Horror survival game Outlast 2 will not be available in Australia. The Australian Censorship Board announced a few days ago that the ban on the horror title was due to some implied in-game sexual violence.
On the 16th of March, news site Kotaku reported that Outlast 2 had been refused classification in Australia and would not be rated. This was a huge surprise to all, since the game developers, Red Barrels Studio, have always been extremely professional and careful with their content. The company even went out of their way to put the game demo through the classification process, of course resulting in an R18+ rating.
According to sources from Kotaku Australia, the Aussie continent will not allow the game due to some sexually explicit cut scenes. However, it has been argued that the sexual violence is merely a hallucination experienced by the story’s protagonist, Blake. What do you think?
(WARNING: The following passage contains a description of implied sexual assault.)
In one cut-scene in the game … a female creature prepares Blake for a ritual. She says, “I want to see your true face. Your seed will burn this world.” Shortly afterwards, he objects to having psycho-active dust blown into his face, yelling, “Nope! Nope!” before he stumbles into a forest clearing.
His vision blurring, he witnesses what appears to a ritualistic orgy. His wife, Lynn, calls out for his help, saying, “It hurts! Oh god!,” as she hangs from chains on a raised platform at the front of the clearing. Humanoid creatures, their skin grey, spattered with blood and scarred, implicitly have sex as others pray, or chant, or gesticulate.
One creature has another bent over a rock, thrusting as they implicitly have rear-entry sex, another sits astride the pelvic region of a creature prone on the ground, moving their hips rhythmically as they too implicitly have sex. Two other pairs of creatures in the clearing are also implicitly having sex.
As Blake yells for the creatures to “Get away from her!” a female creature, her greyish breasts bared, pushes him onto his back, holds his arms to the ground and repeatedly thrusts her crotch against him. As Blake protests, saying “No! Stop that!” the creature thrusts again, before placing its face over his midsection and then sitting up and wiping its mouth. – Kotaku Australia
Although much of the content and contact is obscured, the Board believes that a combination of the protagonist’s distress and the sexualised surroundings are enough to imply sexual violence. According to the Australian Censorship Board, depictions of strongly implied sexual assault cannot be accommodated within the R18+ classification category and the country will not condone such actions.
The Board ended by noting that “without the depiction of implied sexual violence” Outlast 2 would be eligible for the R18+ rating in Australia. Little more has been said on the subject so far and we will keep you up to date with any news Kotaku Australia uncovers. Outlast 2 will be released, for some of us, April 25th 2017.
What do you think about the whole situation? Is Australia overreacting, or did Red Barrels Studio take things too far in their sequel? Let us know!