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Fallout 4‘s release date is fast approaching, and the ESRB has checked in with Bethesda’s latest release to give their rating for the title as is customary. It will be rated M for Mature, like all the other games in the series, listing “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Use of Drugs” as the reasons. Nothing seems concerning there, until you go back and look at Fallout 3‘s description. They are similar lists, except that Fallout 3 had “Sexual Themes” attached, where Fallout 4 does not.

When looking at the more detailed descriptions, we see that they read very similar, except Fallout 3 features a passage about prostitutes that appeared in the game. A similar passage can also be found in the rating description for New Vegas. Anyone who has played the modern Fallout games will tell you that these characters were not a huge part of the experience in any way, only really factoring into a few side quests. Still, they have been in the series since the beginning, including Fallout 2‘s New Reno area and even a minor character in the unpopular Xbox spin-off Brotherhood of Steel.

The only other difference in the two descriptions is the way that the ESRB describes the player consuming fictional drugs like Jet and Mentats. Fallout 3‘s description mentions that the player can not be seen consuming those drugs, but Fallout 4 just states that the player is using them. Whether this means that the player will have an animation for using those drugs like Bioshock‘s plasmid injections is yet to be seen. Considering that they’re adding to the work they did on Skyrim, it could happen and be a neat addition to the series.

Quick Take

Considering that Fallout 3 went so far as to have Eulogy Jones and his sex slaves at Paradise Falls, this is a strange thing to omit from the latest game in the franchise. One has to wonder if the ESRB is getting more lenient with its ratings, as nothing in Fallout was ever explicit and other games like Halo 5: Guardians have had their ratings adjusted downward recently. Or it could be that Bethesda has changed direction creatively. In any case, we’ll see the final result in just two months.

More About This Game

Alex Santa Maria

Reviews Editor

TechRaptor's Reviews Editor. Resident fan of pinball, Needlers, Rougelikes, and anything with neon lighting. Owns an office chair once used by Billy Mays.

  • webkilla

    Considering how big F4 is looking to be… it could very well be that the censors simply didn’t find the stuff

    And if nothing else – we all know that there’ll be a hundred “add a brothel” mods to your settlement, with either male, female, robot or wild animal prostitutes.

    I want there to be a brahmin with lipstip on as one of my ’employees’ – come on modders, make it happen!

  • Arbitrary

    “And if nothing else – we all know that there’ll be a hundred “add a brothel” mods to your settlement, with either male, female, robot or wild animal prostitutes.”

    Completely, fucking irrelevant. This is potentially about censorship, not whether or not you personally can get your fucking rocks off.

    And you know this.

  • Psyramics

    No Fisto makes me seriously reconsider my purchase.

  • Dr. Evil’s Brother’s Evil Twin

    It’s possible it could be censorship. It’s possible they didn’t add any just so they don’t have to deal with backlash from SJWs. It’s possible it could be they just didn’t run into anything sexual since the game is supposed to be upwards of 400+ hours. I mean we really just need more info. Do I think Bethesda didn’t do any sexual content? I doubt it. I mean if they were catering to SJWs, they would add it and make it all politically correct and Bethesda doesn’t do that. I’m more of the opinion they just didn’t run into any when rating, but again we need more info.

    Edit: Also I just remembered how is there not sexual content when you can romance almost any character in the game apparently?

  • webkilla

    my rocks off?

    Son – I want hilarious Fallout content, akin to the robot and ghoul prostitute in Fallout New Vegas

    Now, censorship? Who knows

    If I’d argue to rate a lot of the gorn you see at raider camps in Fallout 3 as sexual in nature to a certain extent, since it often displayed naked bodies ripped to shreds splayed out in decidedly grotesque maners… but then again, US ratings always do tend to go more lenient on violence as opposed to overtly sexual content

    but ok – so there’s no sex slaves or brothels in the game by default – DLC, mods – stuff like that can still come… and we all know that Bethesda isn’t exactly known for finishing their games 100% for launch

    So chill before you start raving about censorship

  • Yosharian

    Pre-order cancelled…

    ok I admit it, nothing is going to make me cancel my pre-order

  • Dr. Evil’s Brother’s Evil Twin

    I doubt it’s anything bad to why it was rated as such.

  • Dr. Evil’s Brother’s Evil Twin

    I just hope that mods for the consoles won’t be censored due to nudity and such. I mean, alot of the body overalls are nude because that’s the way they were modeled.

  • guru8bit

    We wouldn’t want to offend someone with this Post-Apocalypse game that shows how society would fall apart and deteriorate.

    Rape? Pff, no such thing would exist in a game where people kill each other over nothing and shoot drugs in their fucking eyeballs, in fact, nobody has sex in the post-apocalypse.

    Fuck this gay earth

  • webkilla

    The real question is whether Bethesda will try with paid mods again for F4

    If not, then I can’t imagine that mods will be restricted for consoles any more than they wont be for PCs – its a bit of an all or nothing setup

  • Nathaniel Plain

    The ESRB doesn’t actually play the game. They are provided, by the publisher, with a questionare that describes the content of the game and videos which are indicative of normal gameplay. So unless Bethesday is hiding something (which is something no one wants after the “Hot Coffee” debacle) the game is missing any sexual content out of box.

  • I was wondering that too. Although you could probably do a relationship without anything explicit going on, but you’d think it would be mentioned somewhere. And it’s not like the content is missing, the game is pretty much done by now. It’s a weird omission.

  • PHlevels

    Why? Why did you have to remind us Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel exists.

    In all seriousness this is strange. I hope Bethesda wasn’t doing this to appease Sensitive Joss Whedons.

  • Wisdomcube2000

    I thought the same thing when they said there would be no robo-lovers a while back.

  • I’m just going to play the game, mods will add sexual content if I /really/ need it.

  • Dr. Evil’s Brother’s Evil Twin

    Honestly when it comes to actual sexual content, I don’t think that’s what most are worried about. What worries me is that sexual content has always been part of the lore because it’s the post apocalypse and horrible shit happens. I worry that it might have been hit with political correctness when it comes to sex, but we don’t know. I mean that could be it, or not. In this climate though, it would suck if it was the first.

  • Jackjack

    As usual gonna hold off buying the game for a while. If it was censored to appease the Anita Sarkeesians of the world then fuck this game.

  • >Didn’t run into anything sexual

    You do know that the ESRB states that you’re supposed to have all information of the game’s content, right?

    Also, Skyrim was said to have sexual themes; yet I didn’t run into any “sexual themes” during the course of my many playthroughs and in addition; Skyrim’s romances were non-sexual as well (of course; you could roleplay sex by “sleeping” but mods make roleplaying sex better).

    I could see the DLC having “sexual themes” in them, though but again; voiced protagonist so the game could suck (although we all know the story’s gonna suck no matter what because Bethesda can’t write any good stories post-Oblivion).

  • Indeed; and Dragon Age: Origins’s PEGI rating warned of “sexual violence” on their website; but the US rating doesn’t make mention of that, just “sexual content”.

  • Am I the only one who has a feeling there’ll be “Sexual Themes” in an upcoming DLC?

  • Reptile

    Or… that apocalypse was caused by SJW and they managed to abolish sex from human culture, along with the “do not use drugs” part. Huh, that sure is a very dark post-apocalyptic game.

  • Reptile

    Yes, this -could- be about censorship but we don’t know, also the mods would be a big F-you to censorship. Like a passive agressive protest.

  • Blank Generation

    But I like sexual content…

  • A Hyena

    Personally for me, with stuff like that I think just letting people have the option for a Donate button on their mods would work better

  • That’s why we’re thankful for mods.

    Can’t wait to see Preston Garvey’s black cock.

  • webkilla

    true – though PEGI is european… while the ESRB is ‘murican – which is strange, since sexual content is usually more permissible in europe, while violent content is more permissible in the US

  • AgentBJ09

    Is anything they’re doing these days not taking pieces away from established ideas?

  • cptk

    I have a really bad feeling about Fallout 4, it started from the small controlled demos and information blackout and it continues to gets worse with every titbit of information.

  • 3Storms

    We’re supposed to be a free country where people are free to create anything they want with no one else’s moral boundaries imposed on them.

    I guess not. I guess we’re a Marxist country where any and all things must comply to codes set fourth by the party to limit “free choice” to what doesn’t offend the party.

  • “This is better than sex”

    See! Right there! Interplay knew this day was coming.

  • JustaGuest

    They can remove all the sexual content they want. It won’t the sex mods from happening.

  • I’m aware, I’ve played the other Fallout games.

    But would I not play the game because it didn’t have sexual content? No.
    Am I going to accuse Bethesda of folding to censorship? No.

    I’m still trying to figure out what’s more annoying, pervasive SJW’s or the people that try to blame them for everything and turn everything into a discussion about SJW’s.

    Can’t we just stop making assumptions and wait for the game and then make judgements based on the game?

  • Dr. Evil’s Brother’s Evil Twin

    Well in this climate, it’s not surprising people would assume they belted to SJWs, but if you look at my top comment, I say we don’t know without more information. It could be self censorship, it might have just been written without, it might have sexual content, but not enough to warrant the rating. Again, without talking to Bethesda, we don’t know.

  • Dr. Evil’s Brother’s Evil Twin

    Maybe you should reach out to Bethesda and try to get a comment.

  • Mark Andrew Edwards

    No sex? I’m out. I’ll go play Fallout 2 in its glorious, non-PC debauchery.

  • DariusQ

    IMO this isn’t a big deal as far as the game is concerned. Sexual content in a game does not necessarily make the story more ‘mature’ anymore than cursing does. I’d only be concerned if the developers wanted to put content in (of any kind) but censored themselves on the whims of people who probably won’t ever be buying it anyways. Either way its still their decision.

  • guru8bit

    Yeah, only 10.99 for that one