Outlast 2 has been banned in Australia for “implied sexual violence”

… On a male character. Has that ever even been in a thing in a game before this one? Besides the fact that the rapist is a woman, I mean. But that too.

So anyway, Outlast 2 has been stuck with a “Refused Classification” rating by the Australian Classification Review Board, effectively banned the game for sell in the country. Despite the Board’s recent provision for an R18+ rating, games can be denied a rating entirely for the depiction of “sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified”.

A lot of games are banned in Australia.

According to a report over on Kotaku, one of “multiple” offending scenes is a sequence in which protagonist Blake Langermann is a, um, reluctant participant in some kind of gross swingers ceremony. This very vivid (and somewhat spoilerish) description was provided:

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, implicity 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.

Although much of the contact between the creature and Blake is obscurred, by it taking place below screen, the sexualised surroundings and aggressive behaviour of the creature suggest that it is an assault which is sexual in nature. The Board is of the opinion that this, combined with Blake’s objections and distress, constitutes a depiction of implied sexual violence.

In the Board’s opinion, the above example constitutes a depiction of implied sexual violence and therefore cannot be accommodated within the R18+ classification category and the game is therefore Refused Classification.

The Board added that “without the depiction of implied sexual violence listed above”, Outlast 2 would be eligible for a R18+ rating, but that the questionable content cited was not “an exhaustive list” of what prompted its decision.

Until 2013, Australia’s rating system for games went up to only MA15  (for age 15 and older), and games deemed to be inappropriate outside of those restrictions were simply not allowed. Even now, games with a Refused Classification rating are on the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service prohibited items list, and copies can be seized and confiscated by the government, with fines of up to $275,000 and/or 10 years in jail.