The BBFC's determined attempts to ban Manhunt 2 in the U.K. had led to concerns that the latest chapter in the Grand Theft Auto series may face similar difficulties over its controversial content. But although the Board determined the game contains "strong violence, very strong language, sex and drug references," it nonetheless passed it with no cuts required.
According to Eurogamer, an expanded report on the game was briefly posted on the BBFC website but has since been removed. In that preview, which does contain gameplay spoilers, the BBFC said, "Injuries and death are shown with blood including blood projected onto nearby walls, windscreens and the camera lens." The preview also detailed a variety of weapons available to the player, as well as the fact that any other character in the game, including innocent NPCs, can be attacked and killed.
"During gameplay the character can pick up prostitutes and pay for three different levels of service," the preview continued. "What follows is an un-detailed portrayal of masturbation, fellatio and intercourse. The character can also visit lap-dancing clubs and request a private dance. While the game contains sexualized dancing and the portrayal of sex, there is no sexualized nudity."
Other Grand Theft Auto staples, including very strong language, drug trafficking, snorting coke and murder for hire are all present and well-accounted for. Grand Theft Auto IV has been rated "18" by the BBFC and M (Mature) by the ESRB in North America. The game is set for worldwide release on April 29 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.