Earlier this year, the ESRB gave The Last of Us 2 (opens in new tab) an M for Mature age rating, and the independent body has now published its explanation for placing Naughty Dog's upcoming PS4 game into that category.
Be warned that the rating description found on the ESRB website is not only pretty graphic in detail, but reveals potential spoilers for The Last of Us 2, so we'd advise against reading any further if you're planning to go in completely blind.
Still here? Good for you. According to the ESRB, The Last of Us 2 depicts all kinds of extreme violence, including "a human captive bound and hung from a noose before being disemboweled; assailants beating a restrained woman's arm with a hammer; characters shot in the head with arrows; [and] a man repeatedly pistol-whipped."
The rating summary also outlines the game's sexual content, describing "a couple disrobing and briefly engaging in a sexual act; the couple is heard grunting/moaning as the screen turns black (depicted from the waist up with female toplessness). Some zombie creatures are depicted with exposed breasts and genitalia."
And as if sex and violence weren't enough, Naughty Dog's latest also throws drug use into the mix, too, with the ESRB mentioning "one sequence [that] depicts two characters smoking a marijuana joint in a room full of marijuana plants."
Original story below:
The Last of Us Part 2 has been given its official age rating by the ESRB board, and you won't be surprised to learn that Naughty Dog's upcoming PS4 game (opens in new tab) has been given a hard "M" for "Mature".
According to new information on the sequel's official website (opens in new tab), the ESRB gave The Last of Us Part 2 this rating for its "Blood and gore, intense violence, nudity, sexual content, strong language [and] use of drugs."
Given that 2013's The Last of Us (opens in new tab) contained plenty of violence, swearing, and gore, those inclusions are hardly a shocker, nor is that mention of drug use, as one of the trailers literally shows Ellie and Dinah sharing a joint together in a moment of intimacy.
The addition of "sexual content" and "nudity", however, marks a first for Naughty Dog, whose games have previously only ventured so far as cheeky innuendo and suggestive cutaways when it comes to matters of the bedroom.
This does, however, corroborate with the studio's promise that the upcoming project represents its most mature and adult tale yet, with all that entails. Could The Last of Us 2 finally break the stigma of video games and awkward, cringey sex scenes? One can only hope for now, as the title isn't releasing until May 29 later this year.
If you're interested, here's more information on how to pre-order The Last of Us 2 (opens in new tab), which, given the pedigree of the studio behind, we reckon you definitely should.
For more, check out everything revealed in Last of Us 2's Outbreak Day info drop (opens in new tab), or watch below for our hands-on gameplay preview of the sequel.