Bethesda’s upcoming space RPG Starfield has received an award The highest possible ripeness rating from the Australian government’s official ratings board, but the same board gave the game the lowest rating available for gender.
The ratings board issued its verdict on March 15, landing Starfield with an R rating of 18+. Neither the North American Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) nor European Game Information (PEGI) have issued ratings for Starfield at the time of writing, so it’s not yet clear how controversial the game’s content will be for audiences around the world.
Unlike software rating boards in North America and Europe, the Australian Government Board also rates film media. A description of the R 18+ rating from the government website indicates that a media is restricted to adults only, and retailers may require proof of identity for anyone attempting to purchase it. Content with this rating “may be offensive to sections of the adult community.”
In addition to drug use, the Australian Classification Board has also designated a category of violence with a red dot within “strong impact”, the second-highest category in terms of severity. Themes and language both fall under “Moderate Impact”, while sex is listed under the less moderate rating category of “None”, indicating that the game contains no sexual content at all. Interestingly, the last category, Nudity, managed to score slightly lower, earning a low-range rating of “Very Light Impact.”
This may come as a bit of a surprise to some, as Starfield seems to be following a pattern established by other Bethesda-controlled series like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. While these games do not show the player any overtly sexual scenes, more recent entries have included romantic options, as well as quests and themes centered around prostitution and murderous characters who lure victims with sexual allure. Although Starfield appears to have a massive dialogue tree with the player making life-or-death choices for other characters, not much is known yet about the companions you’ll make while visiting the game’s many planets, or in what ways I’ll be able to interact with them.
Likewise, Fallout allows you to use a variety of fantasy drugs to temporarily boost your physical or mental skills, but they often come with withdrawal periods that will lower your stats for a while, or even addiction, which can get your character addicted until you get them. Next fix. Skooma from The Elder Scrolls has similar physical boosters and addictive mechanics, but most of the in-game community seems to hate its distribution and use.
It is set to be released on September 6th exclusively for Xbox Series X | S and PC, and we may get more answers from Bethesda regarding the density of Starfield content in the upcoming Starfield Direct planned for June 11th.
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