Earlier this week it was announced that the Australian Classification Board that it had rejected Saints Row IV, which had been expected to receive one of Australia’s new R 18+ ratings. The board stated that the game was rejected due to “interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context” and for illicit drug use “related to incentives or rewards.” Today, the board got more specific with what exactly it took issue with.
According to a copy of the board’s report obtained by Kotaku Australia, the game was rejected over a weapon dubbed the “Alien Anal Probe,” which can be used according to its name. The dry description provided by the Australian Classification Board really is funnier than any joke that could be told about it:
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.
With regards to the illicit drug use, the board’s report also cited a side mission in which players can smoke “alien narcotics” to obtain superpowers.
The previous Saints Row game was infamous for similar bawdy, childish humor. While it may be disappointing to Australian fans that their retail copies of Saints Row IV will be censored, Deep Silver and Volition really couldn’t hope for any better publicity for a game of this sort.