It seems that the ESRB has deemed the newest entry in the Halo series, Halo 5: Guardians, to be rated “T”, despite the content description being fairly similar to past Halo games. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as previous Halo games were probably amongst the tamest of “M” rated titles. There were very few moments when blood was really noticeable and the language was pretty rare from game to game. Most of the real language would come from playing online, which has never been rated by the ESRB anyway. The content descriptors still list “blood, mild language, and violence”, which is exactly what the “M” rated Halo 3: ODST had. This is the rating summary given by the ESRB:
“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!’).”
This news does mean that now younger audiences can go in to purchase Halo 5: Guardians without parental permission, which will likely expand the audience, even if the game was already being played by people under the age of 17. What some fans may see as a downside to this however, is that more kids will be playing with them online. Oh well, at least it doesn’t sound like the content will be any different than previous Halo games, perhaps a bit less bloody, but the core of the game still seems to remain. Halo 5: Guardians comes out on October 27th and is exclusive to the Xbox One console.