The ESRB rating for Yakuza 6: The Song of Life has gone up on the rating board’s website, and it isn’t exactly a shock to see that the hyper-violent gang shooter received an M rating. However, the rating does reveal some of what we can expect to see in the upcoming game.
Here’s the full ESRB listing:
This is an open-world action game in which players assume the role of a Japanese gangster (Kazuma Kiryu) as he searches for a lost girl. As players explore areas in Tokyo and other cities, they engage in missions that involve fistfights with thugs or rival yakuza members; some fights depict characters using weapons such as pistols, bats, sledgehammers, and pipes. Combat is frenetic, highlighted by screams of pain, gunfire and/or impact sounds, blood-splatter effects, and slow-motion special moves. Players can perform scripted moves after building up a meter; these actions include breaking necks or limbs and using the environment to cause damage (e.g., slamming heads into a wall, beating an enemy with a nearby bicycle). Cutscenes depict more intense acts of violence: characters shot in the head; a gangster shoving a man’s face onto hot coals; a character stabbing himself in the belly. The game includes sexual/suggestive material: a man briefly groping a woman’s breasts in a nightclub; online chat rooms in which players’ character flirts with webcam girls; characters removing their shirts/tops while in provocative poses (e.g., “Mm, so warm…It feels incredible”; “Ah…You’re so big”). One area depicts a character dressed in an outfit with a cutout that exposes his buttocks. During the course of the game, Kazuma can order and drink whiskey at a bar; a status icon denotes character’s level of intoxication, while his movement becomes harder to control. The words “f**k,” “sh*t,” and “a*shole” appear in the dialogue.
The main thing that pops up after reading the rating is that the game will continue the Yakuza theme of being fairly violent. Talks of frenetic combat and screams of pain only confirm what we already knew about the game, so it isn’t too surprising to see a Mature rating given out.
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is set to release on March 20, 2018.