Booze and boobs net ‘Breath of the Wild’ series-first ratings from ESRB

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The next game in the Zelda series, Breath of the Wild, has been given an Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating that warns it does contain some mildly suggestive themes, and the “use of Alcohol.” This will be a first for the series, which has never been rated higher than for Teens, though it has been flagged a few times for suggestive content.

The Legend of Zelda games have always been marketed at children. While adults who were fans of the very first game might still enjoy them, as with most Nintendo properties, Link’s adventures are designed to appeal to younger gamers. As such there’s no swearing, very little blood, and certainly no graphic nudity. That’s not to say it’s all 100-percent kid-friendly though. Link does go around solving problems with his sword, after all, and those fairies are rather — mature.

It’s those same fairies who are partly responsible for the rating having a couple of caveats this time around. The “mild suggestive themes,” noted on the ESRB’s ratings page, are because of their “moderate cleavage and/or exaggerated breast size.” There’s also references to how a “young hunk,” like Link can handle a bow.

As for the alcohol references, there are a couple we’re told. At one point in the game a character can be seen drunkenly hiccuping, while a shop owner serves drinks which he claims are “definitely just for adults.” It’s not clear if Link can acquire any of those drinks, nor what happens if he does drink them, but it seems like that would have been mentioned in the ESRB report if it was possible.

None of the noted content has had too negative an effect on the game’s rating, however, as it has still been granted an E10+ rating, which isn’t even the highest rating for a Zelda game. Twilight Princess and its remaster were both given a Teen “T” rating, as per Polygon.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will launch on the Nintendo Switch when it debuts on March 3. A Wii U port will also be released on the same date.


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