The censorship of Sony-published games in European/PAL territories is nothing new, with the most recent example being God of War: Ascension. Sometimes certain violent acts in these games are censored in order to be approved by the German ratings board which is particularly strict in this department, and occasionally the whole of Europe gets saddled with the censored version.
This appears to have been the case with Naughty Dog’s latest release, The Last of Us. Many players have reported that the PAL version’s multiplayer mode is missing the dismemberment of Survivors seen in the US/NTSC version and also has far more subtle blood effects.
Naughty Dog has now confirmed that the PAL version is indeed censored according to a post on the official Naughty Dog forum. A reply from a company representative to a fan’s request for clarity regarding the issue reads:
“1. 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.
“2. To be honest, I’m not sure what version Australia is getting. If you import the North/South American version, it will not be censored, but EU/UK will be.”
Some fans are understandably upset that they weren’t warned about The Last of Us’ censorship before the game was released, with many of them saying that they would have imported the uncensored NTSC version of the game had they known about the changes made to multiplayer for the PAL release.
A number of fans have also compared the game’s singleplayer mode across both versions and have found no perceivable differences between them.
Would you have imported the NTSC version of The Last of Us had you known about the game’s censorship in European territories prior to its release? Let us know in the comments.