News Article

Yes, The Last of Us Does Lack Exploding Heads in Europe

Posted by Sammy Barker

Gratuitous violence yanked from international release

Earlier in the year, a report suggested that The Last of Us had been censored in Europe. Hot on the heels of a slew of disgruntled forum posts, Movie-Censorship.com noted that dismemberment and, ahem, exploding heads – both of which are present in the North American release – had been removed from the international version. And now developer Naughty Dog has confirmed as much.

“The gore and violence ratings are subject to local regulatory boards in various countries, so the game must be slightly changed in order to accommodate those choices,” explained a community representative in a private message republished on the official PlayStation forums. “If you import the North [or] South American version, it will not be censored, but the EU [or] UK [release] will be.”

Movie-Censorship.com speculated in its original article that this may be due to the German ratings board USK, which is notoriously stricter than other European content classifiers. It’s not the first time that a first-party PlayStation game has been censored overseas, with Twisted Metal and God of War: Ascension succumbing to a similar fate.

The big problem relates to the platform holder’s reluctance to release multiple versions of the same game in a single region. As it stands now, people in the UK get the same content as Germany – but with the latter’s ratings board being famously strict, that means that everyone is receiving the censored version. Not really fair, is it?

At the end of the day, it’s probably not worth kicking up a stink over a bit of extra blood. But if you want to play the game as it was originally envisioned, it’s well worth remembering that the PlayStation 3 is region-free.

[via community.us.playstation.com, eurogamer.net]

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User Comments (8)

Reverend_Skeeve

#1

Reverend_Skeeve said:

No, in the end it's not worth kicking up a stink over some extra blood and some dismemberment, but I agree that the USK is most probably the reason why the European version has been changed. Frustrating for the rest of Europe but also for mature German gamers who can't have the version that's been originally envisioned.

Shame that Sony doesn't at least release the unchanged version in the UK and rest of Europe.

Besides, the USK often makes strange decisions. All GTA games had to be changed...all but GTA IV which is the most brutal of 'em all. Also, Gears of War...first one banned in Germany, part 2 and 3 are legal.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely don't think these games should be played by kids...but this censorship is annoying and also doesn't work very well to really "protect" anybody, because it's so easy to import the uncensored version nowadays.

MadchesterManc

#2

MadchesterManc said:

I dont understand why the Uk deosn't just get the same version as The US with each release. When it comes to cencorship n localisation, its usually always due to mainland europe. Not that it bothers me much though to be honest. In these days of region-free consoles, an import is always a viable option.

RawShark

#3

RawShark said:

Weird. I'm pretty sure I saw some clicker's heads explode when I blasted them at close range with a shotgun... Maybe I imagines it. Oh well, no harm no foul.

Out of interest, how was GOW:A censored? I wasn't aware it had been. I can't recollect any obvious cover ups like in the EU version of the first game where Kratos makes a sacrifice by incinerating a generic undead foot soldier instead of the living screaming human in the USA version.

rjejr

#4

rjejr said:

Maybe I'll import the UK version then, I don't need the blood and dismemberment in a game that's supposed to be great for it's characters and story line.

Snorky

#5

Snorky said:

I definitely remember blowing parts off a bloaters head in the UK version.

BornOfEvil

#6

BornOfEvil said:

That's disappointing. The blood and gore was done well, none of it looks excessive or thrown in for the sake of upping the games fear factor.

Punished_Boss

#7

Punished_Boss said:

@Snorky
Single Player unaffected, the multiplayer is which is strange considering there is no difference besides humans/infected (Dead).

Anyway this doesn't affect me in anyway, the multiplayer experience is fun and addicting: i suppose thats all that matters. But then again seeing Naughty Dog's vision censored doesn't seem like the way most people would like to experience the game.

Imagremlin

#8

Imagremlin said:

Normally I would never buy a censored game on principle. I just import. But since I don't really care for multiplayer, I'm not fussed.

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