343 Industries’ Halo 5: Guardians is the first Halo first-person shooter game to receive a “T” for Teen rating instead of an “M” for Mature rating.
Prior to Guardians, the only Halo games to be rated “T” were strategy game Halo Wars and top-down shooter Halo: Spartan Assault and its sequel Halo: Spartan Strike.
The ESRB published its description for the rating:
This is a first-person shooter in which players assume the role of a super soldier (Locke) searching for a missing character. Players use pistols, machine guns, grenade launchers, and futuristic weapons to kill alien and human enemies in frenetic combat. Battles are highlighted by realistic gunfire, explosions, and occasional blood-splatter effects. Characters can also use “assassinations” to kill characters by snapping their necks, or by stabbing them with bladed weapons. The word “a*s” appears in the dialogue, as well as occasional taunts/insults (e.g., “I have copulated…with your genetic progenitors!”; ‘Your father was a filthy colo and your mother was a hole in the wall!’).
Since this description is very similar to those of other Halo games which were rated “M,” perhaps the ESRB is loosening its standards as to what content it deems objectionable.
Guardians will release on Tuesday, October 27 for the Xbox One. Another Halo title, Halo Wars 2, is also being developed by The Creative Assembly, a studio which worked on the strategy series Total War.
Follow Rob Shimshock (@Xylyntial) on Twitter.