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Game Info:

Diablo III
Developed by: Blizzard Entertainment
Published by: Blizzard Entertainment
Release Date: May 16, 2012
Available On: PC
Genre: RPG
Modes: Single/Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M for Mature: Blood and Gore, Violence
Price: $35 on Amazon 

It’s been twelve years since Diablo II was released and story of Diablo 3 picks up twenty years after the evil incarnate Diablo ravaged the town Tristram.  Those who have played the predecessors will appreciate the familiar gameplay mechanics, characters, scenery and guitar strumming background music.  The graphics have come a long way since the original was released in 1996.  

The story begins with Deckard Cain and his niece Leah studying the prophecies in the chapel when a ball of fire from the sky lands there causing the dead to rise and quite frankly all hell breaks loose before their eyes.  While Leah barely survives, her uncle is buried beneath the rubble.  

The hero you play arrives at New Tristram after following the falling star.  The town is in shambles and the soldiers are struggling to keep the undead out and many of the villagers are turning into zombies after being bitten by them. After speaking with Leah, you agree to help her find her uncle and she’ll even fight alongside you for a bit.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Simple but captivating game play, seamless multiplayer integration
Weak Points: Internet connection required for single player campaign, lag and downtime
Moral Warnings: Violence, swearing, magic use, sexual innuendos, supernatural and undead references

Leah is a ranged fighter and shoots down enemies with her bow and arrow.  Along your journey you’ll befriend other AI fighters such as a templar (melee), enchantress (sorcerer), and a scoundrel (ranged).  You cannot customize Leah’s equipment but you can with the others.  Half of the fun in this game is finding and equipping better weapons and armor.  The town’s blacksmith can help you forge weapons and armor with random magical properties.  You can salvage weapons through him or sell them back to merchants or other players using the auction house for gold.  You can buy in-game gold with real world currency through Blizzard if you wish.

The other half of the game revolves around exploring and slaying every hideous monster or boss that crosses your path.  Each character class has special weapons, abilities, and fighting styles that are unique to them.  I beat this game as a female Barbarian who is able to dual-wield swords, clubs, axes and spears.  As she attacks, she builds up rage that can enable various powers like causing earthquakes or spinning around and attacking like Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil.  The Witch Doctor class uses mana and has summoning/necromancy powers that can call upon zombie dogs to fight alongside them.  Their weapons and magic have tribal/voodoo elements to them.   The demon hunter is a ranged fighter that focuses on bows and crossbows.  They can dual-wield crossbows, throw bombs, and set traps to entangle their foes. The wizards use ranged elemental attacks that are powered by arcane magic that regenerates quickly.  The monk class is very powerful and specializes in hand to hand combat.  They’re handy to have in multiplayer skirmishes since they can heal others.  

Joining your friend’s game is pretty seamless and easy to do.  Diablo 3 requires an internet connection and a battle.net account to play.  If the battle.net servers are down, you cannot play.  (Many screamed and gnashed their teeth when this happened on launch day.)  You can add and chat with your friends in game and joining their game is a click away.  If someone joins a game, the AI followers are automatically sent back to town.  Also, when a person joins or leaves your game, the monster difficulty is changed accordingly.  You can only join games in areas that your character has been through.  So in other words, if you’re still on the Normal difficulty campaign, you cannot join nightmare or hell difficulty games.  

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 92%
Gameplay - 19/20
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 47%
Violence - 2.5/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content - 3/10
Occult/Supernatural - 1/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

In order to unlock the harder difficulties you beat the game on the previous one.  Not only is it more challenging, but the loot is better too.  It took me about 24 hours (not consecutively!) to beat the game on Normal difficulty.  You can have several heroes. Each of them has to earn their own progression, so if one character can access higher difficulties, you will have to earn it again with another one. On the other hand, you can join friends online who can take you to later chapters within the same difficulty level. 

The character development in this game is done exceptionally well.  Each hero has a male and female counterpart with unique (and great!) voice acting for each.  The characters and artisans have interesting back stories and anecdotes if you’re willing to talk to them.  Covetous Shen has the most memorable personality and the funniest stories but they are often riddled with sexual references.  It took my female barbarian a while to adequately cover herself with armor.  My female witch doctor is still lacking in that regard.  I already mentioned before that the witch doctors use voodoo and summoning magic.  Violence is gory and gruesome as you’ll encounter zombies that puke other zombies out and fat zombies that split open and have snakes or imps gush out of them.  It reminded me of the Left 4 Dead games in that regard.  

I was happy to see that the pentagrams have been removed for the most part.  They make a small appearance as a banner sigil (There’s no option for a cross sigil). To keep the game religion neutral they also took the crosses out of the chapels too.  Since the story revolves around spiritual warfare, there are several religious references in the back story.  For example, there’s a physical heaven and hell and some of the demon names and tales of Nephalem may sound familiar.       

So is Diablo 3 worth the wait?  I think so.  It’s fun, the controls are easy to use, and the graphics and story are captivating.  Those old enough to be familiar with the originals will feel at home here.  While it’s not a pentragram fest like the previous entries were, it’s a step in the right direction.  Diablo 3 is still a very dark game; there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.  It’s violent and earns its mature rating with the violence and swearing alone.  Fortunately the swearing is minor compared to other M games released recently.   The spiritual elements should be noted and the player class you choose will greatly impact your game play in that regard.  If you want more clothing, play as a male; if you don’t like magic, play as a barbarian.  If the spiritual elements don’t bother you, you’ll enjoy your trip to New Tristram.

People in this conversation

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  • Guest - Studied

    Guest - Branch

    Branch (in reply to Topher Taylor). It would seem to me that maybe you are the one who hasn't educated yourself re Nephilim. Try looking up a 2 hour video by Chuck Missler, for example; or perhaps, LA Mazulli, and so forth. Or even the book of Enoch which, is mentioned in the bible and later 'found'. Either way, the likelihood here is that Nephilim are not demons as you say but rather, (in short) fallen angels. It SAYS in the bible that they 'mixed seed' (forced themselves on) women in the world, and created the 'mixed' "nephilim' and that is, in fact, why the days of Noah came and the flood came. Note that it says they existed "after" the days of Noah as well, and note that many "giants" have been found. (Seek the above referenced materials for accurate documented details). So before 'you' speak maybe you should be 'educated.' Just sayin'. Get ready, because it is quite likely that after these blood moon tetrads (***uming you are as educated as you seem to imply, you know what they are and what they are signaling) come starting in just 3 days from this posting - 'signs' of end times are upon us -- the real 'nephilim' may in fact, be here once again as the 'and after' as noted in the bible and that in fact they 'may' be part of that end timed deception. It isn't demonology it's high-breds. I did not read Topher's reply but I did not notice yours and I can tell already that it was mentioned by an educated person. In playing Diablo III - this was the one thing that repeatedly is mentioned, you the player are called a Nephilim, a 'hero'. Wake up and realize that even in games, 'pieces' of the end times deception seeds are being planted for those who are NOT saved. I was bothered by this in my spirit.... as was, apparently...this other person. There is a reason for that. And it isn't being uneducated. Its being 'awake'. The reality is --- christians will fall away in the last days and as christian gamers... we really need to be careful what we do represent as 'ok' when its not.

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  • Guest - Rev. Peter White

    You are happy that pentagrams were removed because..? The symbol first used 5,000 years ago (which easily pre-dates your religion) and has been used in every existing religion, including yes, Christianity. So your irrational and false ***umption the pentagram has something to do with your fictional Christian devil entity is actually a modern ***ociation as part of the Church's 'anti-every other belief and religion propaganda campaign'. It actually is a very positive symbol historically speaking, used currently to represent the Wiccan religion. Otherwise a decent review. Blessings, Rev. Peter

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  • "The Church's anti-every other belief and religion propaganda campaign." You mean the one that Jesus Christ started when he said that no one can come to the father except through him? "Fictional Christian devil entity?" Can I ask what religion you're a reverend of? Have you ever opened a Bible?

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  • Guest - Dingus

    These games are meant to be played and enjoyed, not "beaten." Completing a playthrough of a computer game is not a life accomplishment. You can stop saying you "beat the game."

    0 Like Short URL:
  • Guest - Rev. Peter White

    @AS - Specifics? I gave dates, specific examples and historical facts. How much more 'specific' do you want me to be? Perhaps if you put down the bible for a moment and picked up a accredited history book this wouldn't be 'outrageous' information to you. Or even going to Wikipedia and looking up 'pentagram' will validate everything I said. Blessings.

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  • Guest - debulm

    How can you rate this games moral score lower than Postal 2?

    http://www.christcenteredgamer.com/index.php/reviews/18-computer/4321-postal-2-share-the-pain

    They why are you playing it if it bothers you so much?

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  • Guest - aaa

    yeah this game sucks

    0 Like Short URL:

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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