​Metal Gear Solid V Gets Rare 'Sexual Violence' Ratings Description

Phrases you see all the time on the back of video game boxes: "Blood and Gore", "Intense Violence", "Strong Language". The "Sexual Violence" content descriptor has only been used once before, back in 2006. This year, that infrequently used tag will be used to tell consumers some of what happens in Metal Gear Solid V. Warning: Spoilers for Metal Gear Solid V follow.

It's probably not a surprise that the next game in Hideo Kojima's long-running stealth action series will be getting an M (Mature) rating from the Entertainment Software Review Board. But the specific notes in the rating summary for Metal Gear Solid V give away details as to why the game will be categorized as having sexual violence:

Content Descriptors: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Violence, Strong Language

Rating Summary: 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.

When contacted by Kotaku, the ESRB said that only one other game, 2006's Animamundi, have been categorized as having sexual violence. It's not clear if the female character in the audio file described in the rating summary is the controversially attired sniper Quiet. Kojima has remarked that there will be more depth to Quiet than initially meets the eye so it's possible that the audio file may be part of her backstory. Either way, incorporating sexual assault into its storyline puts MGS V in rarefied territory.

[via Reddit]



    Banned/censored in Aus then.

      Yep - ozgameshop are rubbing their hands together at the thought of all those extra orders they'll be getting for the uncensored version. Although with everything available digitally these days you could probably buy and download off the US store for pretty much the same price anyway.

      I would agree, but funny enough it's already been rated here....MA15+.....in its original form; I guess our rating board missed that part of the game when rating it? :P

      Well unless Konami changed it before they submitted it?

      Last edited 07/01/14 11:30 am

        It might be an optional thing such as audio logs that you pickup during gameplay. Either the classification board missed it or they just think the audio was just a torture tape.

          Actually the guidelines state for R18+ that "Actual sexual violence is not permitted. [...] Implied sexual violence that is visually depicted, interactive, not justified by context or related to incentives or rewards is not permitted."

          So in this case since the sexual violence is not visually depicted, not interactive, and not related to incentives or rewards probably gets it in the clear.

            The interesting thing is that even though it's supposedly not depicted, it still gets a "Sexual Violence" descriptor when there are other games that got descriptors such as "References to Sexual Violence" and "Threats of Sexual Violence".

            Last edited 07/01/14 4:20 pm

              Aus ratings descriptors, or ESRB ratings descriptors? Just curious, since I was specifically referring to our classification guidelines, and I'm not really familiar with how the ESRB chooses theirs. But if there's variance I guess we just have to wait for it to come out and see what the context of the scene is. That might change our views.

          Very true, could just be an optional thing I guess and that's something our board is willing to/does overlook. The fact the ESRB mentioned it and all we got was "Strong themes and violence" does raise some eyebrows though.

            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.

            Sounds like that gets through our system just fine. As long as you can't *see* it or *interact* with it in some way, they probably don't have an issue.

          Nah, that's not how it works. The publisher has to round up and present all the material in the game that could be objectionable or whatever, and the board makes their decision based on that. So if the tape is in the game at all (optional thing or not) then they have to show it to them.

        I'll think you will find the only reason sexual violence will get banned in Aus is if it is interactive and/or has not basis for story consideration. I clearly remember this being the description of why it would be refused classification. But... Time will tell.

    The game has been rated MA15+ uncut in Oz. Metro: Last Light included a visually scene implying rape. Same with a few other games - you people need to educated. An audio file is not going to be banned you silly twits, sexual violence is allowed to a certain extent in the R18+ rating.

    But I'd be importing anyway, if not just to save money as always. BTW if it's just audio, the R rating allows an unlimited amount of course language. Hurrr Durrr

      "you people need to educated."

      Yeah, educated by the grammar king!

    If the reason why Quiet is naked is because she was tortured and sexually assaulted then that would be a very lame reason.

      From her brief appearance in the trailer it looks like her skin has some sort of Rorsarch blob going on, so the best theory I heard is that her skin can turn into camouflage which is why she leaves so much of it exposed.

        Which goes against the reason for wearing stockings. Also still doesn't explain why she doesn't wear support on her chest.

    @neo_kaiser (this comment got detached because, yet again, the comment system here is garbage)

    Didn't they already say a while back her outfit was because of stealth technology?

    Last edited 07/01/14 3:31 pm

      Nope. That's just a theory. A good theory, but unconfirmed. Kojima did say there was a reason for the way she dressed, he didn't give that reason though.

    Because sexual violence against men doesn't exist. It will only be classified if female gender is involved. How sexist is this shit?

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