Big bad news for survival horror video game fans in Japan, because Bethesda and legendary video game director Shinji Mikami's eagerly anticipated new collaboration The Evil Within, or Psycho Break as it's titled in Japan, has been censored!
Bethesda, and their parent company ZeniMax, have decided to back pedal in order to align themselves with Japan's censorship board - the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO) - as discussed by ZeniMax Asia's general manager Tetsu Takahashi in an interview with Famitsu (thanks to Siliconera for the translation!).
Takahashi-san explained that if they didn't scale back the gory contents of the game, then said content "would limit the sales and advertising (of the game), so we'd lose the opportunity to reach out to as many customers (as) possible". So the Japanese retail copy of The Evil Within will release with a CERO D rating, which allows people from the ages of 17 to purchase the game, as opposed to the full fat CERO Z rating, which is the equivalent of ESRB's Adults Only rating.
Though There Is A Silver Lining
Those who preorder the game will have the chance of redeeming the Gore Mode DLC, which, upon downloading, restores the game back to its previous bloody goodness!
Here below is a screenshot of the Japanese CERO D release and, as you can see, it's not particularly chill inducing. Or maybe I'm just super desensitized...:
And here's the same with the Gore Mode DLC:
According to Kotaku, the regular CERO D release doesn't allow you to shoot the heads off enemies:
Buuuut, you can with Gore Mode:
According to Kotaku and Playstation Universe, The Evil Within, even with the Gore Mode DLC installed, still fails to reach parity with the Western release! What a rollercoaster of an article.
Here's a screenshot from the Western version:
And here's the same scene but with Gore Mode DLC:
To me, both of the images still look pretty gruesome, but I can't help but feel a sense of injustice. As adults, surely we don't want our eyes covered every time a zombie's head explodes with the passing of a bullet? It's a Shinji Mikami game, we all know what to expect from him - chills, kills and majorly rewarding thrills! It's our choice whether we want to endure the gore! Having to shell out an extra bit of cash to have the privilege of downloading a patch that allows you to play the game as it was intended is, in my opinion, a tad harsh.
Especially coming from the nation that gave us some of the most provocative and visceral thrills in entertainment history, such as...
Ichi The Killer
Tokyo Gore Club
...to name but a few.