Call Of Duty Receives An R18+ Rating For The First Time

The Call of Duty series is mostly about shooting people in the face, that's sort of its thing.

But despite this, all Call of Duty games up until this point were rated either MA15+ or below. Until now.

According to the Classification Board, Call of Duty: Black Ops III has received an R18+ rating. A first for the series.

Locally Activision are not providing any official comment on the decision, but we have confirmed that Activision will not be appealing the decision. There's a sense, I think, that this was expected given the content of the game this time round.

The game has been classified as an 18+ in other regions, as have previous games in the Call of Duty series.

Black Ops III was classified R18+ as a result of its violence which was described as 'high impact'. As per the classification report:

Early in the campaign mode, a soldier is hit by an explosive spiked wheel and his left arm is torn off, with blood spray and wound detail such as bone, muscles and tendons viewed. As the soldier falls to the ground, the spiked wheel explodes and he is hit and pierced by multiple blades, with copious blood spray on impact.

There were also moments of reportedly high impact violence in the game's multiplayer mode:

In multiplayer mode, some of the specialist "Cybercore" abilities cause dismemberment and gibbing. For example the special weapon ability "Swarm" shoots tiny drones at the enemy, which then eat them to death, severing body parts such as arms and legs. Another weapon called the Outrider bow explodes enemies in a shower of blood and giblets of random body parts.
Deaths in multiplayer are viewed again using a "Killcam" feature which replays dismemberment and gibbing such as that described above. An example was viewed where the player moved in behind the victim as their arm and leg were blown off - the impact of the copious blood spray and fleshy wound detail was significantly heightened by the closeness of the perspective.

All in all it looks like the game does deserve its R18+ rating. Is it a good thing? Probably. If anything it may force parents to reconsider buying the game for the many children who populate the game online. It is possible that, under the previous system, a game like Call of Duty: Black Ops III would have received an MA15+ classification, so you might argue that the system works.

Thanks AusVGClassification


    I guess they decided to review the players in online multiplayer.

    I'm hoping this game doesn't disappoint me as much as every other one has since MW2 (BLOps 2 was good), but for the time being maintaining low hopes :s

    The Beta on PC was fun though and didn't feel too bastardized with ridiculous kill streaks.

      Can it really be called "disappointing" if that's now what you expect? It's probably going to be well within your expectations. BLOps 2 was good, though.

      I don't understand why people keep buying them :s

      It all went sour after COD4..

    I assumed if all the violence has previously only warranted an MA15+, an R18+ must surely be because we see a female nipple for three quarters of a second?

      Nah, you can now choose to play as female soldiers. That's enough of a reason.

    Doesn't matter, the mums will cave in and buy it for the kids just like GTA.

      And then campaign for Target to remove it from its shelves.

    The online multiplayer will still be filled with high pitch screechy 12 yr olds throwing around racial and homophobic slurs.

    Last edited 15/09/15 12:45 pm

    Are the COD games still being released for previous and current gen? If so, they really need to ditch previous gen and up the graphics a bit, it's well overdue.

      I think they may have some issues maintaining 60fps if they push the graphics much more. The current gen consoles aren't powerful at all.

        Play a couple of hours of MGSV: Phantom Pain then slap yourself.

          Yeah I've got it. It looks great. It runs very well on console. It also has something like 7 years of development compared to CoDs 3 (max, there has to be QA so really significantly less).

          Last edited 15/09/15 5:00 pm

            thats actually incorrect... previous gen consoles are what are holding back the current gen consoles. so many cpu and gpu optimizations going unused, including proper memory and multicore processing utilization, simply because these features are unsupported on previous gen, and would essentially mean having to re-code major chunks of engine code to develop a proper current gen version. essentially it would be like developing two seperate games simultaneously as current gen/previous gen code would be incompatible...

            much easier to release a shittier version you can develop simultaneously accross all platforms...

              Yeah thats what I'm saying. Acti won't put that much funding into CoD until they have to, when the last gen versions start selling worse than current gen. It's a numbers game. The money will have to be spent eventually, but not this year.

              Last edited 16/09/15 11:41 am

        The graphics are based on an engine that's now 8 years old. I find that hard to believe. As @kenz mentions above, look at MGS5 - very pretty and running at 60fps.

        Last edited 15/09/15 3:20 pm

          Yeah it could look better if it had 7 years development and the money and resources to create/rebuild the engine. I'm pretty sure Acti don't do things that way, at least not with CoD.

            oh they definitely have the money... you're forgetting that COD is the best selling franchise in history.

              I'm not saying that Acti don't have the money. I'm saying they won't give the money or time to whoever developed this years (or next years) CoD to rebuild the engine. They will give that money to shareholders instead.

        Not sure what stats you're looking at but CoD is hardly pushing the current consoles at all. Hell look at Uncharted 4

    It's undoubtedly the insanely gory Zombies mode that has bumped the classification up to R18+.

    Looking at some of the footage I thought noticed that it had gibs in it this time round, e.g. bodies being blown into pieces by explosions.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but that could be the reason, as I know dismemberment is a no-no when it comes to the classification board.

      World at War had dismemberment and was only MA15+.

      Maybe it's on a more extreme/gory scale?

      Last edited 15/09/15 2:27 pm

        That was also before the R rating, and many games were classified MA which were (the equivalent of) R pretty much everywhere else.
        WaW was undoubtedly a very gory game. If there'd been an R rating when it was released it, along with many other titles, probably would have got one.

        That was before R18 though, but you're right, that was my favorite COD for that reason lol

    So if a game is R18+, does that mean you can only play online with XBLive if your account is also setup as 18+?

      This would be interesting...!

        I believe the console has a parental controls option to restrict games of a certain classification, but I'm pretty sure this is set on the console and affects all gameplay. I don't think there's any age restrictions based on XBL account.

          Correct, the adult account linked to the child account is what decides what they can or cant' do :)

      Depends on how the child account is set up, the adult account linked to the child account can set up the child account to they can or can't access certain content

    Sold!! Love me a bit of high impact violence and dismemberment! lol
    Hopefully this might mean the online will be filled with more adults? one can only hope :)

    Last edited 15/09/15 4:28 pm

      I honestly feel, based on my own preferences for video games when I was a teen, the added violence will only attract more adolescents, rather than deter them.
      And if the general consensus I get with parenting in 2015 is accurate, the R18 rating will not affect any parental decision making either...

        Exactly right. As much as I wish it would mean less children playing, I'm positive it won't change a thing lol

    And yet South Park and Saints Row were banned lol. Can't help but continually laugh at this country - it's anti-drug obsession, as well as still thinking in this day and age the view of "games worse than movies" is still valid just makes me laugh.

    No amount of violence gets games banned now, but any drugs or Anal probes and it's ban ban ban. Look at MKX and such, totally fine as long as you don't pop some panadol lol.

    It's a good thing COD was rated R but ya gotta lol at this nations stupidity. Especially with that new import tax - too little too late when the digital age is booming. Thank god for buying digitally in foreign currency via PSN - NO TAX NO CENSORSHITE!

    Ha I'm off topic, but when EB is still charging $109.95 for MGSV I think it's safe to say we should ignore this joke of a local industry.

    I just want to know why its R black ops had gore in it black ops 2 high impact what's new with this one

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