Forthcoming 2K third person shooter, Spec Ops: The Line allows players to gun down unarmed civilians and open fire on "angry mobs".

The potentially controversial content was flagged up in the game's ESRB listing, which went live earlier today.

"Battles are highlighted by realistic gunfire, screams of pain, slow-motion effects (during headshots); injured characters emit blood splashes when hit, and continue to incur damage when killed," it read.

"Players can also 'execute' or incapacitate enemies at close range (e.g., punching soldiers in the face or snapping their necks). Some weapons cause damage such as dismembered limbs or scattered body parts; a handful of sequences depict severely burned or mutilated corpses.

"During the course of the game, players have the ability to shoot unarmed civilians or open fire on angry mobs. Cutscenes also include intense instances of violence: bloodied characters getting interrogated and/or executed; soldiers getting shot in the head at point-blank range."

EA's impending Syndicate reboot also fell under the US rating board's scrutiny and, like Spec Ops, received a Mature stamp.

Again, those of a sensitive disposition should be prepared for plenty of blood-letting, not to mention a bit of sauce.

"Firefights are highlighted by realistic gunfire and explosions; injured enemies scream in pain and emit large splashes of blood. Players can also perform melee attacks (e.g., snapping enemies' necks). Some weapons result in dismembered limbs, and dead bodies sustain additional blood effects when shot," warned the ESRB.

"A variety of cutscenes and interactive sequences depict more intense acts of violence: unarmed civilians executed; a character shooting himself in the head; a man getting sliced in half by a door.

"In one location (marked 'XXX' and 'Peepshow'), two holographic women in bikinis dance provocatively inside a storefront. The words 'f**k', 'sh*t', and 'a*shole' can be heard in the dialogue."

Syndicate is due in stores from 24th February, while Spec Ops: The Line follows some time in the Spring.

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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