House Of The Dead: Overkill -- Extended Cut Refused Classification In Australia

Australia is currently in the process of receiving an R18+ rating for video games, but while we wait for the Attorneys-General to agree on the terms, another video game -- The House of the Dead: Overkill -- Extended Cut -- has been refused classification.

SEGA Australia, the local publishers of the game, are intent on resubmitting the game.

"There are far worse titles currently available in the marketplace which involve more than shooting down mutants in humorous circumstances," claimed Managing Director Darren Macbeth. "We will do everything we can to prove that House of the Dead: Overkill is worthy of an MA15+ rating in Australia."

The game was set for release on October 27.

We're currently in contact with the Classification Board for more information on the reasons why the game was refused classification.


    But the original Overkill was only MA15+... isn't this just a direct HD upgrade?

      Maybe the "HD Upgrade" has made the graphics too lifelike

        More likely it's simply because the OFLC are a bunch of inconsistent clowns. Some would even say that they display Bipolar disorder traits.

          Note that there isn't a single panel of people classifying all content, so it isn't too surprising when some of the decisions seem inconsistent.

          Also, the system is set up so decisions explicitly don't create precedent. So it isn't considered a bug when two decisions appear to contradict each other.

      I suppose it being in HD is enough to increase the overall "impact", and that's enough for an RC, apparently..

      The OFLC is notoriously inconsistant in their rulings. The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of GTA IV were amended to remove hooker animations and blood splatter, but all the amendments were put back in for the PC release and for the release (disc and DLC) of GTA Episodes.

        The Classification Board had nothing to do with those changes. Anticipating that they would result in a refused classification, Rockstar made the changes so that the game would pass on it's first submission and thus make the release date.

          That doesn't make any sense, Rockstar made the changes, the same changes they've had to make to every GTA, so the game would fall in line with the OFLC's regulations due to GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas all requiring edits to get an MA15+ and requiring changes, so off course it was to do with the OFLC.

          I've never heard the story as to why the PC version and Episodes were not edited.

    I assume the extra levels may have pissed off the OFLC.

    I'm really hoping that Mortal Kombat 9 gets resubmitted and labelled with an adults rating and becomes Australias first adult rated game. Would really complete the circle (that shouldn't have existed in the first place).

      Left 4 Dead 2 would probably be more fitting for Australias first R18 game.

        Nah, Mortal Kombat would be because the first Mortal Kombat was the reason WHY we originally started an age rating for videogames. It would be more fitting that the game that had the first older audience age rating would be the first as Australia's adult rated game.

        Left 4 Dead 2 wouldn't work because the game has already been released, editted. If would cause some controversy if they patched the game to it's original version since it's available to people under 18. They wouldn't re-release the game because it came out several years ago just to make a small amount of money from the people who didn't buy it. Unless they do a Left 4 Dead compilation containing both games and all DLC.

        It's all ready been stated that Mortal Kombat and Left 4 Dead 2 cannot be released, the RC will stand regardless of the introduction of an R18+.

        They might be able to get around it with a collectors edition release with DLC or a similar 'new package'. But the law is after two strikes thats it.

          I think that meant that they automatically won't be given an adults rating. They can be resubmitted under the new guidelines. They have to judge the game based on the ratings they have, not what they can be. They should be able to once they have a clear idea of what is suitable for adults to play and what's not suitable for anyone to play.

          They did this so that something banned everywhere won't be allowed to be sold in Australia, like that Rapeplay game where you stalk and rape teenage girls. If RC games were automatically jumped to R18+ then these games that are actually harmful to everyone will be as well.

          Actually, it can be changed - it just won't happen automatically.

          The publishers CAN choose to resubmit the games at an additional cost, especially if they tweak/modify something so it's not the same game.

            I don't imagine many publishers are going to want to pony up the cash to reclassify a game that's a year old.

      Yeah that won't be happening. The RC will stand for any games that have been given that rating already :( Just import, much easier

        I think that meant that they automatically won’t be given an adults rating. They can be resubmitted under the new guidelines. They have to judge the game based on the ratings they have, not what they can be. They should be able to once they have a clear idea of what is suitable for adults to play and what’s not suitable for anyone to play.

        They did this so that something banned everywhere won’t be allowed to be sold in Australia, like that Rapeplay game where you stalk and rape teenage girls. If RC games were automatically jumped to R18+ then these games that are actually harmful to everyone will be as well.

        Although Left 4 Dead 2 will be harder since that already has a rating. If they release a patch to remove those censors then there will be controversy and they'll have to remove the game from the store shelves.

    For some reason I cracked up laughing when I read the headline.

    LOL WTF? It was granted MA originally? There's NOTHING in this game worthy of RC. NOTHING. Jesus, HOTD 4 was worse.

    @ Glenn,

    I daresay it is HD display of viscera that is the source of the problem. Lower res is less offensive for most any image.

    That said, this is a damn shame.

    Overkill was one of the most thoroughly enjoyable games of 2009. Not only did it play out as an inventive on-rails shooter but the self-knowing humor that pervaded throughout was had to resist.

    Let's hope this gets overturned or, better yet, we get that darn R18+ rating soon.

      Agreed - the HD consoles are doing near-photorealistic graphics. Having said that far worse is getting into movies rated MA15+ but this is similar to some games getting lower ratings on the Wii or DS simply because the graphics look more real.

    lol, I don't remember the PS2/XBOX/GC era having this many RC games.

    Remember Kids whatever happens on video games is obviously going to happen in real life, so remember, if your mummy or daddy turn into a blood thirsty zombie there may be a gun somewhere so you can blow there head off.

      Little Jimmy: "But Mr. Paul, how do I aim? I do not have a ammo guage nor gun sight in my human vision."

    $5 Says the ACL jumps on this and tries to use it as yet another fallacy for blocking the R18+ rating.

    Yes, I know we finally have support for the AsG, but the ACL are not ones for checking their facts first.

    What a joke. Hurry up and get the R rating passed. The OFLC have no idea how crap like this is hurting the Australian video game industry.

    another good reason to import

    More proof for me that Darkness 2 will get RC'd too if we don't get an R18 before it comes out next year.

    but but but... the Wii is the kiddeh console, this by default this is a kiddeh game, so why can't the adults have a turn! :p


    It's mindblowing to think that this compeltely over the top rail shooter has been previously released on another platform, now gets RC'd because it's prettier or the new content is far more extreme and yet the 'more realstic' Dead Island (with dismemberments) is no drama.

    At least a few members of the OFLC expressed a concern that zombies are 'so 2007'.

    I'd guess it's probably nothing to do with HD. Game Informer had a fascinating expose article on the OFLC and how they make their decisions. One of the reasons L4D2 was banned but games like Fallout, Prototype and RE4 got a pass was because the zombies in those games were described as 'mutant monsters' but in L4D2 they were 'infected humans', dismembering people is RCable, but dismembering 'monsters' who look human like is okay. It sounds ridiculous but simple semantic differences like that get games banned in Australia.

    Many game companies actually hire people to carefully word their rating submission documents to get play the system and get around the OFLC's rules. Valve, apparently, did a bad job of their L4D2 sumbissions.

      Actually, Fallout was banned because the drugs they had were named after real ones and was too realistic for 15 year old gamers to comprehend.

      This also affect versions sold everyone, since they were given the Australian version, another reason why we need R18+ rating. because developers might alter the game for everyone.

        Changing Morphine to Med-x is hardly a game breaking issue


          But it was ok to dismember human raiders all the time in SUPER SLOW MOTION!!!!

          Haha what a joke.

        I know that's why it was banned (semantic crap about the difference between morphine and stimpack), I was just pointing it out as a game that lets you happily dismember people when other games, such as L4D2 and Dark Sector were refused classification for that reason.

          L4D2 was more graphic. You could blow holes out of zombies and see inside them with blood splattering on the screen. Plus, it's in a modern setting with modern weapons.
          Fallout is more "cartoonic" for lack of a better word, and contains many more variations of weapons and monsters that couldn't possibly exist.

    Surely Red Dead redemption Undead Nightmare or the other 100's of zombie games out there are just the same as Overkill.

    Dead island says hi.

    Makes sending my money overseas feel even better. Thanks Australian Classification Board!

    Just read SEGAs press release. The game has added a 3D mode for PS3. I would bet a million dollars this was a major contributing factor to the ban

    This will continue to be a problem even with R18. 3D will be seen as increasing the interactivity and realism even further.

    'Because it's HD' is stupid reasoning on our part.

      how about because its 3D?

      Higher fidelity graphics be they realised through 3D, higher resolutions or anything that makes the image on screen 'higher impact' will increase the likelihood of an RC stamp.

    Have to be honest; I was surprised the original made it through, there's some nasty stuff in there. Not that I'm complaining, I laughed my behind off plenty, and gameplay is solid.

    Either this time they actually had a look at the game's ending, or they finally got it.

    I'm confident I'll get through, Sega has a strong argument here with the first one being MA15 (it really should be 18+). Can't possibly imagine that the new levels are any nastier than the original ending.

    The HD has probably nothing to do with it

    Meh, PS3's are region free - time to import! (and no doubt get it cheaper anyway lol)

    Humans with a HD Rabies like virus?

    This makes me feel like playing the game again. Whiping it out when I get home.

    This doesn't really surprise me. I mean, after playing through the Wii edition, it shocked me that such content made it through the classification system at all. Can't see how HotD:O is any 'better'/'appropriate' content-wise than Mortal Kombat, but whatever...

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