It’s not exactly a surprise that Konami’s latest entry to the Metal Gear series, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, has been rated Mature by the ESRB. From general blood and gore to strong language, MGS games are rarely intended as an experience for all ages, and they do well to embrace more adult themes. Sexual violence, however, is a little further afield than most games care to venture, and has been met with mixed responses from fans across the web.
Rarely touched upon in the industry at all, sexual violence has only ever made an appearance in one other title rated by the ESRB, Animamundi, back in 2006. There is then, no doubt, that this newly revealed aspect of the game will create quite a stir once Ground Zeroes is released and full details are made clear. For now there is a vauge description of the action in question in the ESRB rating summary, shown below. Mild spoilers included.
Content Descriptors: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Violence, Strong Language
Rating Summary: This is an action game in which players assume the role of an elite soldier through military missions in Cuba (…) The game includes an audio file in which a female character is sexually assaulted by male characters; while there is no visual depiction, sounds of ripped clothing and struggle can be heard. The words “f**k” and “sh*t” are heard in the dialogue
There is speculation that the sexual violence could be related to the back story of Quiet, the already somewhat controversial, mute sniper. As Kojima has previously said that there is more to Quiet than meets the eye, it’s not a huge jump to make the assumption that they could be connected. Whatever the situation really turns out to be, it’s sure to gain more attention in the months to come, and upon the game’s release in March.