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Australia Censorship First Person Shooters (Games) Games Politics

Low Violence Red Orchestra 2 For Australia 42

dotarray writes "Even though an adult rating for video games has been approved in theory for Australia, it's still a little ways off – and will not come soon enough for Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad. Alan Wilison, VP with the company producing the game, said, 'We are hoping that they will take the same view as PEGI/BBFC and not go all silly on us. However, until we're sure, we putting LV up to be safe.'"
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Low Violence Red Orchestra 2 For Australia

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  • It hasn't actually been classified yet, so whilst it is being sold as a LV version at the moment, if the classification comes back as something other than RC (refused classification) aussies will get the normal version but if it's RC'ed and they have to submit the LV version, they don't have to cancel, or modify pre-orders as it's been sold as that already.
  • by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @01:32AM (#36982082) Homepage
    Selling the game online as a download, not selling it in stores in Australia, cutting any business ties with the country (as to avoid being sued), and letting the moral guardians suck an egg? Countries that wish to live in the middle ages should not have their laws respected.
    • Because of Trade agreements between countries which still make this illegal (Nevermind the fact that in Australia we have quotas on downloads so it'd have to be reasonably small for alot of people to bother getting it). Of course they could move all their operations to somewhere like Cuba where there isn't a trade agreement with Australia (that I know of) - but that'd be a little more difficult than what they have done, which is to garner free advertising by appearing to make their product "controversial".
      • Well, IIRC, technically, it wouldn't be illegal. It's not illegal to buy the game in Australia, or for someone to buy it in another country and bring it into Australia. It would be illegal to sell it in Australia though. It was my understanding that if someone bought it from Amazon/Steam etc. and downloaded it or had it shipped to Australia it wouldn't be breaking the law. I'm pretty sure a great many people already do this...
    • I completely agree with you! If only the rest of the world would place such embargoes on the usa, we could solve so many of the worlds problems.
  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @01:58AM (#36982236) Homepage Journal

    We wouldn't want Australians playing violent video games, would we? It might turn them into criminals!

    • We wouldn't want Australians playing violent video games, would we? It might turn them into criminals!

      Wow, that's pathetic. You haven't posted for over 3 years, and thought that was *the* thing you needed to say now?

      And nice manipulation of the Streisand Effect by the publishers.
      "Kids there's a really gory violent game here!"
      plus bonus:
      "If it's not violent enough for you, don't blame us! It's the gubmint!"

      Serial facepalm. I give up.

      • Wow, that's pathetic. You haven't posted for over 3 years, and thought that was *the* thing you needed to say now?

        Woah. Have you had a sense-of-humour-ectomy?

        Grease me up lads, I'm going in!

        Ah, yes you have. Nevermind.

    • We wouldn't want Australians playing violent video games, would we? It might turn them into criminals!

      For some reason we Australians always find this amusing. Maybe it's the suggestion we're all rugged ruffians and sexy scoundrels, handsomely Han Solo-ing our way through life.

      Anyways, I wouldn't be surprised if the only reason the law was changed was because the industry said restrictions just make people pirate games more.

      Just like a movie or series that takes ages to come here, everyone ends up downloading it, which is why they started to release stuff here more quickly than in the past.

  • by White Flame ( 1074973 ) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @02:13AM (#36982330)

    So what, you shoot and stab less people? Less options available for killing people, or have noncombative victories not available in the non-low violence version? Engage in fewer combat scenarios and more in strategic command?

    Because if all they did was tone down the blood'n'guts, they're low gore with the exact same amount of violence.

    • by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @02:47AM (#36982538)

      You can shoot, stab, maim and murder the NPCs all you want... but the results will be that they'll bleed rainbows and cry in joy as they casually lay down to wait out the rest of the game. If there's anything children need, it's to be taught that extreme violence results in no negative consequences for the victim.

    • by artor3 ( 1344997 )

      It's probably even less toned down than you think. I recall seeing a video of the Aussie version of L4D2 when it came out. Same zombies, same blood, same everything, except: zombies disappeared a few seconds after dying. That was it. There were less corpses lying around. And it wasn't even that there weren't any corpses -- some are part of the level. But enemies that you killed didn't leave corpses.

      Also, I think they removed the SWAT team zombies because they didn't want players to fight against auth

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

      So what, you shoot and stab less people?

      The Battle of Stalingrad (one of the bloodiest and nastiest fights in world history) is now reduced to an initial exchange of pleasantries followed by a polite argument.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 04, 2011 @02:40AM (#36982484)

    For those who aren't aware, Red Orchestra [] (the first one) was a community mod to Unreal Tournament 2004 that won critical acclaim (and ultimately a free license for the unreal engine when it costs a ton of $) due to its chilling depiction of the harsh realities of war. You run as fast as a normal person can run, get out of breath-- use "iron sights" and shoot only bullets-- the amount a person can carry. Everything was going for realism with this game-- the weapons, costumes, vehicles, everything were designed to match their actual counterparts on the eastern front of the Nazi infiltration into Russia.

    This isn't a game that glorifies violence, but one that shows its horrors. I don't know one thing about the sequel, but if its anything like the first one, Australia is out of its mind-- unless they're also banning Shindler's List, A Bridge on the River Kwai, and other recreations of war, they're doing their citizens a disservice by sterilizing the stark, violent, and terrible images of war.

    • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @03:49AM (#36982806) Journal

      One thing that was pretty funny to watch in Red Orchestra was the gameplay. This is a game where a single rifle bullet (remember, we're talking about WW2 "proper caliber" rifles here!), if it hits, will most likely kill/incapacitate (the game doesn't make that distinction; as the manual goes, "medics on Eastern Front were shot on sight"). And those bolt-action rifles are also dead accurate, if you can handle the iron sights.

      End result: in any map with even a modicum of open space, it is the extreme opposite of run-n-gun. Newb players first try rushing randomly, and die. And die. And die. After a few tries, they go to another extreme - drop to the ground as soon as they are in the enemy fire zone (good), find some cover (good), and stay there and try to snipe out of it for the rest of their life (bad!). Of course this doesn't really work, either, because you have to peek out to shoot, and the fireball gives your position away... first time they usually just miss, and by the time they pop out for the second time, they are already in the sights... bang!

      It's interesting that this game actually requires a team to get up together and rush the enemy every now and then to win, human wave style. If you sit behind your cover and snipe, you lose - they will pin you down with MG or just a heavy volume of rifle fire, flank you, get close, and 'nade you. If you get up and charge, well... you have a good chance of getting killed, especially if you're in the first wave; but if everyone on your team persists, the team may actually push the enemy back and take over their position. I remember how commanders on both teams had pistols, and they actually had to use them sometimes to force people to charge! Now that is realism. The experience can be extremely frustrating when just starting to play, but once you get involved, it's actually fun in some weird way.

      Also, it's probably the only game in which artillery is actually scary. When you charge, and hear that high-pitched tone, and then see the guy in front of you fly up in a geyser of dust, his arms and legs going separately, you quickly learn to hate that sound. You also learn that you can't outrun it, so your best hope is to go prone behind the nearest biggest rock, and pray that the shells explode far enough around you. Nothing else you can do.

      Then, tanks. When fully crewed (commander + gunner + MG), these things are deadly unless you're close up and you have cover and you are an AT class. Double frustration for Soviets, who have PTRD as their AT weapon - you actually have to know where to shoot to penetrate armor and do anything useful against medium & heavy tanks with that crap, plus you need to shoot practically point blank. Of course, the number of AT guys is quite limited, and most of the team just has to hide or run or pray none of the tankers have spotted them yet, since bullets and grenades are completely useless against armor.

      All in all, the game really is quite desperate if you look at it from the perspective of your character, and ignore the respawns. There are simply too many situations where you can do nothing at all except to watch and hope for the best. Winning requires consciously taking odds with a great chance of dying - a single man doesn't really matter, only the team does.

      • by RMingin ( 985478 )

        Wow. I'm going to download RO and give it another try when I get home. When I originally tried it back in the UT2K4 days, all servers were full or empty, no exceptions.

        • There aren't that many players still playing the original RO, and most of those who play are veterans, so the games are even more hardcode than they used to be. Given that RO2 will be available at the end of the month, with numerous improvements, and likely many more servers and much better balanced player base, you might want to wait until then.

      • Great post I agree completely. For those looking for similar FPS titles without the 'run-and-gun' theme, check out two Battlefield2 mods (you need BF2 to run them) - Forgotten Hope 2 and Project Reality.

        For a real milsim-type game (you will need patience for this one) try Arma2. There is even a free version of Arma2 with non-HD graphics and some other limitations.. but it gives you a good idea of the depth of this 'game',

Disks travel in packs.