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Dark Souls 2 Only Rated Teen by the ESRB, Despite First Game Being Mature

February 3, 2014 Written by Jason Dunning

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Confirming the very surprising news that Dark Souls 2 would be rated Teen, the ESRB issued its full rating on the title over the weekend, citing blood and gore, mild language, partial nudity, and violence as the content descriptors.

They also gave out a ratings summary, but be warned as it includes spoilers for what a lot of the bosses are going to look like:

This is a role-playing game in which players assume the role of an undead fighter in the realm of Drangleic. Players traverse dungeon-like settings and battle a variety of fantastical enemies (e.g., ghouls, zombies, skeletons, giant rats) to gain souls. Players use knives, swords, and arrows to defeat enemies.

Combat is highlighted by cries of pain and small splashes of blood. Some locations depict instances of blood and gore: a giant snake boss holding its severed head; a giant boss creature composed of hundreds of corpses; dead ogres near a pool of blood; a torture device with streaks of blood. During the course of the game, a boss creature appears partially topless (e.g. hair barely covering breasts). The words ‘bastard’ and “pr*ck” can be heard in the dialogue.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Dark Souls 2 being rated Teen is that the first Dark Souls was rated Mature, and it had less content descriptors with blood and gore, partial nudity, and violence.

Here’s the ratings summary for the first Dark Souls so you can compare:

This is an adventure role-playing game in which players must battle monsters and collect souls to lift an undead curse across the land. Players use swords, axes, and magic arrows to kill zombies, demons, giant spiders, and other fantasy creatures in both ranged attacks and melee-style combat. Players can also use stealth attacks (e.g., stabbing) to dispatch enemies at close range.

Battles are accompanied by slashing sounds, cries of pain, and large splashes of blood. Blood pools may also appear on the ground, and some environments depict flaming bodies impaled on spikes. Boss battles include instances of dismemberment and decapitation (e.g., cutting off a gargoyle’s tail, slicing multiple heads off a dragon). During the course of the game, one female enemy’s breasts are barely obscured by strands of hair; some bird-like humanoids are also depicted with exposed buttocks.

Dark Souls 2 will be released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 on March 11th in North America and March 14th in Europe.

What do you think of Dark Souls 2 being rated Teen? Let us know in the comments below.