Not three weeks after denying Hotline Miami 2 any classification at all, effectively banning the game, the Australian Classification Board gave Mortal Kombat X an R18+. If I were a part of Devolver Digital or Dennaton Games, the publisher and developer of Hotline Miami 2, I would be livid.
While they’ve taken both the original news of the ban well, and have not commented at all on Mortal Kombat X‘s rating, the dev team of Hotline Miami 2 must have at least raised an eyebrow when the Classification Board decided that dissecting, disemboweling and otherwise maiming people (sometimes to the tune of dangling internal organs and graphic eye-gouging) was better than what they had to offer.
What was the crime Hotline Miami 2 was so guilty of that it got slapped with a ban, while Mortal Kombat X got an R18+? Well, Hotline Miami 2 had one skippable scene of a fake attempted rape. While the Australian Classification Board described this scene as one where the protagonist busts into a movie set, kills everyone before pulling down his pants, mounting a bludgeoned woman and repeatedly thrusting, Devolver Digital was quick to point out that this was almost a complete fabrication.
The scene in question actually involves an actor as the protagonist who is part of the movie being filmed. While he does mount a woman after pulling down his pants, there is no thrusting, as the director yells cut, and everyone stops what they’re doing revealing the whole thing as a scene for a movie.
But apparently, this was a trespass so great, the Australian Classification Board deemed Hotline Miami 2 unworthy for even responsible adults, solely based on this scene. If the over all violent nature of the game also had an influence on the lack of a rating, Mortal Kombat X‘s rating makes even less sense. Hotline Miami 2‘s violence is 2D and hyper-stylized, where Mortal Kombat X depicts creative acts of violence in graphic 3D detail.
Not that we should expect consistency from any ratings board. Both the Australian Classification Board and the Electronic Software Ratings Board have made questionable decisions lately, the latter slapping the controversy-ridden game Hatred with the second ever “Adults Only” rating, after giving Mortal Kombat X an “M for Mature.”
I want to clarify: none of these games should be banned, but when the livelihood of games and game developers is at stake, we should hold these ratings boards accountable for the decisions they make.