Starfield

Starfield’s ESRB rating reveals nihilistic pillow talk and in-game purchases

Talk about a jetpack joyride

Recommended Videos

The Entertainment Software Rating Board, or ESRB, has released its rating for Bethesda’s upcoming sci-fi RPG Starfield. There’s little surprise that it garnered an M for Mature rating, but it’s the details of this rating that have been fun to read about today.

As part of its rating process, the ESRB lays out both its letter grading and reasoning. Among the descriptors, there are: Blood, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Drugs, and Violence, as well as In-Game Purchases. While that last one could spark concerns over microtransactions, it might also be signaling potential DLC or cosmetics. It’s not out of the question, considering past Bethesda RPGs.

Space oddity

Dive into the descriptions, though, and we get a sense of what each of the content descriptors means. For combat, players use “futuristic guns, lasers, axes, and explosives” to kill enemies, with frequent “cries of pain” and explosions. Some attacks will also result in blood-splatter effects, it looks like, and areas will depict blood around corpses.

But let’s cut to the meat of the article here: the “suggestive material.” The ESRB specifically mentions suggestive material in dialogue, as well as “after sharing a bed with characters” in Starfield. Here are the lines they use as examples:

  • “Life is a sexually transmitted disease that’s a hundred percent fatal.”
  • “I’m all for getting a little wild, but next time let’s try it without the jetpacks.”
  • “Talk about seeing stars, whew… that was amazing.”

Alongside implications of jetpack-enabled debauchery, that first line is a bit nihilistic. I’m imagining someone pondering that before taking a drag of their cigarette and staring off into the distance.

Interestingly, the ESRB’s rating doesn’t include mention of any actual nudity or sexual content. So while it seems like there will be post-game chatter, there may not be anything as explicit as say, Cyberpunk 2077 or Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Alongside that, there’s some drug use with a fictional drug called “Aurora” which can be bought, stolen, used, and even made by the player in one section. Also, they use words like “fuck” and “bullshit.” Which, given that there might be jetpack-fueled space slam sessions, makes a good deal of sense.

Starfield is due to launch on PC and Xbox Series X|S on September 6, 2023. We’re expecting to learn more about it at the upcoming Starfield Direct, airing after the Xbox Games Showcase on June 11.


Destructoid is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Sulfur is the unexpected Pathways Into Darkness and Tarkov combo nobody saw coming
Read Article Incredible Helldivers 2 fan film nails the feel of every mission in just over 60 seconds
helldiver in hellpod in helldivers 2 movie
Read Article FFXIV Live Letter summary: Dawntrail brings benchmark, DLSS upscaling, blacklist updates, and Yo-kai Watch event
FFXIV Live Letter reveal included the benchmark
Related Content
Read Article Sulfur is the unexpected Pathways Into Darkness and Tarkov combo nobody saw coming
Read Article Incredible Helldivers 2 fan film nails the feel of every mission in just over 60 seconds
helldiver in hellpod in helldivers 2 movie
Read Article FFXIV Live Letter summary: Dawntrail brings benchmark, DLSS upscaling, blacklist updates, and Yo-kai Watch event
FFXIV Live Letter reveal included the benchmark
Author
Eric Van Allen
Senior Editor - While Eric's been writing about games since 2014, he's been playing them for a lot longer. Usually found grinding RPG battles, digging into an indie gem, or hanging out around the Limsa Aethryte.