Australia’s Office of Film and Literature Classification has explained why it refused to issue a rating for the upcoming horror-shooter F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, and the answer contains precisely zero percent of your recommended daily intake of surprise.
No, the boys at Monolith didn’t slip in any unexpected sex scenes or hardcore drug use; this classification refusal is all about the violence. Games On Net says the OFLC deemed the violent content “high in impact” and “unsuitable for a minor to play,” citing as examples a nail gun that can be used to pin bad guys to walls, after which they will fall to the ground “in a bloody mass,” and a sniper rifle that will “tear bodies apart at close range.”
If all this is sounding pretty damned sweet to you, then read on, ’cause there’s more.
“[The protagonist] uses his sub machine gun to explicitly bisect an enemy, the two parts of the body lying separately on the ground, with copious blood spray,” the board noted in one specific example of in-game action it used to back up its decision. “There are also a number of explicit close range decapitations involving both human and mutant creatures. The decapitations are the result of close-up throat slashing from behind and close-up gunshots to the throat.” The “copious blood spray” covers walls, objects and even the game’s “camera lens,” while partially-dismembered corpses and severed heads also feature prominently.
The ratings board also blamed the game’s “enhanced graphics” and “realistic behavior of human and mutant foes” for the decision, which it said heightened the impact of the violence to the point where it “cannot be accommodated at the MA15+ classification.”
This isn’t a videogame rating, this is the foundation for an Editor’s Choice review.
In any case, no great shock here: The Australian authorities think that over-the-top, blood-drenched violence is inappropriate for minors. You know what? We agree. But keeping it out of the hands of married, employed, socially-responsible 27-year-olds isn’t the answer. On the upside, the OFLC has given the green light to the uncensored release of Grand Theft Auto IV on the PC, so while you may be a little lacking in the “copious blood spray” department, you’ll at least be able to take drugs, bang hookers, run people down and then shoot them dead. But with less blood spray.
Figure that one out.