For those of us fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to live in the "great" land down under, the upcoming release of Left 4 Dead 2 later this month will be bitter sweet. We all gasped and began waiting with baited breath when the game was initially refused classification. The decision was appealed and the game refused again. Valve submitted a censored version, which has been granted classification and is scheduled for release on November 19th.
The demo for the PC version has now been released to Steam and an enterprising gamer has put together a comparison video to show us the differences between the censored and uncensored versions. I am absolutely gobsmacked and can only describe the difference between the two by asking you to compare Hanna Montana to Hostel ... Alright, that could be a slight exaggeration, but the difference between the two demos is considerable. Those of you who have downloaded the demo via Steam can access the uncensored version by editing two files in the game directory. Details for this procedure can be found here: http://www.facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=836639
The first thing you might notice when watching this video is the vanishing bodies. If I recall directly from the last time I went slaying zombies, their bodies don't just disappear into thin air. Secondly, in the uncensored version, there's pieces of zombie flying everywhere and blood all over the "screen". This is notably absent from the censored version and makes me a very sad panda. It goes on to show us zombies being shot off fences, half bodies lying all over the street and a nice close up of a faceless zombie.
The video also has some notes about the other differences. In the censored version the zombies don't actually catch on fire, although they do die in it, there's no riot cop, and when you use a pipe bomb the bodies don't even get a chance to hit the ground before they evaporate. I think you'll agree that these are quite considerable differences and they're going to have an impact on the overall game play.
Unfortunately, it's also going to be illegal to import a copy from another region in an attempt to restore your Left 4 Dead 2 gaming experience. Another illegal and probably less risky option is to download a region free version, or a PAL version from another region over the Internet. I don't in any way condone piracy, but downloads don't have to come through customs, so you're less likely to get caught that way. Of course in order to play a downloaded copy, you also need to have a modified Xbox, which I also do not condone and may result in your box (and more recently your Xbox live account) being banned from Xbox live by Microsoft when
you get caught. You wouldn't want that hard work you've put in to getting all those achievements to go to waste, now would you?
I bet this makes the rest of you guys thankful to live in a country that has an R18+ rating for games, doesn't it?
Credit for this video goes to a gamer by the name of NecridPopsicle. Sadly, he's not an Xbox gamer, but perhaps one day, he'll come and join us on the light side.