Guess What We Didn’t Find in the OFLC Board Report For GTA IV?

Guess What We Didn’t Find in the OFLC Board Report For GTA IV?
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Well, this is certainly an eye-opener.

Tipster Mick managed to get his hands on the Office of Film & Literature Classification’s report for Grand Theft Auto IV. It’s not very large at three pages, but it’s more than enough for us to find out what we want to know.

Firstly, the violence. The OFLC doesn’t see it as anything out of the ordinary for the MA15+ rating, describing it as “hand to hand combat (basic punching and kicking) [that]more regularly involves use of various weapons”. It does make particular mention of what you can do to corpses: “Blood pooling occurs under bodies that are shot at after death however no post mortem damage (such as decapitation or dismemberment) is possible”. You’ll remember that it was decapitation and dismemberment that got Soldier of Fortune: Payback and Dark Sector in trouble with the board. There’s also a few words given to the “ability of the player to set an enemy alight causing them to burn”, though it notes that this is infrequent.

The board marked the usage of the words “fuck”, and a lot less frequently, “cunt”. It also talks of a cut scene where a drug dealer “is depicted implicitly, then explicitly, snorting lines of white powder (implied to be cocaine) from a table”.

It also looks like prostitution got through unscathed, with the OFLC stating “when picking up a prostitute, the player is depicted in a car where he parks and honks the horn. The woman enters the car and the camera angle switches to the view of the number plate. While the car is visibly moving up and down, only audio cues are heard”.

Fascinating, indeed, but what is more interesting is what the report doesn’t mention.Yes, it’s that scene that was rumoured to have been removed from our version of the game before the OFLC could see it. The scene is more than explicit enough that Rockstar would have been forced to show it as part of the sample of the most extreme and questionable sections of the game. Since we posted the rumour, Rockstar has broken its silence and stated it as “untrue”, yet the report quite clearly contradicts this.

In fact, the words “anus”, “bum, “butt” or “buttocks” don’t appear at all. Neither does “sodomise”. So if the board didn’t see it, where did it go?

Don’t you think it’s about time the publisher was honest with us?

UPDATE: Another possibility is that the scene itself was cut from or not present in any edition, and hence what Rockstar meant about it being untrue. Sadly, it wasn’t very specific at all on this point and has so far been unwilling to reply to my request for more detail. We may just have to wait until enough people have played the game here and overseas to narrow down what was cut.

Comments

  • I heard that the drunk driving and what not was going to be removed when the Aus edited thing was announced.
    Did the report make any references to the ability to drunk drive?

  • Funny, the prostitution was removed from the original GTA3 for a local release. Now its magically considered acceptable for MA15+ audiences… What those against an R rating do not realise is R rated games (with minor tweaks) are still coming to Australia and are doing so under an MA rating that most parents do not take seriously.

    The lack of an R rating is a bad thing. For the gamers AND the parents. When will they wake up and ratify an R rating?

  • Here’s an idea, maybe the sodomy rumour was, and is not planned to be a part of any release of the game? Is there a copy of the US/UK board of Classification stating that it is a part of their GTA?

  • What I’ve seen of the game it seems close to impossible to actually get into a car when drunk (you can barely walk) – maybe it isn’t there because it is a very rare activity?

  • @Matty C: Not that I know of. It would help a great deal if we could see another report. What would be even more helpful is if Rockstar had been more specific about the rumour.

    I’m more than happy to concede that it may have been cut from all editions, or that the Take 2 customer support personnel was mistaken. I asked Rockstar for more information this morning when it dropped me the single sentence email about the rumour, but I’m still waiting to hear back.

  • Wasn’t drunk driving part of an early demo shown to press people a few months ago? I vividly recall people describing Nico attempting to get Roman home in a car after having a few too many.

    Thats exactly the sort of thing that would send Australian parliament into epileptic fits, far more so than sodomy with sports goods.

    I didn’t mind the cut scene being cut but I’d be pretty upset if part of the gameplay had been screwed with.

  • Uhh… maybe it hasn’t stated the drink driving because they don’t consider it a big issue? I mean, look at Vice City Stories: there was a mission where you got covered in Cocaine and had to drive. Shouldn’t they frown more on that than drink driving?

  • Don’t mean to be nasty here, but this article makes no sense.

    Why would Rockstar be forced to show a scene to the OFLC that won’t be in our version of the game?

    That’s the whole reason why Rockstar pre-cut the game in the first place so they could avoid having to show our OFLC that material in the first place and avoid getting an RC.

    If you think about it logically it’s like asking the movie studios to include their cut scenes from a film when it gets rated for a theatrical release. They can’t be seen theatrically so it makes no sense at all!

  • @ Logan

    I just thought mate, you could drink and get stoned in Saints Row yet the OFLC didn’t have a problem with that. So you can basically do the same thing in Saints Row. Why would it be a problem in GTA?

  • @Villian: It’s not being nasty, I understand where you’re coming from and it’s a fair point.

    When Rockstar contacted me this morning about the rumour, they just said it was “untrue”. They didn’t specify exactly what was untrue. I emailed asking for more details and have yet to hear back, so I took it as meaning that the scene was present in the Oz version and hadn’t been cut, rather than the scene itself was untrue.

    Having read the OFLC report, and seeing no mention of it, the natural conclusion was that it had been cut. Does that make more sense?

  • @Mick: For sure. I’m just noting that there’s no mention of drink driving in the report. It may have gone through without being shown.

  • Im 100% with Villan on this one. Article doesnt really make sense. And I also dont agree with:

    “We may just have to wait until enough people have played the game here and overseas to narrow down what was cut.”

    We shouldnt have to just wait and see, we can make enough noise so that the publisher tells us EXACTLY whats missing, so that we can make our own choices.. Crappy way to treat your fans Take2. Especially for NZers where the uncut version wasnt even submitted for rating (even though none of the previous versions were banned/cut there)..

    If its ANY gameplay cut, sod it, will import it.. if its one cutscene, I can probably live without it. But I agree with the sentiment i have heard expressed a thousand times, it sucks that we will not see the same masterpiece the rest of the world will see.

  • @MaccaG: I agree, Rockstar should tell us what’s missing. But at this stage, it’s made it quite clear that it’s keeping its mouth shut. I don’t really see any other way of getting the information, other than playing the game.

    As for the article, see my earlier reply to Villian.

  • BTW sounds like there will be an announcement from Take2 NZ tomorrow?

    http://www.gpforums.co.nz/thread/310258/8/?s=

    although whether this will be info on what was cut or just why NZ got the cut version to rate in the first place i dont know..

    (sorry Logan just feeling really grrrr right now, have only been waiting for this game since i completed san an 3 years ago..)

  • @MaccaG: No need to apologise mate, we’re all a bit frustrated about this. And I’d rather people had the right idea and correct information than it all not making any sense. Obviously.

  • Can the whole OFLC document be linked to or posted here? Can it be compared with reports from overseas equivalents? Due to the fact the international version supposedly differs from the local version it would be illegal to import this for sale at retail in Australia. If in fact there are no differences between versions how are we to know definitively? Is this a case of Australian distributors scarmongering so as to prevent the import of cheaper foreign copies and protect their own financial interests? For the sake of Australian consumers, retailers and wholesale Importers we need some clarity on this.

  • In defence of Logan, the article does make sense because if they cut the scene before it went to the OFLC it means they’re second guessing the OFLC’s decision, possibly in an attempt to speed up the approval process and ensure their game makes the same release date as every other region.

    AND it also means when they said an unedited version was coming to Australia and the OFLC had approved it that was a flat out utter lie on their part. Basically it makes Rockstar look like complete jack asses.

  • Importers be warned. Internode has spoken to customs in Australia and apparently if a copy is identified as being an item not for sale in Australia it will be impounded and depending on various details you may also receive a fine. The same thing happens to a number of movies that remain banned in Australia such as Cannibal Holocaust and games like the original Manhunt which is still banned.

    Given the fact its GTA IV and the media hoopla over the editing issue customs may be pretty vigilant at the end of April/early May.

    Here’s the article:

    http://games.internode.on.net/content.php?mode=news&id=2920

  • Here’s the customs page that lists objectionable content (right between pesticides and radioactive materials) that will be seized, unfortunately it doesn’t go into any specifics of items but it has contact details to ask questions of customs

    http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=4369#e1070

    They are a bit random in the way they search for stuff so your chances are, hypothetically, good. But you’re still taking a chance.

  • The uncut version of Cannibal Holocaust has been on sale uncut in Australia for over a year now. Forget what Internode said, follow this link:
    http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=4369#e1070

    It clearly states that basically a game has to be considered “objectionable” by adult standards.

    “Includes computer games, computer generated images, films, interactive games and publications that describe, depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime cruelty, violence, terrorist acts or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults.”

    It won’t get “seized”. Stop being an alarmist fear monger. I’ve imported countless banned/unclassified games and nothing has ever been seized. Really though, as far as customs know the game has been classified in Australia and thats it. It’s impossible for them to know how overseas versions differ as the game has not been banned in AU. Nothing in GTA can compare to some of the movies legally available.

  • Wait Wait Wait Gta 4 has not been banned in Australia and it also has not been refused classification its rated Ma15+. The Uk version (full version) was not sent for classification so it could not have been Refused classification as they haven’t classified it.

    That took a lot of class..ification 🙂

  • Here’s a thought, could the fact that Rockstar is keeping ultra hush hush on exactly what has been removed from the Australian version of the game be so that they don’t affect sales in Aus as much as they would by just telling us what’s missing?

    Seems to me like a nice old case of greed, (being as how we can import games for almost half the price from the US…)

  • Annoying as it is, it’s pretty obvious why Rockstar is keeping its big mouth shut.

    Remember the sex scene from Mass Effect? Or the Hot Coffee scenes that 98% of GTA players never actually saw?

    The second you call attention to something in your game (even if it was cut), people and new outlets will take it out of context and run flashing red headlines. Plus if something “important” was cut, game websites would all but call for a boycott, which (whilst understandable) is not exactly good business practice.

    Anyway, back to guesswork: “It also looks like prostitution got through unscathed”

    Weren’t there also scenes in a strip club involving lap dances and implied oral sex? Or was that part of the “picking up prostitutes?” Not that any of that was likely to be cut, unless Rockstar added in a scene involving guns or a baseball bat… Not that Rockstar would EVER do that..

  • MY friend has just received an australian version of GTA about 3 days ago that he purchased off a website.. i can tell you that you can drink drive. and get drunk and have drunk fights and pretty much do everything.. i have been told the only differences are that in the r 18+ version when you hire a prostitute you can rotate the camera so you can see the girl bouncing.. where as in the Australian MA version all you see is the back of the car.. and when you drive motor bikes.. and crash your legs and arms get dismembered or broke i cant remember which one.. and i think there are a few extra swear words and stuff like that.. i read this off xbox forum from a guy that owns the R18+ version and he says the R18+ version is supposedly a gig bigger then the australian version? well i already have my UK R18+ version shipping to me as we speakk. CANT WAIT!

  • GTAIV’s Internet is filled with spoofs of all the kinds of Web sites that you’d only ever look at accidentally or when you know there’s no danger of getting caught. Some of them can be found only by clicking on links in spam e-mails, whereas others are advertised prominently on the search page” thats my dad works in eb games australia apparently when he reiceved the games the delevery guy sed dont bother giving 1 to your son its exactly like gta san andreas … now ive played the game 3 times now for 1 hour each time..havent seen the drink driving yet..but i know i cant use the internet yet ..on the map on http://www.gta4.net it shows the internet place its not there! mayby im in a wrong place or mayby this is true that they moved that too
    and most definetly it got a r18+ rating because of the sex scene and other sexual activity you can do in gta4..i recommend ordering it overseas or keeping the one in australia all da same the graphs are great ill give this game a 10/10 rating who cares about the sex bits gta is one of the best games ever made in the 21st century!

  • I’m almost 1/5 of the way through GTA4, and I can tell you now that prostitution is there but it does seemed toned down and you cannot actually see Niko doing anything. Instinctively I do feel like there has been things cut from the strip clubs, drink activities and level of swearing. I have yet to come across the supposed cut scene where a pistol is inserted into someones arse or whatever, and as for the article, the OFLC probably reviewed the Australian version not the R18+ version and thats the reason why there is no mention of the cut scene. If anyone does have the proper version feel free to email me I really want to know what has actually been cut as I am considering ordering a copy from the UK and trading mine in. However in terms of gameplay GTA4 is awesome, the size and level of detail of Liberty City has to be seen to be believed, the combat system is centuries ahead of previous GTA games and driving may take a while to get used to but once you do its more enjoyable than ever.

  • Ive completed the game 2wice now and u can drink drive and pick up hookers in the Oz version of the game. defs 10/10 . I really wanna no wat was cut tho..

  • It has been revealed what was cut:

    http://palgn.com.au/article.php?id=11602

    I’m glad I didn’t import. The only feature that I would’ve liked to be in my version is how you can see blood appear on Niko after battles, and the pools of blood sound awesome for those big fire-fights. But meh, it’s all good =)

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