enemy. Heroes can also pick up or buy items in the game that can be stored in their inventory. These items typically add to the abilities of the hero.
Is it any good?
Cinematic segments help to carry the storyline. From a technical point of view, they are very well done. From a content point of view, they are pervasively sinister, violent, and contain mature themes such as demons/demonic possession, deception, murder, and revenge.
Several other, albeit more hidden elements, add concerns for younger players. For example, players can make a character say not-so-innocent comments or blow up creatures in an explosion of guts and blood by clicking on them repeatedly. Also hidden in the gameplay are a couple of explicit words. Although these games are popular, parents would be wise to look at other games before getting either of these for their kids.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about fantasy and violence. Would the violence style of this game feel different if you were playing as a World War II soldier instead of, say, an orc? Which civilization do you prefer to play as? Why?