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ESRB Rating Worries (Halo Infinite a T?)

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Here in the UK and Europe, it has always been related 16+ and, to be honest, I really don't understand why it has ever been rated M by the ESRB in the US. Granted CE was always the most gory in the sense of the blood (in some ways it was almost comical how much blood there was in enemies you could fill entire rooms with it) but afterwards it definitely got tamer.

I was playing Reach firefight on MCC the other day and I there wasn't a whole lot of blood on the floor, it was there but definitely not crazy levels. I think the M rating probably stems from the whole 'video games cause violence or bad' vibe from the early 2000s and when politicians used to blame video games from just about everything (and not their own policies and decision making).

I literally was just googling why Halo was rated M and I found this on a parental website

Source: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/game-reviews/halo-the-master-chief-collection/user-reviews/adult:
"Not as bad as I thought it would beI was skeptical about getting this because it was rated M (and after all, there had to be a reason why it was rated M) But my child convinced me to try it out, so I let him. Then I saw that this was not anymore violent than power rangers(This is just an expression). I think the people who made rated this game did a bad job because this should be rated T. "Also, in some ways the newer titles were in some ways more violent than the old ones. For instance, Halo 5 may not have had blood but some of the assassination animations were quite brutal.

In summary, I think Halo should always have been rated T and not M. The swearing wasn't even that bad or hard as some other games and it lacks virtually all the other characteristics of M games except 'Violence'. Rating Halo as M puts it in the same pool as Red Dead Redemption and GTA, which is absolutely absurd! Tbf, it's hard for me to take rating boards seriously when games like NBA 2K come out with literal casinos/slot machines and are rated E for everyone.
The thing is, if the ESRB had a rating for 16+ equivalently, I would completely agree. 16+ makes sense for Halo. Unfortunately a T for Teen means 13+ essentially, where as an M is 17+

I think the PEGI rating system is better than the ESRB as it's more granular.

Anyway, all I really care about is that they aren't aiming for T as a target. I'm not saying I'm not looking forward to Infinite, that's far from the truth and I'm not saying a T Halo game would be terrible (see my H5 service record for proof). I just don't want them to water things down for a lower rating as it would make the game less.

I mean I kind of miss the slight horror elements of Halo. We have to remember that for the time, the flood was fairly graphic. I mean does anyone remember how horrible it was when a marine got infected in H3?
Here in the UK and Europe, it has always been related 16+ and, to be honest, I really don't understand why it has ever been rated M by the ESRB in the US. Granted CE was always the most gory in the sense of the blood (in some ways it was almost comical how much blood there was in enemies you could fill entire rooms with it) but afterwards it definitely got tamer.

I was playing Reach firefight on MCC the other day and I there wasn't a whole lot of blood on the floor, it was there but definitely not crazy levels. I think the M rating probably stems from the whole 'video games cause violence or bad' vibe from the early 2000s and when politicians used to blame video games from just about everything (and not their own policies and decision making).

I literally was just googling why Halo was rated M and I found this on a parental website

Source: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/game-reviews/halo-the-master-chief-collection/user-reviews/adult:
"Not as bad as I thought it would beI was skeptical about getting this because it was rated M (and after all, there had to be a reason why it was rated M) But my child convinced me to try it out, so I let him. Then I saw that this was not anymore violent than power rangers(This is just an expression). I think the people who made rated this game did a bad job because this should be rated T. "Also, in some ways the newer titles were in some ways more violent than the old ones. For instance, Halo 5 may not have had blood but some of the assassination animations were quite brutal.

In summary, I think Halo should always have been rated T and not M. The swearing wasn't even that bad or hard as some other games and it lacks virtually all the other characteristics of M games except 'Violence'. Rating Halo as M puts it in the same pool as Red Dead Redemption and GTA, which is absolutely absurd! Tbf, it's hard for me to take rating boards seriously when games like NBA 2K come out with literal casinos/slot machines and are rated E for everyone.
The thing is, if the ESRB had a rating for 16+ equivalently, I would completely agree. 16+ makes sense for Halo. Unfortunately a T for Teen means 13+ essentially, where as an M is 17+

I think the PEGI rating system is better than the ESRB as it's more granular.

Anyway, all I really care about is that they aren't aiming for T as a target. I'm not saying I'm not looking forward to Infinite, that's far from the truth and I'm not saying a T Halo game would be terrible (see my H5 service record for proof). I just don't want them to water things down for a lower rating as it would make the game less.

I mean I kind of miss the slight horror elements of Halo. We have to remeber that for the time, the flood was fairly graphic. I mean does anyone remember how horrible it was when a marine got infected in H3?
Halo 3 had my favourite flood. And I definitely remember that. Very good times.

Although I miss the flood from Halo 2 that could drive vehicles and attack you with them. < Imagine this applied to Halo: Infinite's open world formula.
It looks like from Hiddenxperia's latest video, Halo Infinite will be rated T and not M. Is there any way to verify this? It's really worrying. I hope 343 are not purposefully downgrading the game to reach a T, that would be terrible. I was really looking forward to Infinite but this kind of this is very off putting.

I mean how can we really show off the mysteries of Zeta Halo on a T? Makes no sense to me. What would be even sadder would be to show off the mysteries of Zeta Halo in a child friendly way.

What does everyone think?
Wouldn't be surprised if they went for an E rating at this point. As much as I'd like to think there's a "idea" board at 343 they throw darts at when they're drunk, it's probably big daddy Microsoft mandating this crap.

Microsoft is very pc, so child friendly Halo is a real possibility.
Well, i think what halo 5 don't even has blood when you shoot a corpse (Maybe i'm wrong, i didn't played a lot halo 5). I don't know why halo i was going to be different.

I want some gore, i don't know, just some blood, Gears of war has a good gore for me but here that is not going to happen so, some blood is fine.
What does that add lol
mike2k132 wrote:
Well, i think what halo 5 don't even has blood when you shoot a corpse (Maybe i'm wrong, i didn't played a lot halo 5). I don't know why halo i was going to be different.

I want some gore, i don't know, just some blood, Gears of war has a good gore for me but here that is not going to happen so, some blood is fine.
What does that add lol
Immersion. The very best Halo games all had decent amounts of blood. Even Halo: Reach.
It looks like from Hiddenxperia's latest video, Halo Infinite will be rated T and not M. Is there any way to verify this? It's really worrying. I hope 343 are not purposefully downgrading the game to reach a T, that would be terrible. I was really looking forward to Infinite but this kind of this is very off putting.

I mean how can we really show off the mysteries of Zeta Halo on a T? Makes no sense to me. What would be even sadder would be to show off the mysteries of Zeta Halo in a child friendly way.

What does everyone think?
Wouldn't be surprised if they went for an E rating at this point. As much as I'd like to think there's a "idea" board at 343 they throw darts at when they're drunk, it's probably big daddy Microsoft mandating this crap.

Microsoft is very pc, so child friendly Halo is a real possibility.
*Laughs in Gears of War.

InaIn seriousness though there was still some blood in the trailer and demo. It just that for whatever reason there's no blood splatter. I'm not expecting CE levels of blood. Just a little spot on the floor I think would improve the look though it's not a break for me.

The main reason the T rating bothers me is it somewhat rules out the flood (at least not with a whole lot of restrictions), especially given Infinite is the platform for Halo for the next ten years.
It looks like from Hiddenxperia's latest video, Halo Infinite will be rated T and not M. Is there any way to verify this? It's really worrying. I hope 343 are not purposefully downgrading the game to reach a T, that would be terrible. I was really looking forward to Infinite but this kind of this is very off putting.

I mean how can we really show off the mysteries of Zeta Halo on a T? Makes no sense to me. What would be even sadder would be to show off the mysteries of Zeta Halo in a child friendly way.

What does everyone think?
Wouldn't be surprised if they went for an E rating at this point. As much as I'd like to think there's a "idea" board at 343 they throw darts at when they're drunk, it's probably big daddy Microsoft mandating this crap.

Microsoft is very pc, so child friendly Halo is a real possibility.
*Laughs in Gears of War.
InaIn seriousness though there was still some blood in the trailer and demo. It just that for whatever reason there's no blood splatter. I'm not expecting CE levels of blood. Just a little spot on the floor I think would improve the look though it's not a break for me.

The main reason the T rating bothers me is it somewhat rules out the flood (at least not with a whole lot of restrictions), especially given Infinite is the platform for Halo for the next ten years.
That's my main gripe. The blood not appearing on the ground. However the blood spurting from the enemies when they were getting shot was decent. Though I did not see any red blood from the Brutes getting shot... Hmmm.
It looks like from Hiddenxperia's latest video, Halo Infinite will be rated T and not M. Is there any way to verify this? It's really worrying. I hope 343 are not purposefully downgrading the game to reach a T, that would be terrible. I was really looking forward to Infinite but this kind of this is very off putting.

I mean how can we really show off the mysteries of Zeta Halo on a T? Makes no sense to me. What would be even sadder would be to show off the mysteries of Zeta Halo in a child friendly way.

What does everyone think?
Wouldn't be surprised if they went for an E rating at this point. As much as I'd like to think there's a "idea" board at 343 they throw darts at when they're drunk, it's probably big daddy Microsoft mandating this crap.

Microsoft is very pc, so child friendly Halo is a real possibility.
I mean.... They were literally making a kid friendly halo mega blocks game similar to the Lego games. That game would no doubt be rated E.
mike2k132 wrote:
Well, i think what halo 5 don't even has blood when you shoot a corpse (Maybe i'm wrong, i didn't played a lot halo 5). I don't know why halo i was going to be different.

I want some gore, i don't know, just some blood, Gears of war has a good gore for me but here that is not going to happen so, some blood is fine.
What does that add lol
Immersion. The very best Halo games all had decent amounts of blood. Even Halo: Reach.
Yes, i guess what i'm killing aliens not walls, and those aliens had blood. I don't know why is hard to understand
So, I skimmed most of the posts, I see the concerns for T and the desire for the flood, but it might be worth noting 2 things.

In recent years the ESRB has changed how strictly it rates everything, something like gears of war, where humans literally get cut in half (though possible and unlikely) could get a T rating.

And secondly T did not stop the floods appearance in great detail in cutscenes for halo wars 2, cutscenes are given the same treatment as gameplay by the ESRB, it's all just appearance to them, to get an ESRB rating you are required to show 100% of your content (ever since GTA hid stuff from them) meaning they reviewed the cutscenes and thought it's content was T.

If awakening the nightmares blur flood blood cutscenes aren't enough for you guys, I really don't know what you want, I mean they're gushing blood and being dismembered.
I agree it is worrying especially considering nowadays they slap an M rating on just about anything so T rated games tend to be really kiddied down and I don't see how they could have the flood or really any meaningful story behind the game with a T rating.
IzzyTH I51 wrote:
So, I skimmed most of the posts, I see the concerns for T and the desire for the flood, but it might be worth noting 2 things.

In recent years the ESRB has changed how strictly it rates everything, something like gears of war, where humans literally get cut in half (though possible and unlikely) could get a T rating.

And secondly T did not stop the floods appearance in great detail in cutscenes for halo wars 2, cutscenes are given the same treatment as gameplay by the ESRB, it's all just appearance to them, to get an ESRB rating you are required to show 100% of your content (ever since GTA hid stuff from them) meaning they reviewed the cutscenes and thought it's content was T.

If awakening the nightmares blur flood blood cutscenes aren't enough for you guys, I really don't know what you want, I mean they're gushing blood and being dismembered.
i want to cite ESRB as well.

Halo reach: M
This is a first-person shooter in which players engage in futuristic battles against invading aliens. Players use pistols, sniper rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, and swords to kill enemies during frequent and fast-paced combat. Characters are occasionally impaled on glowing swords, and aliens can be seen stabbing fallen figures during some battle sequences. Gun fights are highlighted by realistic gunfire sound effects, explosions, and screams of pain. Human and alien characters emit spurts of blood when injured; players are able to shoot dead enemies, causing more blood to splash out. Blood is sometimes depicted on the walls and ground.Halo 4: M
This is a first-person shooter in which players control futuristic super-soldiers who engage in military campaigns against alien forces. Players use pistols, scoped rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, and futuristic weaponry to kill enemies in ranged combat; battles are highlighted by cries of pain, realistic gunfire, and large explosions. Stealth moves (i.e., “assassinations”) can also be used to attack enemies from behind (e.g., snapping their necks or stabbing/impaling them with bladed weapons). During one cutscene, a human character cries out as her body disintegrates, exposing layers of muscle tissue. Large blood-splatter effects occur when humans are shot; some sequences depict bloodstained environments.Halo 5: T
This is a first-person shooter in which players assume the role of a super soldier (Locke) searching for a missing character. Players use pistols, machine guns, grenade launchers, and futuristic weapons to kill alien and human enemies in frenetic combat. Battles are highlighted by realistic gunfire, explosions, and occasional blood-splatter effects. Characters can also use “assassinations” to kill characters by snapping their necks, or by stabbing them with bladed weapons. The word “a*s” appears in the dialogue, as well as occasional taunts/insults (e.g., “I have copulated...with your genetic progenitors!”; "Your father was a filthy colo and your mother was a hole in the wall!").

Halo wars 2: T
This is a real-time strategy game in which players build and command military units in order to defeat opponents and complete combat objectives. From a ¾-overhead perspective, players collect and manage resources to mobilize/upgrade military units (e.g., infantry, armored vehicles). Combat is highlighted by realistic gunfire, explosions, and cries of pain. One cutscene briefly depicts blood spilling out of a stab wound; another scene shows bloodied injuries on a soldier's face. A handful of cutscenes depict soldiers shooting or stabbing enemy aliens. The words “b*tch” and “a*s” appear in the dialogue.

Gears of war 4: M
This is a third-person shooter in which players assume the role of an elite soldier fighting to stop an alien threat. Players use machine guns, shotguns, sniper rifles, grenades, and battle armor to kill enemy creatures and human soldiers. Blood-splatter effects frequently occur during the frenetic combat. Some attacks result in decapitation/dismemberment, leaving large blood stains and body parts on the ground; some areas also depict large pools of blood amid dismembered corpses. During the course of the game, players can perform various finishing attacks that depict intense acts of violence: slicing enemies in half with a chainsaw-like weapon; impaling enemies through the chest with a bayonet; repeatedly bashing an enemy's head into the ground. The words “f**k” and “sh*t” are heard in the dialogue.

ESRB's rating process.
https://www.esrb.org/ratings/ratings-process/

including comments on DLC of different rating, as in, higher rating:

Downloadable Content (DLC)In most cases, the rating assigned to a game also applies to its DLC. However, if the DLC content exceeds the rating assigned to the “core” product, it must be submitted, and a different rating may be assigned to the DLC.but, what I'm gathering, after looking into it, this might be why there isn't blood on the ground... interesting that dismemberment and decapitation is T, while puddles are M.
The July gameplay reveal gave off the impression that Halo: Infinite is a baby friendly Halo.

I'm pretty sure your fears are well founded.
Holding out a sliver of hope, but yeah... I think we should prepare. There's perhaps some chance of things being changed a little before launch but it's saddening to think.

Halo isn't a kids game and never has been. It's a light M and that's where it should stay.

Kind of reminds me of what happened to action movies in the 90s and 00s. PG-13 ruined so many films.
The thing is that many of the game reveals for Xbox Series X were PG type games. And all the decent mature games are not likely to be released until two or three years down the road. Too many PG games and not enough mature AAA games from Microsoft these days. Xbox feels like a childs console whereas Playstation seems to be catering more to the actual hardcore and mature gamers. Hence great games like Ghosts of Tsushima...
Oh goth, I wouldn't claim it's the hardcore crawd. Most of their titles are heavily story driven and simple, however they certainly gather a more mature audience. Also they have more options too, for every second Havy Rain kind of game they also get a Bloodbourn.

I just hope we're not getting the Flood with a T rating!
The July gameplay reveal gave off the impression that Halo: Infinite is a baby friendly Halo.

I'm pretty sure your fears are well founded.
Holding out a sliver of hope, but yeah... I think we should prepare. There's perhaps some chance of things being changed a little before launch but it's saddening to think.

Halo isn't a kids game and never has been. It's a light M and that's where it should stay.

Kind of reminds me of what happened to action movies in the 90s and 00s. PG-13 ruined so many films.
Halo has always been kid friendly if you ask me, I think halo barely deserved an M rating. The ESRB rating guidelines are also different now than they were back then. Halo I think always deserved a T rating. Games that deserve an M are games like doom
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