Fri, Aug 02, 2013 | 14:07 BST
Saints Row 4 modified, rated MA 15+ for Australian release
In a surprise twist to ongoing classification dramas, Saints Row 4 has received an MA15+ rating for Australian release and the Rectifier Probe is coming down under.
Although the result is yet to appear on the Classification Board website, local distributor AIE Interactive sent a press release announcing a modified version of the Volition Inc game has won an MA15+ rating, after the original game was twice refused classification.
AIE said the local version is “slightly modified” and is different from the international release “only insofar as a single short optional mission has been removed in order to comply with Australian legislation”.
As many commenters expected, it was the game’s controversial depiction of illicit substances that was the real sticking point.
“[The modified] mission has been the subject of much discussion recently for featuring the use of virtual alien narcotics by the player character, which could potentially improve certain superpowers temporarily within the game,” AIE said.
“The Rectifier Probe weapon, which has also been part of the discussion, is still due to be released as part of the Season Pass DLC package, as has always been intended both for Australia and the rest of the world.”
Publisher Deep Silver went into further detail in an additional statement, noting that the sequence in question is a loyalty mission featuring Shaundi, in which the player uses alien narcotisc to obtain superpowers.
“This mission represents approximately 20 minutes of gameplay out of the hours available to purchasers,” Deep Silver said.
“The removal of this mission has no negative impact on the story or the superpowers and will not detract from the enjoyment players will get from their Saints Row 4 experience.
“The rectifier weapon will be available as part of a DLC package as originally intended. Deep Silver stands by this decision and thanks the Australian Classification Board for their assistance with this matter.”
Saints Row 4 launches in Australia from August 22, for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.