Cyberpunk 2077 will be sold unedited in Australia, thanks to the Classification Board's R18+ rating. And according to a redacted version of the Classification Board's ratings decision, expect a lot of sex.
The Classification's decision reports largely exist to explain the Board's justification in giving a game a particular rating. Decision reports don't outline every possible scene that factored into a classification rating, as the Board's director Margaret Anderson explained in Senate Estimates earlier this year. And it's not the first time the Board has redacted a classification decision report, as publishers and developers can ask the Board not to publish a report until a game's launch to avoid the proliferation of spoilers.
The redacted version of Cyberpunk 2077's classification report contains some interesting details worth reading, which we have shared below. There are no story spoilers, but if you want to avoid all mentions of gameplay entirely now is your chance to close the browser tab.
The report notes that "there are virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes" in Australia's R18+ classification. "The game contains no depictions of actual sexual activity nor does it contain explicit and realistic depictions of simulated sexual activity," the board's report says.
There's a few things to keep in mind here. Implicit sex - sounds of people banging or pleasuring themselves - is treated differently to sex that's depicted on-screen.
It doesn't seem like much of a difference in practice, but under Australia's classification guidelines, games cannot feature any on-screen depictions of sex. Even showing simulated sex on-screen can run the risk of a game being refused classification.
Australia might have an R18 rating for video games, but we also have some hugely strict limits on what can actually be classified R18.
The classification report also reconfirms that not all cut-scenes in Cyberpunk 2077 will be in first person, clearing up some of the confusion from the mixed messaging around the game's approach to cut-scenes last year. .
"Cut scenes, including the game's non-interactive sex scenes, are also primarily depicted from the first-person perspective," the Classification Board's report says.
Cyberpunk 2077, releasing April 2020, asks the big questions about our technology-driven future and what it means to be human. Also, it has tatas and badonkadonks out the wazoo — but some mixed messaging from the studio has left fans confused as to whether all the cut scenes will be in first person.
The report then outlines three scenes with various redactions.
At various points, the player can [REDACTED] choose to engage the services of male or female NPCs labelled as prostitutes. A [REDACTED] cut scene is then triggered in which the player character accompanies the prostitute to a room and engages in simulated sexual activity.
The sequence is [REDACTED] depicted from the first-person perspective, with breast and buttock nudity visible as the NPC assumes sexual poses and positions, [REDACTED]
In other [REDACTED] first-person cut scenes, the player is able to engage in consensual sexual acts with other NPCs. For example, [REDACTED] has a sexual encounter with a female NPC [REDACTED].
The sequence [REDACTED] uses a a brief wide-angled depiction of full frontal female nudity, to depict simulated sexual activity, with sounds of sexual pleasure emanating from both characters until they implicitly climax.
During one quest [REDACTED]. V enters a sex shop [REDACTED]. Mannequins are posed inside glass cabinets in various sexual positions, including a simulation of rear-entry sex. Other, smaller cabinets contain a variety of sex toys or devices, including a number of oversized phallic-shaped dildos.
[REDACTED] V, [REDACTED] enters a room [REDACTED]. As V lifts [REDACTED] her nose and mouth are revealed to be covered in blood.
She is alive, but [REDACTED] clearly "traumatised". The implication of the dialogue and post-action visual references is that she has been sexually assaulted.
The decision report goes on to note that players can choose to "inflict post-mortem damage on NPC corpses". Arms, legs and heads of corpses can be detached with gunfire, with some stylised injuries and details of entrails and bone visible in some cases.
I've followed up with the Classification Board for clarification on the delay in publicising Cyberpunk 2077's classification rating - as the game was first classified on March 11 - and will update this story if more information comes to light. All in all, the report gives us the clearest indication of the kinds of themes and tone we can expect from the game.
Parents: if your kids ask, this game is definitely not for them.