Duke Nukem Forever might have made it through
unscathed, but it looks like Warner Bros is having a little more trouble with the latest revamp of Mortal Kombat as the game has been rated Refused Classification by the Australian Classifications Board
Unfortunately it looks like the game's staple "Fatality" finishing moves are the culprit in this instance and the official report (which the folks at Gamepron have gotten a hold of
) describes several in detail:
Examples include but are not limited to:
The game includes over 60 fatalities (some of which are noted above) which contain explicit depictions of dismemberment, decapitation, disembowelment and other brutal forms of slaughter. Despite the exaggerated conceptual nature of the fatalities and their context within a fighting game set in a fantasy realm, impact is heightened by the use of graphics which are realistically rendered and very detailed. In the opinion of the Board, the game contains violence that exceeds strong in impact and is unsuitable for a minor to see or play. The game should therefore be Refused Classification pursuant to item 1(d) of the computer games table of the National Classification Code.
- Kung Lao throws his metal hat into the ground and it spins like a buzz saw. He grabs his prone opponent by the ankles and drags their body through the saw, explicitly slicing them vertically in half. Copious bloodspray is noted. Kung Lao then holds up both halves of the corpse as blood pours out.
- Jade explicitly kicks an opponent into the air and plants her fighting stick into the ground. The opponent falls backwards onto the stick and is explicitly impaled, with the stick protruding from their chest. Jade then explicitly tears her opponent's head off, with bloodspray noted, and explicitly plants it on the stick.
- Stryker tasers his opponent and then explicitly shoots their head off with his gun. Blood and gore is noted.
- Quan Chi explicitly rips his opponent's leg off, accompanied by copious bloodspray. As they lie on the ground, he explicitly beats them with the severed leg for a prolonged period of time.
- Scorpion explicitly slashes an opponent horizontally in two at the waist, with blood and wound detail noted. He then explicitly decapitates them and kicks their body over. As the severed head falls through the air, he explicitly slices it vertically in two.
- Mileena throws two blades at an opponent, which explicitly lodge in their chest. She slowly approaches and explicitly rips their head off, causing their severed neck to spray blood as their body topples. She then explicitly bites into the severed head before throwing it to the ground.
- Kabal uses long hooks to explicitly pull out an opponent's Intestines before explicitly impaling the opponent on two spikes.
- Shao Kahn uses his hands to explicitly rip an opponent's body vertically in two.
- Baraka explicitly lodges a blade (attached to his wrist) in an opponent's stomach and hoists them above his head. He spins them round and explicitly decapitates and dismembers them, accompanied by copious bloodspray.
- Kitana uses her 'folding fan' weapon to explicitly dismember then decapitate her opponent, with copious blood flow noted.
Mortal Kombat titles have not previously had any trouble scraping in under Australia's MA15+ bar so it begs the question: have NetherRealm amped up the gore with this one, or is graphic-fidelity just getting to a point where the realism achieved in video-games now makes it cross the line?
When Left 4 Dead was refused classification last year, a censored version was resubmitted and passed, whereas Aliens vs Predator proceeded unedited due to a resubmission adding more context to its gore (think: it's space aliens, not real). So it will be interesting to see what Warner's response will be for Mortal Kombat. Whatever the outcome, a high-profile game with a heritage such a as this will no doubt once again re-ignite the push to an R18+ rating for video games in Australia.