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E3 2010: Games to be banned in Australia?

This year's E3 showcased some pretty violent video games -- but will any of them see light of day in Australia?

  • E3 2010: Games to be banned in Australia?



    We saw an innumerable amount of video games at E3 2010, which either blew our minds (Portal 2!) or induced involuntary yawning (anyone for Battle Chess?)

    Among the variety of games showcased, we couldn’t help but notice some of them might be greeted with a big fat ‘banned’ label when trying to enter Australia.

    All Aussie gamers know our [[artnid:263646|classification board has a mean streak|Banned Downunder: Five games that didn’t make it past the censors]] when it comes to violent video games.

    Because Australia lacks an R18+ classification for games, any title deemed "adults only" cannot legally be sold. The lack of an R rating for games in Australia has been a cause of mounting frustration among gamers. Video games that have fallen foul of the Classification Operations Board include [[artnid:319086|Left 4 Dead 2]], [[artnid:261781|Silent Hill: Homecoming]], [[artnid:252707|Fallout 3]] and [[artnid:328680|Aliens Vs. Predator]]. Here is a list of the games at E3 that might put the Classifcation Board’s panties into a twist.
  • Bulletstorm

    Developer: Epic Games/People Can Fly Publisher: Electronic Arts

    To paraphrase what was said at the Bulletstorm E3 demonstration video: the ways to kill your enemy is only limited by your sadistic imagination.

    That’s right folks; the game encourages and rewards players to execute their foes in the most ghastly ways possible. Shooting enemies in the groin is highly recommended and you can finish them off with a swift kick which impales them on a mutant cactus.

    There are a tonne of other ways you can obliterate your opponents, all of which are delightfully violent. We actually think this game is pretty rad but the Australian Classification Board might not share our opinion...
  • Dead Space 2

    Developer: Visceral Games Publisher: Electronic Arts

    The first Dead Space went through the classification process without a hitch, so what makes us think the second instalment will encounter any trouble?

    Think kids. Dead Space 2 brings in a new type of enemy, The Pact, which are mutated naked toddlers that attack as a group to overwhelm the playable character, Isaac Clarke. Among all the other violent kills that he can perform (we can’t get over the all new Javelin Gun), we’re not sure how the Australian Classification Board will react when they see a bunch of squealing kids being mowed down by Isaac.
  • Mortal Kombat

    Developer: NetherRealm Studios Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

    The MK franchise has always been known for its gore factor, but the latest entry takes things to a whole new gruesome level with the introduction of ‘X-Ray Mode’.

    This awesome feature, when executed, let’s the player see organs squelch and bones shatter when making contact with an opponent. It definitely gives a great sense of satisfaction knowing your enemy is crumbling from the inside. The character models also show realistic damage, with each combatant sustaining torn skin, exposed ribs and missing eyeballs as the fight goes on.

    But will this cross the line with the Classification Board? If the fatality showreel we were shown is anything to go by, Mortal Kombat might have a very big fight on its hands...
  • Splatterhouse

    Developer: Namco Bandai Publisher: Namco Bandai

    While the OFLC has occasionally been lenient when depictions of gore are diluted by a fantastical context, we think Splatterhouse may have overdosed on the blood and guts factor.

    The game is a re-imagining of the 1980s cult classic with the main character, Rick, fighting monsters to rescue his girlfriend. This time around, Rick looks pumped with steroids and is more brutal than ever. When be ploughs through the hordes of demonic humanoids, the floors, walls and even the screen are splattered with gratuitous amounts of blood.

    Unashamedly, we squealed with delight at the amount of gore in the game, but we fear the Australian Classification Board will be sqeualing for a different reason. Although the cell shaded graphics have a cartoony feel, the game might need a bit of toning down before it is submitted for classification (just look what happened to Left 4 Dead, for instance). The fact the main character looks a bit like Jason Vorheeves can't help its chances either.
  • Saw 2

    Developer: Zombie Studios Publisher: Konami

    The game opens with the protagonist having to cut open his own eye socket to extract a key to free himself from an iron maidern contraption strapped to his head. Enough said.
  • Super Scribblenauts

    Developers: 5th Cell Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive

    Like its predecessor, Super Scribblenauts allows players to conjure up items or living creatures by spelling certain words.

    We have confirmation that the game gives you the ability to use adjectives so you can now summon a Carnivorous Pregnant Woman in game.

    … BANNED.

    Further reading:

    [[artnid:338417|Christian Group: Don’t reward R18+ game pirates]]

    [[artnid:329754|R18+ classification for video games finally coming to Australia?]]

    [[artnid:334880|EB Games rallies behind R18+ rating for Aussie video games]]

    [[artnid:337374|Gamers unite for R18+ classification]]

    [[artnid:328680|Aliens Vs. Predator refused classification in Australia]]

    [[artnid:319086|Left 4 Dead 2 Banned In Australia]]

    [[artnid:263646|Banned Downunder: Five games that didn’t make it past the censors]]
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