To absolutely no one's surprise, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board has assigned an M-rating to Bethesda Softworks' upcoming The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, which captures our hearts and minds on November 11. The game features mature-themed content like "blood and gore, intense violence, sexual themes [and] use of alcohol."
True to ESRB form, the official "Rating Summary," written to advise readers on what lengths the content goes to, only makes the game sound more awesome. Check it out after the jump, though be aware that you'll come across a minor (VERY minor) quest spoiler.
This is a fantasy role-playing game in which players assume the role of Dovakin, a prophesied figure with the power to combat dragons in the fictional world of Skyrim. As players traverse through mountainous open-world environments, they complete missions and quests that impact the eventual fate of their character. Players use swords, bows and arrows, axes, and magic attacks (e.g., fireballs, ice shards) to kill various enemies (e.g., wolves, dragons, human bandits and soldiers).
As players engage in melee-style combat, some sequences are highlighted by slow-motion effects, particularly for decapitations. Large blood-splatter effects also occur during combat, and some environments are stained with blood or body parts (e.g., heads impaled on spikes). Some sequences allow players to injure/kill nonadversary characters, including prisoners chained to a wall; they scream in pain amid splashes of blood or fire.
As the game progresses, the dialogue and on-screen text contains references to sexual material (e.g., “. . . all the whores your heart, or any other organ, desires,” “She . . . raped the men as cruelly as Bal had ravished her,” and “Remember when you thought [he] was . . . intent on making you . . . into his personal sex slave?”).
Alcohol such as wine, mead, and ale can be purchased and consumed by players' character throughout the game; and in one sequence, players can engage in a drinking contest with another character, which eventually results in slurred speech (e.g., “One more. No problemsh . . . Thash grape!”).