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Last of Us, The

original title: The Last of Us

Comparison:

Censored Version
Rating: PEGI 18
Region: Europe

Uncensored Version
Rating: ESRB Mature, 17+
Region: USA

Release: Jul 29, 2013 - Author: Once - Translator: DaxRider123

 

 

Flashback

A short résumé about the release of The Last of Us - from the press handout to the report about the censored multiplayer mode.

Press Handout by SCED

On may 29th 2013, SCED said via Press Handout, that the German Version would be identical to the EU Version. As a result, we - and many other webpages - released a short News Article about the unaltered German Version.

News Item About Eventual Censorship

Shortly after the game was released, news items went around saying that the German Version would at least be censored in the multiplayer mode. Among others, the Forums of Amazon reported that there would no longer be severed body parts in the multiplayer mode of the German (and the European) Version.
Reasons enough for us to compare the European Version to the US Version. As a result, we released another News Article in which we confirmed that there are differences between the European and the US Version.

Statement by Sony

The German magazine PC-Games asked Sony and they actually received a Statement which confirmed what was already assumed. The statement referred to the SCED, saying that in comparison to the European Version the German Version is "Uncut". Further it says that it by now is a common method to release independent versions for the most important markets (i.e. USA, Europe, and Asia).

It can't be said, however, why the press handout was phrased in a way that it suggests that the European Version is uncensored, making the possible differences between the German and the US Version a subliminal message that has to be read between the lines.

Sony assured that the differences only concern the multiplayer mode and that the singleplayer mode was not altered.

 

Singleplayer Mode

We did not bank on Sony's statement here and of course also took a look at the single player mode. Actually, Sony dod not lie and as we already reported, we could not make out any differences between the European and the US Version regarding the singleplayer mode. Both the gameplay and the cutscenes are identical.

Thus, European gamers are also able to cut body parts off of their enemies, as well as make their guts come out by a targeted shot. Even the ragdoll effects - which are pretty subtle - stayed untouched.

The same goes for the cutscenes. The scenes - sometimes pretty violent - are identical. You for example see how one of the infected persons gets decapitated in gory detail. A scene that might have been the reason for rumors of censorship is the gory usage of a machete. Still, this sequence is identical in both versions: they both do not show the violent act happening on screen. The US Version also only shows the machete's handle.

 

Censorship in the Multiplayer Mode

Some of the more harsh elements were taken out of the European Version. There are no severed body parts as well as no guts visible anymore.
The ragdoll effect, however, stayed the same. In both the US and the European Version, dead enemies do not react when being shot at.
The amount of blood was also not altered for shootings, executions, or blood splatters on the surroundings (floors/walls).

US Version and European PSN Account:
The US Version can be used with European consoles. However, the Network pass of the US Version can only be used with an American PSN account. After the redemption you can use the multiplayer mode also with your European account.

 

 

For this report we compared the censored EU Version (PEGI 18),and the identical German Version (USK 18) to the uncensored US Version (ESRB: Mature 17+).

 


Info about the UK Version:

The UK Version (PEGI 18) is identical to the European Versions and thus also censored in the multiplayer mode.

Singleplayer Mode


Even though the intro says that the singleplayer mode is uncensored, we still include a small section about it.
However, there's no need to be concerned, the alteration that will follow has nothing to do with censorship or toning down violence.
It is about a phone number which could be seen on a pinboard in Pittsburgh. In the game this was the number of a pest control company, while in reality it would connect you to a sex hotline. The developers heard about it, thus the number was taken out of the game with Patch 1.02.
Later in the game there's another ad for an exterminator, however, since the hotline was in no way connected to sex, the number stayed unaltered.

This alteration concerns all versions (EU and US).

Version 1.02Version 1.01






Multiplayer Mode

As already mentioned in the intro, the multiplayer mode was censored numerous times for the European Version.

Severed Body Parts

In the European Version it is no longer possible to cut enemies' body parts off. This concerns both the usage of stronger weapons (such as rifles) as well as the usage of the cluster bomb.

Example: Cluster Bomb
There are two ways to use a cluster bomb. You can place it at a certain point to use it as a booby trap, or you can simply throw it at your enemy.

European VersionUS Version



(The following images solely originate from the US Version)




Usage of Firearms
Not only the cluster bomb makes body parts fly away - firearms (e.g. a shotgun) can do the same thing.

Note about the images:
The following images solely originate from the US Version. Since the multiplayer mode did not really give us the chance to get some usable footage of limbs being shot off, we only show you the "results" of such a shootout.





Effect on Executions

Since you can not cut limbs off, some executions are also affected by it. As an example for all the executions we will give you two examples.

Shotgun
You kick the enemy off his feet. Then the character will aim the shotgun at the head, shoot and the head is gone.
In the European Version, the execution does not affect the insides of the head - it stays where it anatomically belongs.

European VersionUS Version



Shorty (Handgun)
This is pretty much identical to the shotgun. Your character will position the enemy and the final shot is aimed at the back of the head. The head will disappear in gory detail.

European VersionUS Version




Guts

The possibility to make the guts of an enemy come out (i.e. by an aimed shot with the shotgun) was taken out of the European version.

(The following images solely originate from the US Version)




Pieces of Meat

When limbs get cut off (by shots or an explosion) small pieces of meat appear. Since it is no longer possible to sever limbs, you will also not see these chunks of flesh.

(The following images solely originate from the US Version)

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