Horizon Zero Dawn’s Teen Rating Explained by the ESRB

The ESRB revealed today that Horizon Zero Dawn is rated Teen for an alcohol and tobacco reference, blood, mild language, mild sexual themes, and violence.

Their full ratings summary doesn’t contain any story spoilers, but it does say what kinds of enemies you’ll be facing throughout the game:

This is an action/role-playing game in which players assume the role of a hunter (Aloy) surviving through a post-apocalyptic world. Players guide Aloy as she learns to hunt robotic creatures and animals in the wild. Aloy uses arrows, spears, and explosive traps to injure and kill machines, boar, and occasional human enemies. Animals and humans emit small puffs of red blood when struck; one sequence depicts an abandoned camp with large blood stains on rocks and trees.

The game contains a brief reference to sexual material (e.g., “Eighteen months hard labor in exchange for thirty years lounging around Elysium watching porn?”).

During the course of the game, characters sometimes reference controlled substances: “I went to the beer fount too many times to count”; “I’m just a brewer”; “I know I’m a useless drunk”; “A tobacco cigarette?”; “Speaking of which, mind if I smoke?” The words “a*s,” “bastard,” and “b*tch” appear in dialogue.

PlayStation Access recently did their own unboxing of Horizon Zero Dawn’s Collector’s Edition and Limited Edition, where they show off the steelbook, statue, artbook, and more. Beginning at 3:43, you can see the bonus DLC in action:

Depending on your region and retailers, you may receive this key ring when pre-ordering Horizon Zero Dawn:

Horizon Zero Dawn releases on February 28 in North America and March 1 in Europe for PlayStation 4.

The ESRB also rated Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition recently, giving it an M for Mature. If you missed out on Bulletstorm previously, here’s an idea of what to expect, from the ESRB’s description: “The dialogue contains numerous jokes and comments that reference sexual acts, venereal diseases, and having sex with one’s mother (e.g., “Guess I know where the ol’ gal got that limp.”). The names of some Skillshots are infused with sexual innuendo (e.g., Gag Reflex, Rear Entry, Drilldo, Mile High Club); one Skillshot (i.e., Fire in the Hole) allows players to shoot at enemies’ exposed buttocks.”

[Source: ESRB (Horizon, Bulletstorm)]