Ahead of its scheduled release date on April 25, the Australian Classification Board has refused classification for Outlast 2, thus preventing it from being released in the country. As outlets have obtained the ratings report, we have learned that this is due to depictions of sexual violence in the game, for which Australia's R18+ rating does not accommodate.
Passages describing the sexual assault can be read below:
"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, implicitly 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."
Because of the sexual violence, the Board noted that it cannot be given an R18+ classification. The R18+ rating allows for strong levels of violence, mature themes, strong language, nudity, and drug use, but does not permit depictions of sexual violence on-screen.
The demo for Outlast 2 was previously given an R18+ rating in Australia, likely because it did not contain the scene detailed above. We do not yet know if the developer will resubmit a modified version of Outlast 2 for classification.
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