Red Barrels had just revealed it is releasing Outlast 2 on April 25 and today we have learned the game has been denied classification.
Australia’s Classification Board issued a ruling on March 15, 2017, that states Outlast 2 is refused classification because games that “depict, express or otherwise deal with matters 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.”
Red Barrels can decide to resubmit the game for classification with the proper changes made to fit Australia’s guidelines. However, as it stands now, Outlast 2 will not release in Austraila next month.
The reason for such a harsh rating stems from the game depicting “implied sexual violence.” The Board’s decision was provided to Kotaku Austraila, which I have included below. If you plan to play the game, don’t read ahead as this could be considered spoiler territory for a scene from the game.
The passage below contains spoilers from Outlast 2 as well as implied sexual assault.
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’s report also noted that “without the depiction of implied sexual violence listed above”, Outlast 2 would be eligible for an R18+ rating. The report added that the above scenes were not “an exhaustive list of the content that caused” the game to be refused classification. It’s possible other events in the game contributed to the rating.
For reference, other games that have been banned in Australia include Blitz: The Leauge, Hotline Miami 2, Postal 2, Saints Row IV and South Park The Stick of Truth.
Outlast 2 launches on April 25, except for Australians. Sorry, guys.