Diablo IV enters its second beta weekend today, just over two months away from its June 6th release date. The game turned heads last weekend during the early access portion of the beta, with many gamers excited about what Blizzard is doing with the long-awaited sequel.
One thing that most gamers agree on? The darker, scarier, bloodier tone feels a lot more like the first two entries in the grimdark fantasy series than Diablo III, which was a lighter, cartoonier take on the action-RPG.
But this also means that unlike Diablo III, parents might want to think twice before letting their kids play the game, especially if they’re younger. Diablo IV is rated M (Mature) for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, and Language.
While the gameplay itself is not the most graphic—due mainly to it being a pulled-away camera and fairly unrealistic graphics—the numerous cut-scenes within the game can be extremely violent and filled with blood and gore. There are also terrifying moments of demonic possession, torture, murder and other disturbing scenes.
I’m a very laissez faire parent in many ways, and my kids (15 and 12) have watched and played many movies, shows and video games that other parents might deem too old for them. Personally, I think my kids would have no problem with the level of violence in Diablo IV, and my 12-year-old has played some of it already.
But M denotes a 17 age-rating similar to R-rated movies, so take that into consideration. The fantasy nature of the violence in the gameplay itself is one thing, but the cut-scenes that comprise the bulk of the game’s narrative heft can be quite graphic and some kids might get scared or have nightmares.
Ultimately, as with any parenting decision, it comes down to each individual family and child. I always encourage parents to play games with their kids, and you can do that easily with Diablo IV if you have any concerns. The game has couch co-op and online multiplayer so it really is ideal for playing with family or friends.
Playing the game will give you a more informed opinion before letting your kids play. Playing the game with them opens the door for all kinds of great conversations. And it’s fun! Ultimately, if this one is too dark there are plenty of others to choose from including Minecraft Dungeons or even Diablo III.
Read more about the open beta right here. Read Blizzard’s warning about the open beta here.
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