Third time’s a charm for the developers of The Stick of Truth, the upcoming South Park RPG adventure game. The Stick of Truth was granted an R18+ rating by the Australian Classification Board after its third submission to Australia’s rating authority. Unfortunately for Australian gamers, The Stick of Truth had some of its more offensive gameplay edited to meet Australia’s strict ratings guidelines.
The Australian Classification Board’s number one contention with the game was the sexual abuse of children, primarily in a scene in which the new kid is abducted and anally probed by aliens. The Stick of Truth’s developers were able to meet Australia’s rating standards by utilizing a guideline that deems a text description of graphic scenes acceptable in lieu of those actual scenes. The Stick of Truth’s developers also replaced the images in the scenes found too graphic by Australian authorities with an image of a crying koala and scenes that were replaced with text will reportedly have a flashing red “censored” pop up on screen.
The United States ESRB also sites the anal probing sequence in it’s rating summary as well as an abortion sequence, nudity, out-of-focus sex, dismembering, decapitation, a meth lab and curse words as the reason for The Stick of Truth’s M for Mature rating. Sounds like a good time to us.
While we sympathize with Aussie gamers, especially those that are loyal South Park fans, we can’t help but appreciate the tongue in cheek way Ubisoft was able to meet the guidelines. A text description of an anal probing scene with a crying koala in the background seems almost as good as the actual scene though we can’t know without seeing it. South Park has had it’s bouts with censorship before and they’ll probably have more. It’s nice to see Ubisoft and South Park’s creators work together to get their game to fans in such a graceful and dignified manner.