Yesterday we discovered that the Australian Classification Board deemed Saints Row IV too inappropriate, filled with sexual violence and drug use. The game was banned in the region. Now a report has released specifically detailing why.
“The game includes a weapon referred to by the Applicant as an ‘Alien Anal Probe.’ The Applicant states that this weapon can be ‘shoved into enemy’s backsides.’ The lower half of the weapon resembles a sword hilt and the upper part contains prong-like appendages which circle around what appears to be a large dildo which runs down the centre of the weapon. When using this weapon the player approaches a (clothed) victim from behind and thrusts the weapon between the victim’s legs and then lifts them off the ground before pulling a trigger which launches the victim into the air. After the probe has been implicitly inserted into the victim’s anus the area around their buttocks becomes pixelated highlighting that the aim of the weapon is to penetrate the victim’s anus. The weapon can be used during gameplay on enemy characters or civilians.
“In the Board’s opinion, a weapon designed to penetrate the anus of enemy characters and civilians constitutes a visual depiction of implied sexual violence that is interactive and not justified by context and as such the game should be Refused Classification.”
Another report also pointed at the use of narcotics in the game to be in bad taste, stating it lacks delineation between the in-game drugs and substances rooted in reality.
“The game contains an optional mission which involves the player obtaining and smoking drugs referred to as ‘alien narcotics.’ Smoking the ‘alien narcotics’ equips the player with “superpowers” which increase their in-game abilities allowing them to progress through the mission more easily…
“In the Board’s opinion, there is insufficient delineation between the ‘alien narcotic’ available in the game and real-world proscribed drugs. The Board notes that the label “narcotics” is commonly used assigned to describe a class of real-world drugs that include such proscribed substances as cocaine and heroin.”
If you’re an Australian Saints Row fan you may be disappointed by the Board’s decision; however, fret not! Deep Silver is working hard on reworking some of the game’s details to suit the Classification Board’s tastes. Here’s the official statement.
“Deep Silver can confirm that Saints Row IV was denied an age classification in Australia. Volition, the developer, are reworking some of the code to create a version of the game for this territory by removing the content which could cause offence without reducing the outlandish gameplay that Saints Row fans know and love. Saints Row IV has been awarded PEGI 18 and ESRB M ratings where fans can enjoy their time in Steelport as originally intended.”
What do you think of this whole debacle? Idiotic or reasonable? Sound off in the comments.