The ESRB, and other rating boards around the world, can unintentionally offer insight into upcoming games, as the ratings typically include details about how violent and adult a game’s themes are. Few would expect to hear about an Atari Jaguar game ESRB rating in 2021, but that’s exactly what’s happening for American Hero, an unreleased FMV game that’s making its debut on consoles soon.
American Hero is a bit of a curious case, not just for Atari Jaguar games but for games in general. While it was left unfinished for more than 25 years, Ziggurat Interactive announced plans to bring it back earlier this year, though there have been few specifics about what that will entail. However, a posting on the ESRB website offers a look into the game’s content.
Despite its admittedly cheesy look, American Hero has garnered an “M” rating for its inclusion of blood, sexual content, strong language, and violence. For the most part, the sequences described in the ESRB rating are similar to what one would expect from an over-the-top action movie created in the 1990s. It boasts “full-motion video of choreographed fights, explosions, chase scenes, and romantic encounters” according to the page, all staples of the era.
Of course, there also seem to be a few moments that decidedly don’t stand the test of time. One specific example cited on the ESRB website presents the players with the option to “do her” or “just talk” during a “brief sexual encounter.” The listing also mentions one such encounter taking place in a bathroom that “focuses on characters' torsos” rather than depicting anything too untoward.
As the description for the game’s trailer puts it, American Hero is more of a “playable movie” than it is a traditional game. The ESRB listing describes the inputs that players will have – like punch, shoot, and stab actions – with the game depicting the consequence of each action after the fact. The result can be as grizzly as the protagonist, Jack, having his neck snapped, but with the way the game is presented, that might end up being shown in an outrageous way.
An ESRB rating indicates that the game’s release is getting closer, though there are still few details about where the game will land. Right now, the plan is “PC and Consoles” but there’s no mention of which platforms. There are new Atari consoles on the horizon, though, so maybe American Hero will get the Atari release it was meant to have after all.