I’ll give Australia some credit, even though it causes me an intense level of pain, about their recent policies on allowing adults to choose what games they want to play. They’ve made some real headway, but every now and again, one game sends them into full-crikey mode. The game in question this time? Saints Row IV, and it’s er, probing detail.
Saints Row IV was refused any form of rating by the Australian Classification Board this week, a move which essentially bans the game from being sold in the land of Oz. This comes from the fact that the game includes an “Alien Anal Probe” weapon, which does its job, but in a gory and over the top style. Which is kind of what I’d expect from Saints Row at this point.
In a statement that was published on Kotaku, the ACB described the weapon which had gotten their assorted panties all bunched up:
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.
Also, references to drugs are bad m’kay, according to the fuehrers of the Australian Classification Board uber alles:
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.
That’s an issue and some potential lost revenue for developer Deep Silver. Taking these demands to heart, Saints Row IV will then be reworked and modified for Australia, before being resubmitted for classification. This also means that the August worldwide release of the game could be delayed, but it’s completely worth it just for that ridiculously sublime dubstep gun.
I’m not saying that a weapon which maybe uses sexual assault as it’s main form of ammunition is ok, but then again this is Saints Row. This is a franchise which had players running around in the last gun, slapping faces with a gigantic floppy dildo sword. Because it was funny. And that’s how some video games work.