Fans of horror games are eagerly awaiting the release of Outlast 2, the sequel to the gory, jump scare-laden Red Barrels title from 2013. But it seems Australian residents may not find out if it lives up to the original, as the game has been banned in the country.
Outlast 2 has been denied classification by the Australian Classification board. It joins the likes of Hotline Miami 2 and Syndicate on the list of games that are banned in the country.
The demo, which was released in September 2016, was given the highest R18+ rating by the board for its violence, gore, strong themes, moderate language, and mild nudity. But Outlast 2 was judged too extreme to be given a rating.
Kotaku Australia notes the ban was mostly due to the depiction of implied sexual violence. It’s strongly suggested that the scenes themselves are hallucinations by the main character, Blake. And while much of what happens is obscured, it’s the implication of sexual assault against Blake by a humanoid creature that the board objects to. They do note, however, that the scenes were not "an exhaustive list of the content that caused" the ban.
Outlast 2 could still launch in Australia, providing its developer and publisher are willing to edit out the offending scenes. The classification board said "without the depiction of implied sexual violence listed above," it would be eligible for an R18+ rating. Games such as South Park: The Stick of Truth and State of Decay were initially refused classification in Australia, but their edited versions were granted the R18+ rating.