UPDATE: A Valve representative has issued the following statement to Kotaku Australia:
“We are delighted that the full version of Left 4 Dead 2 will be available to fans age 18+ in Australia,” Doug Lombardi said. “We are making plans to deliver that version to those who have already purchased the game. We will announce more details on that soon.”
The original story follows below.
The PC version of Valve's co-operative first-person shooter Left 4 Dead 2 has been reclassified in Australia, earning an R18+ rating, the highest possible classification rating for a video game in Australia.
As reported by the Kotaku Australia, the Australian Classification Board has stamped the game with an R18+ rating, which includes warnings for high impact violence, strong impact themes, and mild impact language. According to the site, Valve itself resubmitted the game for classification.
Left 4 Dead 2 was initially refused classification in Australia when it was first submitted in 2009, which made it illegal to sell, rent, or promote the title in the country. Valve appealed the decision before resubmitting both the uncensored and modified versions of the game for classification. The Australian-specific version of the game eventually earned an MA15+ rating, the highest possible classification rating for a video game available at the time. This version of the game removed decapitation, limb dismemberment, and fallen bodies faded away, which removed the option for players to cause post-mortem damage.
The refusal largely focused on the Board's interpretation of violence in Left 4 Dead 2, finding that "the game contains realistic, frenetic and unrelenting violence which is inflicted upon 'the Infected' who are living humans infected with a rabies-like virus that causes them to act violently."
The ruling went on to say, "However, it is the use of the 'melee' weapons such as the crowbar, axe, chainsaw and Samurai sword which inflict the most damage. These close in attacks cause copious amounts of blood spray and splatter, decapitations and limb dismemberment as well as locational damage where contact is made to the enemy which may reveal skeletal bits and gore."
Now that the game has been reclassified with an R18+ rating, it can be expected that these features will be implemented back into the Australian version of the game.
Bloodborne, the action-RPG in development at Dark Souls studio From Software, will release across Japan on February 5.
The release date, announced during a Sony press conference in Japan on Monday, suggests that the PlayStation 4 game could ship at a similar time across the US and UK.
However, Sony has yet to announce a Bloodborne release date outside of Japan, and it’s unclear whether work on localizing the game will impact its western launch date.
Bloodborne was first announced in June at E3 after being leaked under the name Project Beast. The dark and gothic action game, which bears a resemblance to From Software’s critically acclaimed Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls series, is currently a PlayStation 4 exclusive.