Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification has released a statement explaining why forthcoming movie tie-in Reservoir Dogs has been refused a rating - and thereby banned from sale.
According to the statement, "The Classification Board made this decision on the basis that Reservoir Dogs contains frequent depictions of violence that have a high impact."
Specific instances mentioned in the statement include a level where "Players (participlants in a bank heist) can literally blow the heads off hostages and police as well as execute hostages at point blank range with a gunshot to the head."
Other examples given include the option for players to use "A series of so-called signature torture moves... Such as repeated pistol whipping the side of the head with blood spray evident, burning the eyes of a hostage with a cigar until they scream and die", and "cutting the fingers off a hostage with blood bursts as the victim screams in pain".
The OFLC also objected to the fact that "In lieu of taking a hostage, the player can opt for a more violent scenario where a slow motion shootout occurs, accentuating the violence."
Reservoir Dogs has been granted Refused Classification status, which means the game joins the likes of Manhunt, NARC and Grand Theft Auto III as a title which cannot be sold in Australia.
The move has prompted more calls for a review of Australia's ratings system, which currently allows for a maximum rating of "MA15+" for videogames. Some gamers argue that an 18 rating, like the one which is applied to films, should be introduced.
Reservoir Dogs, which was due to be published in Australia by Atari, is still on track for a European release this autumn.