Kotaku Australia has learned that Outlast 2 has been refused classification in Australia, predominately for the depiction of implied sexual violence.
Earlier today we reported that Outlast 2 had been refused classification by Australia's censors, but the precise reasoning why wasn't known. It was a surprise, given that the game's publishers went to the effort of putting the demo through the classification process - which resulted in it receiving an R18+ rating.
But Outlast 2 will not be rated in Australia. The board's decision, which have been provided to Kotaku Australia, was based on multiple scenes where - even though it is implied that the main character, Blake, is hallucinating - sexual violence is implied.
One particular scene shows a female creature thrusting against the main character while his wife is tied up in chains:
(WARNING: the following passage contains a description of implied sexual assault.)
In one cut-scene in the game ... a female creature prepares Blake for a ritual. She says, "I want to see your true face. Your seed will burn this world." Shortly afterwards, he objects to having psycho-active dust blown into his face, yelling, "Nope! Nope!" before he stumbles into a forest clearing.
His vision blurring, he witnesses what appears to a ritualistic orgy. His wife, Lynn, calls out for his help, saying, "It hurts! Oh god!," as she hangs from chains on a raised platform at the front of the clearing. Humanoid creatures, their skin grey, spattered with blood and scarred, implicity have sex as others pray, or chant, or gesticulate.
One creature has another bent over a rock, thrusting as they implicitly have rear-entry sex, another sits astride the pelvic region of a creature prone on the ground, moving their hips rhythmically as they too implicitly have sex. Two other pairs of creatures in the clearing are also implicitly having sex.
As Blake yells for the creatures to "Get away from her!" a female creature, her greyish breasts bared, pushes him onto his back, holds his arms to the ground and repeatedly thrusts her crotch against him. As Blake protests, saying "No! Stop that!" the creature thrusts again, before placing its face over his midsection and then sitting up and wiping its mouth.
Although much of the contact between the creature and Blake is obscurred, by it taking place below screen, the sexualised surroundings and aggressive behaviour of the creature suggest that it is an assault which is sexual in nature. The Board is of the opinion that this, combined with Blake's objections and distress, constitutes a depiction of implied sexual violence.
In the Board's opinion, the above example constitutes a depiction of implied sexual violence and therefore cannot be accommodated within the R18+ classification category and the game is therefore Refused Classification.
The Board's report noted that "without the depiction of implied sexual violence listed above", Outlast 2 would be eligible for a R18+ rating. However, they added that the scenes described were not "an exhaustive list of the content that caused" Outlast 2 to be refused classification.
Kotaku Australia has reached out to the game's local distributor for comment, but did not hear back at the time of writing. If the developers and its publisher decide to resubmit Outlast 2 with a modified version of the game, we'll let you know.