GAMING BLEND

Saints Row 4 Still Banned In Australia

By Pete Haas 2013-07-29 09:30:30 discussion comments
Saints Row 4 has been rejected by the Classification Review Board in Australia. The game can't be sold or advertised in that country until developer Volition edits the content that this board deems unacceptable.

This is the second time that SR4 has been refused for release in that country. The Australian Classification Board rejected the game last month because it features an explicit weapon called the Rectifier. The Rectifier is a part of the game's DLC Season Pass.

"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," reads the ACB description of the Rectifier from their June ruling. "When using this weapon the player approaches a clothed victim from behind and thrusts the weapon between the victimís 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 victimís anus the area around their buttocks becomes pixelated highlighting that the aim of the weapon is to penetrate the victimís anus."

The other issue that the ACB had with the game was drug use. In SR4, there's apparently a mission that allows players to smoke alien drugs in order to gain new powers. According to today's ruling, this is the reason the game is still banned.

"In the Review Boardís opinion, Saints Row IV could not be accommodated within the R 18+ classification as drug use related to incentives and rewards is not permitted."

The Rectifier wasn't mentioned in the Review Board's report. Does that mean Volition took that weapon out for Australia? If so, that wouldn't be a huge blow. I mean, it's a premium weapon here in the States so most of us won't have it, either.

Australia implemented an R18+ category for games this year to allow adult-oriented titles to be released in that country. Saints Row 4 was one of the first two games to be rejected by the ratings board since R18+ was introduced. The other was open-world zombie game State of Decay.

Decay had a similar problem as SR4. In that game, players could take prescription drugs in order to heal themselves. Developer Undead Labs responded by changing the names around; you now take "supplements" in that game instead of "stimulants." It sounds like a trivial change but it was enough to get the game rated R18+ a couple weeks after being rejected. There's hope for SR4, then.

SR4 publisher Deep Silver hasn't responded to the Classification Review Board's ruling today. I imagine they'll have Volition edit SR4 a second time, though. It seems like they're very close to getting the game up to the standards of Australia's culture police.
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