In the video game war against video game cannibals, as depicted in next month’s Bulletstorm, extreme measures are required — or at least rewarded. The straight-faced official U.S. video game ratings board describes a bunch of them.
This is the description on the Entertainment Software Ratings Board’s website for the M-rated (meaning for players 17 and older) video game Bulletstorm. We already knew the game was full of behaviour you can’t try at home without receiving multiple life sentences, that you get points for the creative ways you can kill your enemies in this game and that… on a completely virtual level, this winds up being fun.
(emphasis in ESRB’s description added by Kotaku)
This is a first-person shooter in which players assume the role of a space pirate who must escape a planet populated by mutant cannibals. Players use futuristic machine guns, shotguns, magnum revolvers, assault rifles, and chain guns to perform over-the-top kills that dismember and decapitate foes. Injured enemies emit large sprays of blood that stain the ground and surrounding walls. Specialty kills (i.e., Skillshots) represent the most intense instances of violence: enemies can be dismembered with explosives; impaled on spikes; and drilled into walls, resulting in body parts breaking into pieces. During the course of the game, players can consume alcohol and kill enemies in order to receive an Intoxicated Skillshot; the screen turns blurry during these sequences. The dialogue contains numerous jokes and comments that reference sexual acts, venereal diseases, and having sex with one’s mother (e.g., “Guess I know where the ol’ gal got that limp.”). The names of some Skillshots are infused with sexual innuendo (e.g., Gag Reflex, Rear Entry, Drilldo, Mile High Club); one Skillshot (i.e., Fire in the Hole) allows players to shoot at enemies’ exposed buttocks. Language such as “f**k,” “sh*t,” “p*ssy,” and “c*ck” can be heard in dialogue.
None of that language will appear on the box for Bulletstorm, when the game is released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC next month. It’s all on the group’s website though, as are colorful descriptions for most other games released in the last several years. The following content descriptors from the ESRB will be on the Bulletstorm box: “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol.”
Use of alcohol, indeed!
Recognize that there are people who claim that the video game industry’s ratings aren’t specific enough.
Recognize also that we will soon be earning points in Bulletstorm for shooting virtual cannibals while drunk.
Bulletstorm Rating Information [ESRB website]