The British Board of Film Classification has given Call of Duty: Black Ops an 18 certificate, citing in game violence as the main reason for this. The BBFC report also reveals that Call of Duty: Black Ops contains a lot of swearing, and it reveals some minor spoilers about Treyarch’s upcoming title.
In summary, the BBFC report that Call of Duty: Black Ops “is a military first-person shooter in which the player takes the role of a member of an elite C.I.A. covert action team operating during the Cold War and attempting to stop the threat of a Soviet chemical weapons project. The game was classified ‘18’ for strong bloody violence and strong language.”
The BBFC statement on Call of Duty: Black Ops in full says:
“The violence takes the form of the player’s involvement in gun battles with various enemies in which an array of contemporary weapons such as automatic rifles, pistols, grenades and other types of explosive ammunition are available, along with larger weapons such as missile launchers which are carried on ships, helicopters and road vehicles.”
“The player can also access bladed weapons for stealth attacks and hand-to-hand combat. The battles are intense and conducted from a first-person perspective with impacts registering as blood spurts which vary in strength depending on the weapon and the range at which it is used. More powerful weapons can also cause dismemberment with resultant gory detail and enemies can be set on fire.
“Although dead bodies can sometimes be used as shields against enemy attacks there is no opportunity to inflict post-mortem damage on downed victims. Whilst most of the intense fighting action, in which the player encounters hordes of enemies, does not linger on injuries or carry a personalised edge, some stealth attacks in which a knife is used to slit an enemy’s throat contain more of a focus on the damage inflicted and some of the non-interactive cutscenes contain stronger bloodshed, for example, in the assassination of a political leader where the action plays out in slow-motion.
“It was these stronger, more focussed moments of bloody violence accumulating through the course of the gameplay that went beyond what may be permitted by the BBFC’s Guidelines at ’15’, which state that ‘Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury’, and which determined the ’18’ category.”
Given that previous Call of Duty titles have received 18 ratings in the past, it probably isn’t all that suprising that Black Ops has also been given the highest certificate. Still it’s interesting to see how the BBFC go about rating games.
The Call of Duty: Black Ops rating announcement comes shortly after Activision released the official Call of Duty: Black Ops launch trailer which you can view here. It does seem to imply that there will be violence…as does the Single Player Campaign Trailer.
You can also see more Call of Duty: Black Ops footage in this Multiplayer Feature from Inside Xbox, while details of the new Call of Duty: Black Ops Gun Game have also surfaced. Call of Duty: Black Ops will also have full 3D support.
Call of Duty: Black Ops is released in one week on November 9th, and many retailers will be opening for midnight launches. Call of Duty: Black Ops will be available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
So Train2Game, what do you think about Call of Duty: Black Ops 18 rating? Does it sound like it is justified? And when you develop games in future, how much will you be thinking about their rating?