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Stellar Blade’s “explicit body exposure” lands it 18+ rating in Korea

Featuring warnings for “explicit body exposure” and “excessive violence,” Stellar Blade is a shaping up to be a very adult experience on PS5.

Stellar Blade rating Korea: Eve, a brunette woman with brown eyes

Stellar Blade has been rated as “not available for youth” by Korea’s Game Rating and Administration Committee, with the board slapping the maximum 19+ content restriction on Shift Up’s upcoming PS5 exclusive.

According to the classification decision (translated from Korean to English via Google), Stellar Blade contains “directly suggestive expressions” such as “explicit body exposure” – Eve apparently appears naked at some point, though this could be a mistranslation – “excessive violence,” and even “an expression of a mutilated body and red blood.”

Shaping up to be one of 2024’s best RPG games, it’s unsurprising that Stellar Blade has notched up the maximum rating in Korea. Shift Up has never held back when it comes to Nikke’s narrative and sexualized themes, and it’s clear that the studio isn’t about to start doing so with its first major console release.

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To illustrate Shift Up’s vision, in a recent GamesRadar interview with CEO Kim Hyung-tae, the studio head says that the team put “special attention on the back of the character [Eve]” because that’s what players spend most of their time looking at in-game. Based on a body scan of Korean model Shin Jae-eun, Eve has been created with a very much idealized standard of beauty in mind – one which, evidently, stresses form as much as it does function.

As for Stellar Blade’s bloody combat warning, this is fairly revelatory stuff seeing as we’ve seen very little of Eve in action so far. The recent PlayStation State of Play offered up a six-minute delve into the RPG’s gameplay, though no extended combat sequences were shown off. There are blood effects from what we did manage to peep, though nothing as gory as you might find in some of the best horror games.

When it comes to the likes of ESRB and PEGI, then, it’ll be interesting to see if other rating boards come to the same conclusion as GRAC. Stellar Blade was never going to be a child-friendly experience, and if it’s anything like Yoko Taro’s work – the dev Kim has taken a great deal of inspiration from – then we can imagine 18+ ratings will arrive across the board.

For more of the latest PS5 news check out this gorgeous one-of-a-kind PS5 console you can win right now, as well as which two Xbox first-party games could be coming to PS5 first as part of its radical new strategy.