Valve’s 2009 iconic follow-up to 2008’s Left 4 Dead will finally be getting a full, uncut release in Germany. Left 4 Dead 2 was deemed too gory for the Germans when it first landed and was not the only country to make this controversial call. Australia initially banned the game outright until heavy censoring was put in place to quell the blood and guts.
Now, for those of you thinking, “Left 4 Dead 2 isn’t that bad. There’s plenty of gorier games out there,” the issue centered around two key points – the introduction of melee weapons. Left 4 Dead had us shooting zombies, which is certainly violent, but the addition of melee weapons in Left 4 Dead 2 added that extra dimension of brutality that some censors simply felt was going too far.
With chainsaws and swords at the ready to literally dismember attacking enemies as they charged at you, along with baseball bats, police batons, and even guitars to beat them into oblivion, the powers that be in Germany and Australia felt this was just too violent for their game playing public.
Second, involves the little-known fact that the “zombies” you are decimating in the Left 4 Dead universe are not actually dead. According to the lore, the infected are still living humans who are simply afflicted with a nasty virus that makes them behave exactly like zombies. This meant that the censors were unable (or perhaps unwilling) to apply standard rules around supernatural horror games when it came to violence.
Game enemies that are “dead” or so fantastically supernatural that there is no mistaking them for normal humans, tend to bring far less sympathy from the censors. Whereas games that depict acts of violence against living human beings have far stricter rules around permitted methods of dispatch, and the level of blood and gore that can be shown in doing so.
Australia and Germany both eventually permitted Left 4 Dead 2 to see releases, however, they were heavily censored from the original game. The melee weapons remained but blood and gore were removed, and corpses of zombies would vanish shortly after being killed.
Aussies were treated to an uncut version back in 2014 when the game was submitted to authorities for reconsideration. It was ultimately decided to allow the full version to be released, which existing owners of Left 4 Dead 2 could update with a handy patch.
Now, it’s Germany’s turn. Over ten years after the game’s initial release, German fans will be able to enjoy the full extent of the violence and gore that makes Left 4 Dead 2 one of the most immersive and terrifying, yet also fun and rewarding co-op zombie shooters ever released. The good news dropped on Steam, where German players are being offered a free patch to their censored version of the game to upgrade to the “uncut international version.”
With Left 4 Dead 2 seeing its first major DLC in over eight years just last September, this feels like it could not have come at a better time for German gamers. Now everyone can enjoy the full extent of the bloody fun, along with the new Last Stand campaign (which is now “winnable” for the first time ever!), all the new challenge maps and the often hilarious previously unreleased in-game dialogue from our favorite characters.
As an added bonus, Valve has also added some new guns and yes, new melee weapons. Shovels, pitchforks, and combat knives have been added to your potential arsenal for even greater diversity in your zombie killing adventures. Best of all, this new DLC is still completely free for existing players.
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