In news surprising no one, the ESRB has rated Sega’s Judgment, formally known as Project Judge, with an “M” for Mature. As expected, the newest title from the Yakuza studio features violence, foul language, and the like. Specifically, the ESRB’s content descriptors list the following as the reasons for Judgment’s “M” rating: “Blood, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol.” The alcohol and sexual content descriptors are most interesting, especially considering how the ESRB’s summary depicts their placement in the game.
While exploring Kamurocho, Japan, players will be able to wander into bars for alcoholic beverages. When doing so, experience points are rewarded. Naturally, too much alcohol results in inebriation, which causes the player character’s movement and perception to become impaired.
On the sexual content side of things, the ESRB noted that a few situations in the game explore sexual themes. For instance, players will see a man groping a woman. That’s in addition to another gentleman being depicted bare-bottomed. Spicy stuff, indeed.
The ESRB’s complete ratings summary can be read in the text featured below.
This is an action game in which players assume the role of a detective (Takayuki Yagami) searching for a serial killer in the town of Kamurocho, Japan. From a third-person perspective, players explore the town, interact with characters, and engage in fights with human enemies (e.g., thugs, yakuza). Characters mostly punch and kick each other until opponents’ life meters have drained; players can also use melee weapons (e.g., bats, bicycles, street signs) to inflict heavier damage. Some sequences depict slow-motion pummeling and enemies’ deaths, accompanied by large blood-splatter effects.
Cutscenes also depict intense acts of violence: a captive shot in the head; characters beaten until severely bloody; a man repeatedly shot by a crowd; A handful of missions/environments contain sexual themes and content: a man groping a woman’s buttocks; a clerk (Men’s Entertainment store) asking, “Are you ready to witness the honkiest hooter experience you’ve ever had…?”; one mission depicts a man with his buttocks fully exposed. During the course of the game, players’ character can enter bars/restaurants and drink alcohol, which is rewarded in the form of experience points; players’ character has an alcohol-tolerance gauge, resulting in impaired movement and/or access to drunken attacks. The words “f**k,” “sh*t,” and “a*shole” appear in the dialogue.
Judgment, named Judge Eyes in Japan, hit Japan’s store shelves in early December 2018. Prior to its launch, a couple of demos were released, and allowed players to transfer their save progress to the full game. Whether or not Western audiences will receive similar treatment remains to be seen.
Judgment will hit the PlayStation 4 in North America and Europe on an unspecified date in summer 2019.