Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Rated “M” By ESRB

By Ishaan . January 6, 2014 . 9:31am

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes has been rated by the ESRB and, unsurprisingly, has come away with an “M” (Mature) rating, citing the descriptors of: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Violence, Strong Language.


Here’s what the ESRB had today in their rating summary of Ground Zeroes:


This is an action game in which players assume the role of an elite soldier through military missions in Cuba. Players infiltrate various bases and use pistols, machine guns, and rocket launchers to kill enemy soldiers. Firefights are highlighted by realistic gunfire, slow-motion effects, and large blood-splatter effects. Players can also employ stealth attacks (e.g., choking, knife stabbing from behind) and have the ability kill non-adversary characters/prisoners.


One cutscene includes a depiction of blood and gore (e.g., a character’s intestines exposed during a dramatic procedure to remove an object). The game includes an audio file in which a female character is sexually assaulted by male characters; while there is no visual depiction, sounds of ripped clothing and struggle can be heard. The words “f**k” and “sh*t” are heard in the dialogue.


Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is slated for release this March on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

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  • Kaetsu

    Is this supposed to be a surprise?

    • idrawrobots

      I know, seriously.

    • d19xx

      Last I check this is a gaming news site and not a surprise site…… Wait is this actually surprise site?

      • Kaetsu

        This site surprises me a lot lol.

    • EQeE
  • Anime10121


    I want this game all up in my PS4!

  • gerald

    The real story here isn’t the M rating, it’s the “sexual violence” that everyone will flip out over.
    We still have a strange double standard when it comes to women in games (and other media too). Men can be brutally beaten, abused and murdered without controversy but a female character doesn’t have enough clothes on and everyone grabs their pitchforks. Basically, we love violence and killing but are offended by sexuality, as bizarre and backwards as that sounds. So you can imagine how a female rape scene will go over.

    I think it’s a perfectly legitimate subject to have in a mature game though, especially when we’re already so used to violence we’re practically numb to it. Maybe we need something as disturbing as rape to remind us how disturbing the violence is too.

    • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

      Because men don’t have to worry about rape.

      Big difference between sexuality and rape as entertainment.
      One in four women. Check ya privilege.

      • gerald

        Bullshit. Men can be raped too. Ironically, you sound quite sexist. Men have to worry (quite a lot in some places) about being killed too. Should that not be in games either? Funny you didn’t care about that.

        The fact you only mentioned sexuality, rape, and women as victims but ignored all the violence and killing of men demonstrates exactly my point. That’s the double standard we have, we love violence until it involves women, then out come the pitchforks.

        • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

          You’re right. It’s tough to be a man, isn’t it.

          Once again, huge difference between an undressed woman and rape as drama!

          Look, my beef is that video games constantly equate “mature themes” with sexual assault on women. It’s gross and it’s why people don’t take the medium seriously.

          • idrawrobots

            You don’t think that this game is going to have a reason for the audio assault and that the game will show that kind of action in a negative light.

          • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

            I am absolutely 100% certain that this will be shown in a negative light. But can we find new ways of characterizing villains that *doesn’t* involve the sexual assault of a woman? It doesn’t just throw up worrying questions about the portrayal of women in the medium (doomed to be violated so as to provide drama and elicit an emotional response), it’s also lazy and boring writing. Give us some villains with depth, not rape 4 the evulz.

          • anarchy_panty

            Only on a site like this would you get downvoted for saying, “You know what would be cool? If writer’s would stop Alan Moore-ing every other female character in games.” It’s really sad.

          • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

            Heh, I’ve noticed that I get little sympathy here. I salute your Nemissa icon!

          • brian

            It’s not like it happens in even remotely most (or very many) games aside from an occasional eroge.

          • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

            There’s almost always a damsel in distress. Not so much a character, but a macguffin, a prize. Game writers are quick to add rape if they want a “dark twist” on the damsel in distress story. Even if they’re protagonists, etc.

            There’s a reason we never see male characters with a backstory involving these themes.

          • gr3yfxx

            There is not ALWAYS a damsel in distress. Generalization is bad, mmkay? If we’re talking specifically about MGS, The Boss is one of the strongest characters in any medium, male or female, and she sure as hell didn’t need saving. We can talk at great lengths about sexual violence and its validity as a plot point in fiction over all, but in the end we HAVE to get down to a case by case basis, and that’s not something we can addresses this on yet.

          • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

            dat’s why i said *almost* always ;)

          • brian

            I’ve only seen maaaaybeee a few (at most) games doing anything like that this past generation.
            Could you enlighten me on what games these are that use it so often?
            I’d guess the reason males (almost?) never get raped in games or any media is because men are a lot of times glad to be seduced, overall more willing than women, so that gets represented in media.

          • Wtv

            I understand you and kinda agree, but let’s wait the game and see it in context before. We don’t need another polemic like Tomb Raider now.

          • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus


      • I agree with the general sentiment you’re trying to get across but trivializing male rape is uncool

        • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

          I’m aware that male rape happens. Any rape is a tragic event. But the point is… Do men in India have to worry about getting on a public bus, in case they’re gang-raped by the driver and his friends? Do men have to worry about being drugged and raped at a party attended by their high school classmates, and then have the case covered up by football coaches and corrupt cops, and watch their attackers go free?

          Systematic incidents of rape culture like Steubenville have never happened to men.

          • No, but that’s of little comfort to men who have, in fact, been raped. This isn’t an either/or thing, my point is just to take exception with the line of rhetoric implying that rape is exclusively a crime committed by men against women, or that male victims of rape are somehow better off than female victims.

            Also for the record, the majority of rapes – excluding the rare instances of high-profile, horrific cases that get heavy media coverage – are committed behind closed doors by people whom the victim already knows, not in subways or back alleys by total strangers.

          • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

            I understand where you’re coming from and you make good points. It is not my intention to trivialize male rape. However it still stands that men aren’t told what clothes to wear or not wear to prevent being rape, nor are they accused of ‘asking for it’.

            As for your second point, yes, people the victim knows or trusts, like Steubenville.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Come on folks. This is no where near the topic of the game. Nor are we a political blog. Move on. Thanks.

    • Guest

      “Maybe we need something as disturbing as rape to remind us how disturbing the violence is too”

      Uh… What?

      • gerald

        Reading comprehension, bud. If you read everything before that you’ll see I’m talking about sexual violence vs general violence.

    • ndjn3979

      I dont understand why your post got downvotes.

    • God

      Don’t put murder and rape in the same level, just don’t.

  • Niceneasy92

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say Quit is the girl in the audio recording.

  • Death Saved

    “Various bases”!

    Heres hoping they didnt mistake the one base we know of for multiple ones and that there really is more than one base to infiltrate.

    • Anime10121

      Ikr, as I couldve sworn Kojima said Camp Omega was the only base in Ground Zeroes…

  • Musashi234

    Damn i really think it was going to be “E” For everyone…Now i have to ask my Parents if its ok…lmao

  • Juan Andrés Valencia

    Sexual Violence? That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a mainstream game (Saya No Uta would have gotten an AO easily just for the rape scene but JAST was wise in avoiding an ESRB rating) get that.

  • colorblindnightmare

    The rating was not a surprise. One of the reasons kinda was though. *Sigh*

  • Audie Bakerson

    Is “Intense” violence higher or lower than “high impact” violence

    • Juan Andrés Valencia

      It’s the same. If it had something like HIGH IMPACT GORY SEXUAL VIOLENCE WITH PROFANITY that would be worse I guess?

  • Arcana Wiz

    Sexual violence…. quiet?……. or kaz? D:

    • God

      Kaz is a woman?!

  • I don’t think rape or sexual violence should be a totally taboo topic if it’s approached with appropriate weight and maturity. But given the, uh, somewhat less-than-mature attitude Kojima has shown toward this kind of subject matter in the past, my left eyebrow stands firmly raised.

  • Weiner Sprinkle

    I think we should step back from the fact that there is a rape scene for a second and consider the fact that Hideo Kojima wrote a rape scene. Even the best of writers have trouble doing this, and Kojima is far from the best of writers. Of course, we’ll have to hear it first, but I’d be lying if I said I was confident in Kojima’s abilities.

    • Rick

      Yeah I highly doubt Kojima’s abilities in conveying the proper tone for that scene.

  • new_tradition

    I remember one of the trailers originally showed a women with a bag over her head (maybe Quiet?) getting electrically tortured, wearing only her underwear, so sexual assault doesn’t seem like a big leap.

    But who knows? They could pull a Lara Croft and maybe the the woman in the scene kills her attackers or gets rescued-the cursing mentioned could be the perpetrators getting hindered some way.

  • Martian Wong


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