The ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) has given Hideo Kojima’s next installment in the Metal Gear franchise an M (Mature) rating for the USA. Among the descriptors that give the reason for the rating was the rare “sexual violence”, last seen applied to a game (according to a statement from the ESRB obtained by Kotaku) in 2006, that game being Animamundi, which was released in the US for Windows on May 31, 2006 from Karin Entertainment and published by Hirameki International (the game was a Japanese gothic horror visual novel). The other three descriptors were blood and gore, intense violence, and strong language, all par for the course for the series. The details form the board’s summary are revealed below. Be warned some may consider some of these details plot spoilers, so read at your own risk.
“This is an action game in which players assume the role of an elite soldier through military missions in Cuba. Players infiltrate various bases and use pistols, machine guns, and rocket launchers to kill enemy soldiers. Firefights are highlighted by realistic gunfire, slow-motion effects, and large blood-splatter effects. Players can also employ stealth attacks (e.g., choking, knife stabbing from behind) and have the ability kill non-adversary characters/prisoners. One cutscene includes a depiction of blood and gore (e.g., a character’s intestines exposed during a dramatic procedure to remove an object). The game includes an audio file in which a female character is sexually assaulted by male characters; while there is no visual depiction, sounds of ripped clothing and struggle can be heard. The words “f**k” and “sh*t” are heard in the dialogue.”
It seems that the game avoided the Adults Only (AO) rating by implying the sexual violence and not showing it visually. Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes is the prequel to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and will release on March 18 in the US and on March 20 in the UK and Australia/NZ.
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