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The Switch is getting its first R-rated games

by Oliver BrandtAugust 10, 2017

During today’s weekly eShop update, something curious popped up in the Coming Soon section — the Switch’s very first R-rated games. Hollow, by Polish developer Forever Entertainment, is an action/first-person shooter set in the confines of a mining ship orbiting Jupiter, where presumably no-one can hear you scream. This Is The Police, by famed developer THQ Nordic, is real-time strategy game centred around Jack Boyd, a police chief who’s being forced into early retirement by a corrupt mayor.

Nintendo consoles are often considered to be more kid-friendly by some, but this isn’t the first time Nintendo systems have gotten the adults-only treatment — in fact, Australia’s very first R18+ game on any platform was a Wii U game. Hollow seems to be pretty spooky, and the eShop page lists Blood and Gore, Horror Themes, Nudity, and Supernatural Themes as the reasons for its R18+ rating; This Is The Police is restricted to 18+ for references to sexual violence and sex scenes. There’s no release date or price set yet for either game but we’ll be sure to update you when we know.

(Update: This Is The Police is listed for a physical release on the 30th of September at a price point of $39.95 at EB Games, though details of its release on the eShop are still unknown.) 

You can read Hollow’s description below, or scroll to the bottom of the page to watch the trailer.

“I never cared about this ship…I just…wanted to find myself. I had to. Something deep in my brain – deep in my very soul – clawed at me, struggling to make sense of everything. But the sad truth is that it never could. I never could. I still can’t remember who I am.”

Hello, prospective crew member! Welcome to Shakhter-One, the first space mining ship to gather resources from the atmosphere of the planet Jupiter! Shakhter-One provides mass quantities of supplies to a resource-starved Earth. Thanks to Shakhter-One, we no longer have to depend on coal or oil! Still not sold on making Shakhter-One your new home?

“I don’t even know if this has happened before. Me, here, telling this same, exact story. …Surely not. I would remember that… Right?”

Shakhter-One offers a fresh start among the stars! On Shakhter-One, everybody is important! Everybody is employed! All children have an equal start! We’re confident you’ll see that Shakhter-One is the perfect place to begin your family’s future!

“The only thing that I can truly be sure of is the constant, pervading feeling I have deep inside. I’m empty. I’m hollow.”

In “Hollow,” you are one of the pilots that transports precious resource cargo from the mining ship Shakhter-One down to Earth. One day you wake up in an emergency capsule drifting near the facility. You don’t remember who you are, or how you got out there… All you can remember is an autopilot docking code for capsule dock NR 6.

When you dock with Shakhter-One, it is clear that something has gone horribly wrong. The crew is missing and the entire facility is dealing with catastrophic power issues. As you start to uncover the ship’s terrifying secrets, Shakhter-One threatens to take your identity, your sanity, and – ultimately – your life.

The worst evil is the one that knows us better than we know ourselves.
The worst nightmare is the one borne in our past, emotions, fears, and pain.

Note: This trailer is from 2016, and does not reflect the updated status of the game coming to Switch. As such, the “Coming 2017” release date in the video cannot be considered to apply for the Switch version.

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About The Author
Oliver Brandt
Digital game collector and impulse spender. Mine Cart Madness is the worst thing to happen to video games.
  • August 11, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    This is the Police is listed for a retail release on ebgames for $39.95 on September 30th bruh

  • Silly
    August 11, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    I don’t think eShop exclusives count seeing as they are classified via the IARC scheme, which is automated and not peer-assessed like retail games. For example, Wonder Boyn Switch is rated M for “mature themes” (the hell?) via IARC, but the peer-assessed rating, which was issued later for what I assume is the PSN release was G for “Very mild fantasy violence” (or something to that effect), highlighting just one of many glaring disparities in this deeply flawed scheme (though it’s great for indies, however I can’t trust IARC decisions in terms of deciding what may or may not be suitable for impressionable audiences, though the Classification Board have made their share of baffling decisions over the years).

    Similarly, IARC rated Resident Evil 4 and Dementium are R18+ while they were rated MA15+ by the Classification Board. Peer-assessed ratings *should* take precedence, but at present, Nintendo overrides peer-assessed ratings with IARC ratings where the eShops are concerned.

    It’s also worth noting that the introduction of the R18+ rating saw an ironic tightening of classification legislation for games, and a lot of games that would normally have been rated MA15+, M or even PG (in at least one particularly ridiculous instance) get jacked up to an R18+. This Is The Police, while being the first R18+ rated retail game on Switch, would most likely have been rated M under the pre-2013 guidelines, as even the most vague implication or allusion to sexual violence now gets slapped with an R18+ (with virtually no exceptions), irrespective of viewing impact and context, which is what the Classification Board *should* be considering when reaching a decision.

    • August 11, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      You’re certainly right about IARC-classified games being generally higher rated than classifications made by the Australian Classification Board, but I think that’s more of an issue with the ACB’s implementation of IARC ratings than anything. I can understand why they’d want to be cautious with the ratings if they’re not the ones looking over them, but it does lead to some pretty silly outcomes (like the Wonder Boy situation).

      That said, This Is The Police has actually been independently classified by the ACB, and did receive an R18+, as it’s also received a physical release in Australia for the PS4, Xbox One, and soon to be Switch versions. I’ve updated the article with information about the physical release, but I did want to take the time to respond to your comment too.

    • Majora
      August 11, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      Actually, there is one exception of a non-R18+ game having the descriptor of “References to sexual violence”, that being Steins;Gate (also coming to the Switch) which was able to get away with an MA15+.

      Ironically, the classification database reveals that the IARC actually gave a lower rating to Steins;Gate, giving it an M. Seems that the IARC isn’t necessarily stricter then the ACB.

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