Syndicate too violent for Australia


— 10:55 AM on December 21, 2011

While I wasn't pleased to learn that Syndicate was being reimagined as a first-person shooter, the more I learn about the game, the more curious I am to play it. The latest news comes from Australia, where the title has been refused classification by the country's rating board. It seems Syndicate is too violent for children, and Australia doesn't yet have an adults-only classification for video games.

To their its credit, the classification board has clarified exactly why the game was denied. Here's my favorite snippet:

Combatants take locational damage and can be explicitly dismembered, decapitated or bisected by the force of the gunfire. The depictions are accompanied by copious bloodspray and injuries are shown realistically and with detail. Flesh and bone are often exposed while arterial sprays of blood continue to spirt from wounds at regular intervals.

According to the full ratings report (PDF), the carnage isn't limited to active combatants. Players can cut up corpses with gunfire, complete with "realistic ragdoll effects." The game reportedly includes "detailed depictions of decaptitation and dismemberment that are high in playing impact," as well. Where do I sign up?

Syndicate may be unfit for children, but I'm surprised Australia hasn't come out with a classification that would allow the game to be enjoyed by more mature audiences. By effectively banning it from sale in the country, the Australian ratings board has probably guaranteed that even more children will try to get their hands on Syndicate just to see what the fuss is about.

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