As you may have seen on some of Breath of the Wild’s recent marketing material, the ESRB has recently rated the game as E10+, or suitable for everyone from ten years old and up. This comes as little surprise; generally Zelda games have always maintained a family-friendly vibe despite the fantasy violence and occasional dark theme.
What makes Breath of the Wild amusing in particular is the way the ESRB goes on to describe their reasoning behind its rating. Things start out pretty standard for a game about a hero out to save the world from monstrous foes…
“This is an adventure game in which players assume the role of Link on a quest to stop a growing evil in the land of Hyrule. As players explore the open-world environment, they can forage for materials, explore shrines, and engage in melee-style combat against fantastical creatures […] Players use swords, axes, clubs, and bows to defeat enemies that generally disappear amid puffs of smoke. One brief sequence depicts a battlefield strewn with the bodies of enemy creatures; in the background, a few bodies appear to be impaled by spears.”
A bit grim, perhaps, but then these are Ganondorf’s forces so what does it matter if one or two of them become shish kabobs? But wait — there’s more, and it’s of a much lighter tone.
“The game contains some mildly suggestive material: fairies with moderate cleavage and/or exaggerated-size breasts; dialogue such as ‘I get to see a young hunk draw a bow again?’ and ‘If I have to have something pounce on me, why couldn’t it be a lady?’ […] A shop owner tells Link that she only serves ‘…drinks that are definitely just for adults…’; players can also encounter a drunken character that occasionally hiccups.”
Taken out of context, one would think Breath of the Wild is a bawdy romp through a Hyrule that’s deep in its cups! Kidding aside, if this is the worse that the game offers in terms of questionable content, smaller children should be fine playing the game. Certainly it can’t be worse than Ocarina of Time’s Great Fairies in all their polygonal glory.
What do you think about the ESRB’s rating based on what you’ve seen of the game? Were you expecting a different rating? And do you have any guesses as to whom the amusing dialogue may originate from? Share your thoughts with us!