It’s not really a surprise, considering the nature of the original NiER, but it looks like NieR: Automata has been rated ‘M’ for Mature by the ESRB. According to the ratings board, the game contains blood, partial nudity, strong language, and violence. The rating summary is as follows:
‘This is an action game in which players assume the role of androids attempting to save Earth from extraterrestrial machines. Players use swords, spears, lances, and lasers to destroy enemy robots in melee-style combat. Large explosions and realistic gunfire are frequently heard during combat. Some sequences depict blood and additional acts of violence against human-like characters: a man impaled through the chest with a sword, resulting in large blood-splatter effects; character lying in pools of blood after getting stabbed. Some characters wear revealing outfits with partially exposed buttocks; one male character is depicted nude (without genitalia). The words “f**k” and “sh*t” are heard in the dialogue.’
With director Yoko Taro at the helm, and a look back at how brutal the Drakengard series has been in the past (with Drakengard 3 probably being the most vulgar), this is really no surprise at all.
NieR: Automata is set to be released for the PS4 on March 7, 2017. A PC release has also been announced.