How old do you have to be to play Death Stranding? Here’s what the ESRB, PEGI and other age rating boards recommend.
It’s taken a long time to discover what type of game Death Stranding actually is. However, it was safe to assume that it would feature violent combat and some occasionally fruity dialogue. It is a Hideo Kojima game, after all.
With its release date fast approaching, we’ve taken a closer look at the Death Stranding age ratings around the world.
Death Stranding ESRB rating
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is responsible for video game ratings in the United States and Canada. When you hear the phrase ‘M for Mature’ in a trailer, it’s the ESRB that says so.
And indeed, Death Stranding has been rated Mature by the ESRB, meaning it is suitable for players aged 17 and above. It receives the rating based on in-game content released to Blood, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity and Strong Language.
In its Rating Summary, the ESRB pays particular attention to the game’s firefights, saying:
“Players use machine guns, grenades, and shotguns to kill enemies; firefights are highlighted by realistic gunfire, large splashes of blood, and cries of pain.”
Referring to some of the game’s more graphic moments, the summary adds:
“Cutscenes contain more intense instances of violence: a man and an infant shot—the latter, accidentally (blood splatter appears below the infant); a character shooting a comatose patient in the head; a man stabbing himself repeatedly in the distance.”
References to nudity are also made – we assume that’s Norman Reedus’s bottom – and it notes the occasional use of the words ‘f**k” and “sh*t”.
Death Stranding PEGI rating
In Europe, the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) rating system provides consumer guidance on video game content. As expected, Death Stranding has received a PEGI 18 rating.
Although the game has yet to receive a full breakdown on the PEGI website, an 18 rating is given to a game when “the level of violence reaches a stage where it becomes a depiction of gross violence, apparently motiveless killing, or violence towards defenceless characters.”
Death Stranding is specifically rated PEGI 18 due to its content in the Violence and Bad Language categories.
Interestingly, the game has only received a 15+ rating from the Australian Classification Board, for its strong themes and violence. The game’s CERO D rating in Japan means it is available for players aged 17 and above.
So no big surprises, and it may be that the game’s meandering opening has players reaching for the off switch long before its violence or language does.
Read the full ESRB summary here. Death Stranding is out on PlayStation 4 on November 8, 2019, and PC in 2020.
More from Thumbsticks
Special delivery for you
If you want to keep on top of the latest news, features, reviews, guides, and sales, we can send all our latest articles and great content straight to your inbox. You know, collated together, once or twice a week, in a newsletter. We wouldn't send them one at a time – that would be weird and annoying!
Recommended for you
Latest from Thumbsticks
Animal Crossing: New Horizons to get a huge free update and paid DLC
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is getting an enormous free content update and a new paid DLC expansion.
Back 4 Blood review
Back 4 Blood is a rip-roaring zombie killing time, but without the right zombie slayers by your side, it's an...
Batman returns to Rocket League today
Batman returns for this year's Rocket League Haunted Hallows event, which begins today.
New Nintendo Switch releases: October 11-15, 2021 (Updated)
Disco Elysium – The Final Cut and The Good Life are among this week's lineup of new Nintendo Switch eShop...
This week’s Xbox Deals with Gold and Sale Highlights
Aliens: Fireteam Elite and games from the Fallout series headline this week's crop of Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S discounts.
Classic Star Wars games to get physical release on Switch and PS4
Aspyr Media is releasing four classic Star Wars games across two physical bundles on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.
New PlayStation Store releases: October 11-15, 2021
This week's lineup of PlayStation Store releases includes Jackbox Party Pack 8. Oh, and Back 4 Blood, Crysis Remastered, NHL...
The wonder and fear of radio in video games
There's a childlike sense of wonder to radio. Making an ocean of the sky, radio waves broadcast out like the...