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R16: violence

Spoiler alert

This page outlines how the classification criteria were applied. We do our best to discuss the content while avoiding spoilers, but please avoid reading this information if you do not want to learn anything about the content of this game.

Titanfall poster

Date registered: 31/01/2014

About the game

Titanfall is a multiplayer first-person shooter set in the contested frontiers of sci-fi planets. The player fights alongside five others in an attempt to defeat six opposing players.

A number of weaker, computer-controlled robots assist both sides, serving as additional cannon fodder. The main focus of the game lies in the classic competitive modes traditional to online games, such as team-based deathmatch, capturing flags or controlling areas of the map. A large element of the game involves the Titans, which are large bipedal robots. These allow the players (known as Pilots) to jump in and control them or provide autonomous covering fire. Their size and firepower greatly assists in the overall battle but also makes them an easy target.

Gameplay - the six players working together

Classification criteria: Violence and cruelty

The game involves the infliction of physical harm to a high extent but moderate degree.

The strongest depiction of serious physical harm occurs with the use of heavy weaponry such as a charge rifle. Human opponents are obliterated in a large burst of blood and some indistinct meaty viscera falls to the ground. A Titan outfitted with an Arc Cannon can use a charged electrical shot, obliterating multiple enemies to bloody effect. Furthermore, the same effect occurs if a Titan punches a human enemy or if a 'Stryder' Titan uses a melee attack on a weakened Titan. Tearing open the cockpit, the enemy pilot is pulled out and cruelly crushed in the Titan's hand.

Other stronger melee violence occurs if a Pilot sneaks up on an enemy and snaps their neck. With a swift motion, the head is twisted around and they fall from view.

Gameplay - blowing up a Titan

Classification criteria: Highly offensive language

Highly offensive language is used to a very limited extent within a context of futuristic war. The expletive "fucking" is used in one line which has four variations on its delivery. While such language is not suitable for children, its limited use means it is unlikely to cause them significant harm.

Gameplay - a pilot patrolling the streets

Decision summary

Titanfall is a multiplayer first-person shooter set in a science fiction warzone. While mission objectives focus the player on the strategies of competitive play, moment-to-moment gameplay consists of repetitive and bloody combat. This is likely to inure impressionable audiences towards the violence depicted. Furthermore, younger audiences would be likely to be shocked and disturbed by this content.

As a result, the unrestricted availability of the game would be injurious to the public good. These harms are weighed against the right to freedom of expression as set out in s14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

Restricting the availability of the game to older teenagers and adults is the lowest reasonable restriction which could be applied in order to prevent injury to the public good.

Contact the Information Unit if you require further information on a classification decision.

R16 label
R16: violence