Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Game Review

It's certainly no surprise that a game called Diablo III doesn't have a lot to do with, say, cute-and-cuddly bunnies. Rather, as its title might suggest, this M-rated RPG is all about hell-spawned monstrosities and congregations of demons. Of course, gamemakers at Blizzard Entertainment consider the video game's record-breaking sales—a rush that started with a reported 3.5 million units sold in the first 24 hours and 6.3 million in the first week—nothing short of heavenly.

The Diablo franchise was once considered to be the definitive dungeon-trolling, battle-action series in the RPG genre. And then, like its titular demonic nemesis, it went underground, so to speak. Now the franchise has been revived after an 11-year break. And while it's easy to see how a decade has changed the world of gaming graphics and the physics of play, there's a lot here that will look familiar to any PC gamers who might have traversed this series' diabolical challenges back in the day.

The Fallen and the Risen
The story picks up in the foreboding, crumbling city of Tristram, a place that saw the defeat of the infernal demon Diablo some 20 years before. But evil has a way of clawing back up from the depths, doesn't it? In this case, a wizened old scholar named Deckard Cain has been studying ancient texts and concludes that, simply put, all hell is about to break loose once more. And so it does, in the form of rampaging demonic creatures and risen corpses besieging Tristram's panicked populace.

Deckard himself doesn't last long. Then it's up to his young niece, Leah, to gather his notes and continue looking for lifesaving revelations. Amid this chaos, a fallen angel named Tyreal drops to Earth like a flaming meteor from the heavenly realms. His fallen state, however, isn't due to rebellious choices. Rather, he's here to defy his aloof angelic brethren and help humanity.

Tyreal takes on human flesh and joins the earthly struggle against the encroaching devilish horde, believing that mankind's unwavering valor and bravery are the only things that can once again defeat the prime evil of Diablo … the most powerful demon in existence.

Just One More Level
After that ominous introduction, players make their way through this unfolding epic fantasy as a hero who's part of Leah and Tyreal's tale. You choose your character's gender, then select one of five different classes: Witch Doctor, Barbarian, Wizard, Monk or Demon Hunter.

As those labels hint at, there's a whole lot of bashing, slashing and magic-casting at the core of this contest. And in the beginning, that's about all there is. Moves are simple and button punching is constant. But just about the time you start wondering if Diablo III is going to morph into a monotonous adventure, the mesmerizing science of Blizzard's RPG formula kicks in.

On the surface, it appears that you and a small group of AI- or human-controlled compatriots are exploring a variety of locales—from besieged castle walls to rat-infested sewers to moldy manors and vermin-filled caves—in a quest to find the truth and to prepare for the inevitable day of reckoning. But what you're actually doing is easing into Diablo III's addictive system of challenges and gameplay. With the defeat of each wave of ever more powerful monsters, you receive upgrade points, health orbs, gold and dropped items—not to mention increasingly potent weapons and armor, of course. And those upgrades are paced perfectly. So when your barbarian, for instance, moves on from a basic cleaving move to a new leaping attack, or picks up a couple pieces of really cool armor and the ability to create an enemy-tumbling earthquake, you can't help but want to stick with it and see what's next. Just one more level, you might tell yourself (or your parents … or your spouse).

Another immersive aspect of this system is the opportunity—with so many mix-and-match abilities, distinct ability categories and dozens of skill-enhancing runestones—to customize a uniquely equipped character, one that's radically different from anything anyone else has created. Finally, the game also offers the truly brave at heart a Hardcore mode that limits your character to a single death. If your digital hero or heroine falls in this mode, you can never play that avatar again.

And a Few More Kills
With all this talk of demons and magic, hacking, slashing and death, you may be wondering just how visually messy this game gets. The answer is: pretty messy.

This third-person actioner watches everything from a bird's-eye point of view. That tones things down a notch when the weapons are flying and the body parts start falling. But the mayhem is nevertheless intense and unrelenting, even from a distance. Blades, arrows, spears, laser-like blasts and black magic attacks impale, eviscerate and dismember friends and foes alike.

Humanoid and outlandishly misshapen monster enemies often perish in a splashing shower of blood as their bodies are torn to shreds. We see a girl possessed by a devil after being sacrificed by her mother, along with other conjurations that raise dead—and deadly—creatures from the ground. It's also worth mentioning that some of the well-muscled female characters expose quite a lot of digital skin with their skimpy outfits.

Now, with a contorted squint and turn, it's possible to look at this game from a purely good-vs.-evil perspective. Defenders of humanity rally together throughout, for instance, displaying an unrelenting passion to stand up against evil and defeat the denizens of darkness.

Still, the game's core spirituality isn't biblical by any measure. No, Diablo III is a bloody campaign drenched in demon possession, witchcraft and brutal combat. Good may ultimately triumph over evil—but not before gamers are exposed to a netherworld full of that evil.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range







Record Label




Blizzard Entertainment


May 15, 2012

On Video

Year Published



Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!