We get an early hands-on with a 400-year old prequel to Assassin's Creed Origins!
This. Is. Sparta! - Hands-On with Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Ahead of E3 Bethesda gave AusGamers the chance to check out RAGE 2, the unexpected but very welcome sequel to id Software’s iconic original
Over-the-Top, Fun, and Insane: Hands-On with Rage 2
From its prequel setting, massive open world, online dedicated servers, to setting up camp anywhere you please.
Fallout 76 – Everything You Need to Know
And to think that we thought they couldn't top the Australia setting of Forza Horizon 3.
Forza Horizon 4 Looks Incredible Thanks to Dynamic Seasons
Why Left 4 Dead 2 Was Banned in Australia
Post by dotarray @ 02:27pm 17/09/09 | Comments
Left 4 Dead 2 Refused Classification by the Australian Classification Board in September 2009

So - Left 4 Dead 2 has been refused classification in Australia - and the rumours are flying thick and fast over just why Valve's upcoming zombie-huntin' sequel has been effectively banned in this country.



We'd heard stories that there were mysterious "adrenaline shots" thrown into the mix, with many gamers suspecting this would take the game to the 'dark side' by featuring drug use as a way to advance.

However, according to the Classification Board's report, it's much more simple than that - the game's just straight-up more violent, this time around.

Item 1(d) of the computer games table of the National Classification Code states that:
"1. Computer games that:
(d) are unsuitable for a minor to see or play;
" will be Refused Classification in this country.

You guessed it, the high level of "realistic, frenetic and unrelenting violence" featured in Left 4 Dead 2 means that the shooter is "unsuitable for persons under 18 years to play", so - due to our lack of an adult R18+ rating - the Board has no choice but to effectively ban the game for all Australians.

The Board's report states that:
The player can choose from a variety of weapons including pistols, shotguns, machine guns and sniper rifles. 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. Projectile shots to infected humans can cause abdominal wounds which can reveal innards or even cause intestines to spill from the wounds.


Looking at the report, it's this messy ultraviolence that seems to have upset them so much. The report goes on to explain that players choosing to use a melee weapon will be able to wipe out several Infected "in one blow", causing a pretty graphic display of blood and gore. The Board also observed that after playing for a little while, the player kills a "very large amount" of enemy characters, which then litter the environment - and while no post-mortem damage can be inflicted (another big no-no for the Board), it's all a bit unpleasant, really.




In conclusion, it comes back to one of our favourite arguments - it'd probably be okay if it was a film.

The interactive nature of the game increases the overall impact of the frequent and intense depictions of violence. This coupled with the graphic depictions of blood and gore combine to create a playing impact which is high.


At this point, local distributors EA have stated they "are still working through the submission process with OFLC and want to explore all opportunities before making any comment."

One of those opportunities could be hinted at within the report, where a minority of the Board holds the opinion that the violence featured in Left 4 Dead 2 is merely "strong" in playing impact. If the rest of the Board could be convinced of this, that would be enough to earn it an MA15+ classification with the consumer advice of "strong violence".

At this point though, other than a potential appeal and some appropriate grovelling from Valve and EA, the future looks pretty grim for L4D2, unless we're doomed to get an amazingly castrated version with all the good bits taken out. Removing blood spatter is one thing, and a relatively simple artistic tweak - but taking out what is, essentially, the point of the game? That's a little trickier to pull off.



Latest Comments
Trauma
Posted 02:48pm 17/9/09
I often ponder if its time well spent trying to avoid the fact that Humans are violent and destructive.
giririsss
Posted 02:53pm 17/9/09
Retarded, the whole thing.
Trauma
Posted 02:57pm 17/9/09
You can join the Army in a combat role under 18. Just throwing it out there.
mission
Posted 03:01pm 17/9/09
But I doubt you'll be fightiing zombies.
Midda
Posted 03:03pm 17/9/09
Sometimes I wish I was a zombie.
ctd
Posted 03:04pm 17/9/09
Not really that worried about it TBH. Just order from overseas.

Also maybe if a high profile game goes to band camp permanently enough people will have a whine to get something done finally (probably not).
Khel
Posted 03:06pm 17/9/09
If this is censored and released in australia as a different version, I wonder if that means the server will be a different version. Like if you import it, you won't be able to connect to Australian servers because it will complain that you have a different version of the game...
Tremble
Posted 03:08pm 17/9/09
If this is censored and released in australia as a different version, I wonder if that means the server will be a different version. Like if you import it, you won't be able to connect to Australian servers because it will complain that you have a different version of the game...


Maybe the australian version will have every melee weapon as a feather and we can tickle the zombies to death.
Pinky
Posted 03:09pm 17/9/09
ctd, that's a work-around, not a solution. The solution is clear; but not for Michael Atkinson.
luden
Posted 03:10pm 17/9/09
I would LOVE for valve to make their servers compatable with any version of the game. That way they can covertly give the nod to Australians importing the game and playing it as they designed it.

Once I establish that international versions work on Aussie servers, I will have my credit card out faster than a 19 year old girl in a dress shop during the Boxing day sales.
Midda
Posted 03:10pm 17/9/09
I heard that with TF2 for example, which is heavily censored in Germany, even if they import and install a US copy of the game, the gore is still removed, simply because it's easy to see what country they're playing from. Being a Valve game, I'm sure they'll probably just do the same for Australia.
ctd
Posted 03:17pm 17/9/09
Wow that is gay Midda. How old is this south australian c***? Maybe he doesn't have much left in him.
Pinky
Posted 03:24pm 17/9/09
I would like to buy one of the special dice that the OFLC rolls in order to classify games.

I would LOVE for valve to make their servers compatable with any version of the game.

And risk losing the market altogether when their platform is simply made illegal? I'm no business man, but...oh wait, I am a business man, and this is a ridiculous suggestion!
luden
Posted 03:34pm 17/9/09
@pinky.

They're not doing anything illegal. They're still selling their edited version of the game. If Australians runs the risk of importing games, it's not their concern. They can turn a blind eye and deliver updates appropriate to whatever version of the game they own.

And if they do make steam illegal. Awesome. It might finally get gamers off their asses and out protesting.
Carson
Posted 03:58pm 17/9/09
F*** this s***.

Hopefully this title is enough to get us our f*****g R18+ rating.
koopz
Posted 04:00pm 17/9/09
If this is censored and released in australia as a different version, I wonder if that means the server will be a different version. Like if you import it, you won't be able to connect to Australian servers because it will complain that you have a different version of the game...


I doubt it. it's a few of server side video settings.. that's all.

people will enable god mode, play the game on their own servers with everything turned on just to see the difference.... then turn everything back for some better frames. no biggy.

hmm.. I wonder if the naked Zoey model is OFLC approved :/

ravn0s
Posted 04:06pm 17/9/09
would it still be banned if the infected were actually zombies. ie: already dead?

i think ive seen more gore in other games that havent been banned.


also i can see avp3 getting banned for the same reason.

last edited by ravn0s at 16:06:32 17/Sep/09
thermite
Posted 04:31pm 17/9/09
I think the difference is not everyone has access to an alien or a predator but a lot of people in Australia have access to a cricket bat, so it becomes a more realistic type of violence.
Jim
Posted 04:35pm 17/9/09
ban cricket
everyone wins
Trauma
Posted 04:38pm 17/9/09
hahahaha Jim I totally agree.
thermite
Posted 04:43pm 17/9/09
Here is a picture and bio of every member of this classifications board

http://www.classification.gov.au/www/cob/classification.nsf/Page/ClassificationinAustralia_Whoweare_ClassificationBoard_ClassificationBoardMembers

Let's make a flash game out of these pics where you get to slap those grins off their faces with a cricket bat.

Nathan
Posted 04:46pm 17/9/09
Sure, you might import the game. Buts its an FPS so you obviously want Australian servers.

How many ISPs in Australia do you think will want to provide servers for a game that has been banned from sale?
Tollaz0r!
Posted 04:53pm 17/9/09

How can I make a complaint about a classification decision?

You can make a complaint about a classification decision by writing to us by post, fax or email.

Contact details:
By Post: Locked Bag 3 Haymarket, New South Wales, 1240
By Fax: (02) 9289 7101
By Email: enquiries@classification.gov.au


Dan
Posted 05:01pm 17/9/09
Let's make a flash game out of these pics where you get to slap those grins off their faces with a cricket bat.
It's not their fault that we don't have an R18+ rating though. All they've done is deem this game (in its present form) inappropriate for children under 15 years of age.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 05:04pm 17/9/09
If Left 4 Dead 1 was given a free content update, that included the 'melee' weapons and dismemberment, would it then have its classification amended?

Once a game has been classified and released, then updated is it subject to reclassification?
ara
Posted 05:30pm 17/9/09

discuss it all your want, nothing is going to change until the SA attorney general changes.
yamahabandit
Posted 06:05pm 17/9/09
Cue snapshot of OLFC office - 12 people huddling under their desks cringing & muttering in low tones.. " it isnt real, its all in my head, it cant hurt us" .... Grow up people FFS. This IS the real world.

People need desensitizing, otherwise when the zombie apocalypse really does happen we'll all be hidding under our beds - instead of having a ball L4D style.
koopz
Posted 06:53pm 17/9/09
If Left 4 Dead 1 was given a free content update, that included the 'melee' weapons and dismemberment, would it then have its classification amended?


hopefully no one would ever be dumb enough to bring this question to the OLFC table. their answer would be as quick as it would be ludicrous.

Mosfx
Posted 06:55pm 17/9/09
That sucks I was waiting for that game :(
If they ever implement that internet firewall I'm moving.
ravn0s
Posted 07:06pm 17/9/09
koopz
Posted 07:07pm 17/9/09
dammit beaten by ravn0s
konstie
Posted 07:15pm 17/9/09
LOL classic.
koopz
Posted 07:17pm 17/9/09
hey I wonder if we're allowed to watch youtube instructional vids made in the US :/


does UT filter that stuff out now?

*edit*

nah I guess not
thermite
Posted 07:20pm 17/9/09
the classification on the game doesn't extend to videos I would imagine, and they do have some videos unavailable in certain countries but I don't think it has to do with ratings, just the company uploading the content only wants it shown to it's potential customers.
r_mazing
Posted 07:21pm 17/9/09
ravn0s
Posted 08:15pm 17/9/09
this just show how f*****g inconsistent the oflc is at rating games.
Ivonin Turetsky
Posted 08:58pm 17/9/09
"Film about Tasmanian cannibal Alexander Pearce makes audience vomit" - News.com.au (http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/story/0,28383,26086150-7485,00.html)

I don't know about you, but how many of you guys vomited from playing a video game which has not been booze or medical related?

OFLC strikes again!
rrrocket
Posted 09:03pm 17/9/09
Is it worth getting a parition going?
Winston
Posted 09:05pm 17/9/09
This is f***ed.
thermite
Posted 09:09pm 17/9/09
r_mazing omg haha that is a reference to my awesome thread: http://qgl.ausforums.com/index.php/439207/?agn=thread&id=2776087
f*** me I never noticed that pic in the original thread

fkn madagascar
FraktuRe
Posted 09:13pm 17/9/09
you're a douche thermite, just btw.
Jim
Posted 09:21pm 17/9/09
but often loveable
ravn0s
Posted 09:27pm 17/9/09
thermite the loveable douche.
Merky007
Posted 10:06pm 17/9/09
how the f*** can dead rising be allowable and not l4d2? the only real difference is multi-player. whats the bet that they will RC dead rising 2?
Khel
Posted 10:25pm 17/9/09
Yeah, I'm with Dan, its hardly the OFLC's fault, they're just doing their jobs. If they had a rating above M15+ they'd just give it that instead of banning it, but at the moment, they have no choice.
Pieman
Posted 10:41pm 17/9/09
so, worst case scenario - valve/ea cant come to an agreement with the ratings board.... we can still get the game from steam, but will isp's be able to legally host servers?
Raider
Posted 10:43pm 17/9/09
Game been banned for s*** that happens in RL as well, ban all the limb hacking 3rd world and probably western countries which are just more hushed.

The whole "can do the violence yourself" to me is such a retarded stance because you can also rewind and watch the same violence over and over again in a movie. People say the difference is you're physically inflicting it, but last time i checked you have to physically rewind something to watch it again, same s***.

F*** our rating system politics.
Merky007
Posted 10:44pm 17/9/09
well the servers aren't selling it are they? there not distributing the game?
greazy
Posted 11:04pm 17/9/09
The only way Australia is going to get an 18+ rating is if companies like EB games start complaining and doing something about it. No amount of whinging from nerds and gamers will do anything.

In other words this is a great step forward.
Midda
Posted 11:05pm 17/9/09
so, worst case scenario - valve/ea cant come to an agreement with the ratings board.... we can still get the game from steam, but will isp's be able to legally host servers?

Steam is regionalised as well, so no, we wont be able to get it from Steam.
Noonga
Posted 12:15am 18/9/09
Kill the government
Martz
Posted 06:53am 18/9/09
sometimes I really f*****g hate this country.. was really looking forward to this, and because it's refused classification, it makes me want to get it even more due to the apparant violence
Yerolo
Posted 07:52am 18/9/09
Importing this game may also be impossible due to the ban as well....as theres a good chance it will need to be registered in steam before playing, and as steam is region locked....it wont register :/
Mephz
Posted 08:21am 18/9/09
Honestly, f*** this s***.
Chucky
Posted 11:51am 18/9/09
NO NO NO NO NO F*CK
Hogfather
Posted 11:58am 18/9/09
Every argument against an adult classification for games is f*****g retarded.

Rise up e-legions and take back your freedom, liberty! infi, I need a gun man, the revolution is here!
Fearless
Posted 11:59am 18/9/09
Load of garbage that it was banned, it just shows how stupid the board really is, to allow other similar titles which are just as bad *Or worse* then left 4 dead.
DM
Posted 12:11pm 18/9/09
it makes me want to get it even more due to the apparant violence

Thats the streisand effect for you
Eds
Posted 12:13pm 18/9/09
Some of you are idiots, its not the boards fault that there is no R18 classification , its f***wit family first type government whores.

If this was a movie, it would be classed R18+, unfortunatly, we dont have an R18+ rating for video games which is the s***** part.
HERMITech
Posted 12:37pm 18/9/09
It's the OLFC Board's way of helping everyone boycott L4D2 as it should have been made available as patched content instead.
ravn0s
Posted 12:46pm 18/9/09
If this was a movie, it would be classed R18+, unfortunatly, we dont have an R18+ rating for video games which is the s***** part.


it would probably be MA if it was a movie.
VRBones
Posted 12:55pm 18/9/09
I was looking forward to the changes in the AI designer in this one ...
(maybe games are more than violence?)
Jim
Posted 01:35pm 18/9/09
haha hermi
Midda
Posted 02:11pm 18/9/09
s theres a good chance it will need to be registered in steam before playing,

All Valve games require Steam to run, so it's not just a good chance, it's s certainty.

It's the OLFC Board's way of helping everyone boycott L4D2 as it should have been made available as patched content instead.

Shut up, pussy.
Jim
Posted 03:30pm 18/9/09
Show you support guys sign this petition http://www.petitiononline.com/l4d2inoz/petition.html
FraktuRe
Posted 03:31pm 18/9/09
jim 2.0? :O
thermite
Posted 03:37pm 18/9/09
show me one petitiononline.com petition that got a government to change their mind about something
Spook
Posted 03:40pm 18/9/09
online petitions are awesome and acheive lots
James
Posted 03:46pm 18/9/09
THATS F*****G DOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Khel
Posted 03:47pm 18/9/09
Thats a retarded petition, I don't even quite understand what its petitioning for. Does it want an exception made for Left 4 Dead 2 so that it can come out even though its unclassified? Does it want the abolishment of classification for games entirely? It doesn't even address the R18+ issue. sif sign that mess.
HERMITech
Posted 04:28pm 18/9/09
THATS F*****G DOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What the f*** does that even mean?
Are you trying to say something or just coming out of the closet as a wanna be praun?
koopz
Posted 08:53pm 19/9/09
hey since it came up - did anyone actually get affected by this..?

http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/49656

I always wanted to buy cd keys overseas but just kinda figured this would happen.


I only chanced across this today

last edited by koopz at 20:53:19 19/Sep/09
HERMITech
Posted 09:43pm 19/9/09
Umm, that article is almost 2years old dude...
koopz
Posted 03:25pm 20/9/09
yeah I know how old it is - I wanted to know if anyone's had their game that they bought cheapo overseas pulled like Valve apparently did.

if this game never sees the light of day here in Aus I'm just gonna import it

also.. Teletubbies.



last edited by koopz at 15:25:55 20/Sep/09
euphoria
Posted 03:13pm 20/9/09
I for one, don't welcome our classification overlords.

I really hope this gets the retailers fired up enough to cause some sort of change, but I doubt it.
E.T.
Posted 03:47pm 20/9/09
So, this is the stuff they dont want us to see. I guess its breaking the law to watch these Youtube vids then!?

They should just let us play now that we've seen what they want to hide.

Baseball bat melee


AK47 and Axe Melee (the axe looks cool man )



ravn0s
Posted 03:54pm 20/9/09
yer its nothing we havent seen before in other games.
ViscoS
Posted 05:00pm 20/9/09
That really was no-where near as gory as the report makes it out to be.
Chucky
Posted 07:01pm 20/9/09
i lol'd hard at that teletubbies vid
Jimm
Posted 06:47pm 22/9/09
It kinda makes sense, an R18 rating isn't gonna stop kids from playing it, I watch R games and play MA15 games and I'm a kid. It sucks balls its banned,it looks pretty bad, but banned bad? Will they censor it is what I want to know.
Jimm
Posted 07:01pm 22/9/09
Is it just me, or after watching some of thse videos isn't there too much gore? I mean, not like it SHOULD be banned, but it's just not realistic.
greazy
Posted 08:22pm 22/9/09
I was thinking to myself, geez that guy in the second video sucks at playing then the little hint came up "press B button too..."
koopz
Posted 11:45pm 22/9/09
yeah that footage ET posted is kinda low-res eh. Maybe the PC version is much more closer to photo realism with the Survivor characters?

also - Hilter

Nevan
Posted 08:51pm 23/9/09
I have started an online petition for the introduction of an R18+ classification for video games in Australia.

http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/ozgamers

Michael Atkinson is one man but we are many!!! Its our right as Adults and VOTERS! to protest!
Trauma
Posted 09:36pm 23/9/09
So I'm really confused about all this after playing Prototype for the first time. It has MA15+ from the OFLC, but is WAY more violent, and it at least equals L4D in terms of body count, but for pure violence and gore, Prototype wins easy. Activison Vs EA Vs OFLC?
thermite
Posted 09:42pm 23/9/09
I've stopped watching those hitler things. It's always the same he yells a bit then he goes all quiet and asks a bunch of people to leave the room and then theres those women reacting in the hallway.
Trauma
Posted 12:47am 24/9/09
thermite...
koopz
Posted 08:16am 24/9/09
great idea Nevan.

while we're at it peoples we can also fax our local member of parliament or senator (for free) with our opinion in this and net filtering.

yeah I know it's mostly about net filtering on that site, but it's worth using all the same

Phooks
Posted 04:46pm 25/9/09
What the f*** does that even mean? Are you trying to say something or just coming out of the closet as a wanna be praun?


The younger kids these days use "dog" as an adjective to describe when someone has committed an act of unfair, mean, or otherwise unsavoury behaiviour.

#1: I just slept with my best friends girlfriend
#2: That's really dog, man.
E.T.
Posted 06:06pm 25/9/09
That hitler vid was funny. :)
Thanks Koops.
Pinky
Posted 07:34pm 25/9/09
Haha koopz. Another good one.
Commenting has been locked for this item.
93 Comments
Show