What's Cut From Aussie Left 4 Dead 2, And How To Uncut It

Left 4 Dead 2 got refused classification in Australia. Valve appealed. And lost. So they've had to release a censored version. Let's see how censored it really is and how easily you can uncensor it yourself.

The aptly-named The Australian Version Thread over on the Steam community forums has an excellent summary of what's missing from the local, censored edition of the game. Highlights include:

* No Gore: When you shoot an Infected to you see a small splash of blood. You will not see any "gibs" at all. * No Blood Spatter: You will not see blood spattering on the screen. * No Dismemberment: You cannot shoot or melee any limbs, including the head, off an Infected. * No Corpses: As soon as they're dead, Infected bodies will disappear. * No Burning: Infected will not catch fire from, for example, a molotov. They will, however, still die. * No Riot Cop: The "riot cop" Uncommon Infected will not spawn at all. In fact, if just one player on the server is running the Australian edition, the "riot cop" will not spawn at all.

Check this comparison video to see for yourself.

However, some clever types have worked out how to get around the censorship - at least in the demo that is now available. And it just involves a tiny bit of editing to two files. Click the images below to enlarge and follow the instructions here.

uncutting l4d2 1uncutting l4d2 2

Now, bear in mind, this has only been tested on the demo at this stage. It may not work on the full version of the game when it is released in just over a fortnight. You also have to run the demo directly from its .exe rather than via Steam, which may result in some issues. You have been warned!

[Special thanks to Gary P and Brendan B for their tip-offs!]


    I have not played either game but it sounds like this one is now less violent than LFD1. I think perhaps valve may have overdone it a bit in the hope that they wouldn't actually have to use this version and that the uncut version would get approved. All I can say is well done to those who are uncensoring it, I hope you can manage to fix the full version.

      Someone listen to me already. I told my mate to by the game with a US IP, everything went great until he was forced to download the Australian patch BUT it doesn't make you use it. As far as I know at the moment this text only changes for single player and stops you from launching the game properly.

      Buy and DL with a US Ip, ???, Profit.

        would love to listen to you but no matter how many times I read your gibberish it doesnt make sense

        I understand your mate bought it using a USA IP so steam thought he was a USA customer but the rest is utter gibberish

      think about it all they gota do is release l4d2 game censored then release a patch to uncensor it as the gov can rate games but they cant rate patchs or onlnie content

    Well they're under obligation to sell a censored version in Australia. However, they're not under any obligation to make it impossible to modify the game.

    Whether its as easy as this in the final version or not gamers will find a way to alter it so they're happy with it.

    Witness the futility of attempting to censor that which you don't understand.

      they took gta off the shelf after users modified it to get hot coffee...

      I can't imagine anyone who would by the censored version of the game (unless they are gonna try and uncensored it) it is a ZOMBIEE game! GORE is it's only selling point! people will just play the more gory, game play identical original!!

        But was that due to a legislative requirement or adverse publicity mitigation? I don't know the answer myself.

          yeah i agree that blood shuold be uncensored im 11 and a BIG l4d fan im a die hard fan of the series! and i hate the govorment

            and thats exactly why we have to receive censored versions. -.-

              So true. If 11 year olds play this game, one of 2 things have gone wrong. 1, oblivious parent. Or 2, The government need new rules put in place to stop children from playing violent games. No clue how they're going to do it but good luck to them!

    50/50 bout this working for the full version

    wonder what the oflc will do if it does work? nothing?

      Yeah, like anyone at the OFLC knows anything about computers.

      The very fact that there is no R18+ rating proves that, in fact, everyone there is stuck in times with the 8-track.

      That said, I am not using this because I am afraid I might get banned off steam for it.

      Therein lies the problem. VALVe can't tell people it's alright to do, and as such one day this might become the next TF2 idling problem.

        @Joshy, you're kind of off track there my friend. The OFLC has nothing to do with there being or not being an R18+ category for games - This is where our good friend Michael Atkinson comes into it. The OFLC only receive and review content based on the guidelines they have for each category.

          R18+ will also not solve this problem. People have already discussed that an R18 rating will only be handed down upon review and not upon first rating.

    I haven't played L4D1 enough to remember what out of that list is in number 1, but if just one of those things is in it, then the classfication board are hypocrites and solely exist to waste tax payers money.

      Allow me to help you remember:

      Things the first L4D had:
      * Gore
      * Blood Spatter
      * Dismemberment
      * Corpses
      * Burning

      Things the first L4D didn't have:
      * Riot Cop

      Hope that helps!

        To be fair, L4D also didn't have the melee weapons, and from what I read, that (and the fact you could dismember zombies with them) was what tipped the scales against the game.

        It's still complete bullshit in that there's been tons of more violent games released with MA15+, though.

      It was valve who censored the game, the classification board simply rated it.

        I think dragoon is highlighting the fact that L4D had all of the above (apart from the Riot Cop), yet was passed with MA15+ colours. L4D2 hits and suddenly what was fine the first time, isn't fine this time.

          check out the vid, while the censored version is clearly less gory than the original game, the uncensored game is clearly ALOT more gory (and AWESOME!) than the original.



          That's probably becuase the game is reviewed by different people each time and no direct comparison is made, it's simply subjective.

            No its because in August 2009 one of the board members terms was up

            She was an undergraduate law student, late 20s.

            She was replaced by a Child Psychologist in her 40s

            Expect a shitload more bans people.

    And for Xbox?

      Order from overseas.

      Wow, not only are the OFLC screwing over aussies, they're messing with everyone! No Riot cop if an aussie is in the match? Wow, its gonna be fun getting kicked from games!

        It's already happening apparently. There's a few posts on the L4D2 forums talking about being found that you're using the AU version = instant kick vote.

      This an outrage! Just because of the idiot Mr Atkinson, Australia is gonna be frowned upon by the rest of the gaming community. The censorship of the game not only degrades the quality for the few unlucky foreigners that get with stuck with a guy with the Aussie version, but also the Aussie himself as he would be continuously getting booted from the matches he plays as well as getting less game for the ridiculous retail price he paid. Therefore everyone loses. The foreigners due to always have to be on the watch for Aussies to prevent content being disabled, Australians due to not being able to play the game they bought from being kicked all the time, and finally Valve because no one in Australia would really want to buy it.

    I actually prefer the lack of bloodspatter on the screen and less gibs, but the disappearing bodies and lack of fire is no fun.

    What stupid idiots for posting over the internet about being able to UN-censor the game in the demo.

    Valve will most probably change it now if they're legally obliged to or have to.

    I cannot believe some of things they HAVE to edit. No bodies, WTF! What about Halo? Shooting covenant spurts out purple blood, well it used to? Borderlands, in a cartoon style had blood splattering everywhere. No one on fire - ahh what does Borderlands do best? Ahh have a great range of weapons that can electrocute people and SET THEM ON FIRE AND RUN AROUND SWEARING!

    This is reaaaaaal pathetic. Fair enough with less blood splatter and no limbs being dismembered - but thats a little far. There are so many MA and even M games that have a lot of those features.

      Well 1 riot cops are available in the uncensored version and 2 valve only censored it to the level they did because it was easy for them. They only change was 2 txt files and their laziness drew them to the easiest option.

    Have heard that the cut Australia is getting isn't based on the recommendations from the Classification Board.

    Meaning Valve haven't gone back to make a specific edit for the offending material, but instead are simply giving us the German Version which is why the game is far more censored than the original.

    It's a case of Valve saving time and money by submitting a version that was already made and obviously not going to raise an eyebrow over at the Classification Board.

    First of all, these edits are bullshit - no fire animations? WTF? Without those animations, my main anti-tank strategy (i.e. burn that giant SOB) becomes meaningless - is he on fire or isn't he?

    Anyways, does anyone know the deal with how to get an uncensored console version in Australia? I mean, xbox users can hardly edit game files without a console ban from MS. Will Valve releasea patch / DLC to reinstate the edited features, or will I have to import an unedited copy of the game from New Zealand (for example)?

      Sorry for the double post, but I just noticed that there is an achievement for decapitating 200 zombies - how do they expect Australians to get this now? I know it's not that important, but it's the principle of the thing.

        I got the achievement by accident... I was just using the melee weapons and I just randomly got it without being able to tell if I was cutting off their heads!

      I don't think Valve would release a patch to the 360 version of the game to reinstate the things that were edited out. Then its just a waste of editing the game in the first place and goes against the rules of the OFLC of the game being "too violent".

      I wish it would/could happen - but wouldn't Valve get into trouble for doing so.

      Anyway - i guess the boycott wasn't needed for Australia cause this is enough to turn off even more gamers than what the boycott was going to do.

      Looks like I'm importing the UK Pal version for my Xbox 360.

        Not going to work there. They will release a patch for xbox live users in Australia that censors even overseas versions of the game.

    Visual feedback removed, sense of immersion stifled, L4D2 ruined.

    WOW thats a big difference. Our version looks like it will fit in the M rating bracket more then the MA15+.

      M? That almost looks G!
      Anyways, I'll be giving my 7 year old cousin my copy. He's 'Mature' enough - since there is no spatter...

    Are the graphics improved at all in 2? As graphics become more realistic this could account for the added concern from the OFLC.

      this is only an issue for people with no imagination.

      (but I guess the classification board members would fall into this category...)

    That is just ridiculously overboard on the part of the OFLC.

    So in summary:

    How can games like Prototype get away with killing people, civilians, police and army personnel and literarlly slicing them into pieces, but L4D2 can't?

    Why was it okay to set fire to people in dozens of other games, including L4D but not in L4D2?

    I mean, in Fallout 3 you can kill someone, then methodically blow all the limbs of the corpse and then pick up the body and make it dance around. But in Left 4 Dead 2 you can't shoot specific body parts?

    based on all these inconsistencies in their rulings. The OFLC does not seem to have a set series of rules for assessing games.

    I'd like to shout complainst but I don't think they'd hear me back in the fifties.

      "based on all these inconsistencies in their rulings. The OFLC does not seem to have a set series of rules for assessing games."

      PING! We have a winner!

      Thats the problem with the classification process, there's no standardised guidelines so we can't get uniform decisions. Each recommendation seems to be entirely at the whim of the individuals on the board reviewing that particular title so you have a coin flip. Heads = "Woah, awesome decapitation!". Tails = "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111"

      The 18+ rating would solve a lot of this but we have a single man with FAR too much power because of his unique position and the rules requiring a unanimous vote to add a rating. This single man is well aware of said power and is cynically using this to enforce his own personal beliefs on the entire country in spite of the fact that in doing so he is actively damaging the cause he supports.

      Personally I'd have rated Gears Of War 2 at 18+ since the graphics are pretty realistic and you can chainsaw people in half but its a huge title worth a bucketload of money and so the OFLC let it slide in at an MA15+ (again possibly because of the 'awesome decapitation' oflc reviewers) thus letting "impressionable 15 year old Timmy 'Psycho' Smith" get his hands on it and thus initiating the destruction of civilisation as we know it.

      Pretty damn good chance he'd have been carded and refused if the game was rated at 18+ but no... we can't have that can we? Thanks for destroying society mr atkinson!

        The OFLC does have a set of guidelines for assessing games:


        However these guidelines are applied by different people each time without reference to previous decisions, which is why they appear to be inconsistent.

        And they say Australia has a democracy...

      As far as I'm aware in these situations you can't use examples of previously classified game to support the new classification.

      I'm fairly sure that's how it works for film, so I have no reason to think it wouldn't be the same for games.

      That said this version is ridiculous. No Riot Cop because it's an example of 'violence against authorities'? Really? Didn't they notice the cop Infected in the first game? Or the plethora of cop-killing in every other bloody game? The no fire thing is what gets me though. It's a mere what? 8 months since the first game? What has changed between now and then? I could handle it in the first game, I can handle it now. It's because I'm an ADULT. I can make ADULT decisions about letting the fantasy violence in a fictitious game world affect my real world actions.

      If anything by removing the gore and fire it's reinforcing the tendency for violence to have NO consequence. The gore, even with it being over the top, at least replicates the consequence of slashing someone with a machete or shooting someone. Removing this feedback 'to protect' does nothing but further desensitize any impressionable person who will play it.

      Another archaic and unneccessay decision from the uninformed, out of touch OFLC. Kudos you bastards.

        "If anything by removing the gore and fire it’s reinforcing the tendency for violence to have NO consequence." - exactly


          HAPPY TIMES FOR ALL!!!

            well think about it the game states that these aren't actually zombies but 'infected humans'

        "As far as I’m aware in these situations you can’t use examples of previously classified game to support the new classification.

        I’m fairly sure that’s how it works for film, so I have no reason to think it wouldn’t be the same for games."

        If that were the case L4D2 would be R18+ and we'd have no issues :| But no - fancy film graphics as big as a building, immersing your vision entirely in the story, in no way compares to a 20 inch box - the box is more 'influential'.

      hahaha nice.

    Wow, I'm not sure if i even want to get this game anymore, my non-australian friends will be a bit anoyed about the roit cop and i wouldn't want to dissatisfy them in the least.

    It's like me taking a feature out of the game.

      Yeah, I'm not getting the game anymore

    We are officially at the arse-end of the world's gaming community.

      ..more like we are a hemorrhoid on the arse of the gaming community. Wait, no. Atkinson is the hemorrhoid, and we are the arse end of the world's gaming community. Yup.

    Im not going to pick up L4D2. This is seriously weak. Bodies dissapear right after.... I remember when ps2 games did that because they couldnt HANDLE the bodies on screen not because of censoring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ive said this before that Valve only had to deactivate the gore and that some egghead would figure it out or release a patch. I remember they did that to the original Euprope version of carmageddon and someone released a patch to restore it to the original versions.

    As already mentioned, the problem is NOT the OFLC.

    The problem is with the Federal Government, and relevant State Government ministers that dictate the role of the OFLC.

    So don't bother complaining about the OFLC. They just carry out a mandate that is defined by the government.

    I've just tried changing my copy of L4D2 to full gore as shown above, but when i load it up, it quits to desktop with the error

    Engine Error

    Could not load library client

    has anyone else come up with this error?

    Anyone complaining about l4d2 censorship, it is an extremely gore filled game, the strongest i've ever seen, if this game recieved a MA15+ rating shit would hit the fan and due to laziness and some wrong beliefs in a few things, we won't get an R rating unless we demand it. Though this fix does solve everything, it changes your game type, you no longer can play on the australian default servers you have to play on 510 servers though there have also been other ways to uncensor your edition, with even reports of australian editions being gore filled once downloaded and a few file changes.

      Actually it works fine on perfectly on Aussie servers. If everyone on the server has the fix then the swat infected will spawn.

    What have they done to my infected! NO! I swear they start to fade into oblivion before hitting the ground, and why do they look so clean on impact when they're ooozing blood themselves?!
    And where do all the body parts evaporate to when i've whacked at them with my now useless Katana.. it just doesn't work!

    Thanks Atkinson and the nanny government for making my life just that little more difficult to obtain the version that's rightfully mine.

    They've completely ruined this PG13 AU version.

    Um, i'm getting it from the UK.

    I actually think this may be slight over-censorship by Valve.

    And the riot cop thing not spawning when an Aussie joins a server? Are Valve just trying to make Australians be hated? It could just be re-skinned on the Aussie player's screen.

      Exactly, it's just an armored infected, not that hard to replace. A civilian wearing kevlar and a helmet.

    If riot cops are not in the full game, then valve is liable to get in trouble. in Australian retailers, the description states there will be 5 uncommon infected. if they take out the riot cop then that would be a lie as there would only be 4 uncommon infected. misleading much?

    I will not be buying this game, now, until the uncut version becomes available in Australia. The entire atmosphere of the game has been removed, leaving an unrecognizable husk of it's former self.

      Tim Good luck waiting for the game to come out uncensored in australia as it wont happen
      so i suggest you download a patch that enables gore

      thats what i did.

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