Uncensored Left 4 Dead 2 Finally Gets Classified In Australia: UPDATED

Uncensored Left 4 Dead 2 Finally Gets Classified In Australia: UPDATED

The censoring of Left 4 Dead 2 was one of the more depressing parts of Australia’s struggle for an R18+ rating — a brilliant video game completely butchered and broken in order to make it through at MA15+. But we’ve just gotten word that on August 29, almost five years after the game’s initial release, the complete uncensored version of Left 4 Dead 2 finally made it through classification.

The rating, as you might expect, is R18+.

It seems silly to classify a video game like Left 4 Dead 2 so long after the fact, but really it feels like a nice little victory. It was a real low point in the classification debate here in Australia, and its great to know that we can play the game in its final state without having to resort to mods or workarounds.

It looks as though it was Valve themselves who put the game through the classification system and not EA, the game’s local publisher back when the game was initially released in November 2009. Either way, it’s great news.

UPDATE: Doug Lombardi of Valve confirmed the news to Kotaku Australia.

“We are delighted that the full version of Left 4 Dead 2 will be available to fans age 18+ in Australia,” he said. “We are making plans to deliver that version to those who have already purchased the game. We will announce more details on that soon.”


  • Any word on people who (foolishly) bought the censored version on Steam? Can we get access to the uncensored version?

      • that workaround stopped working a long time ago… only way of doing it now is using left4uncut which patches the memory on the fly at launch..

        • 510/550 still works for me for single, but it precludes me from ANY multiplayer action. I have to use Left4Gore, and even then, I’ve had a few servers boot me for using ‘cheaty’ mods.

          • Yeah Left4Gore is the successor to left4uncut. never really used it myself as i got my copy from the UK store using a VPN, but i think my bro and mate who have censored versions still use left4uncut. I dont know what they changed in left4gore, but left4uncut was completely untraceable by servers.

    • There’s a mod called left4gore which just patches your censored version for that instance. Sure, it’s slightly out of your way. But assuming we don’t get this and have to buy again (which okay sure 10 bucks isn’t much) it’s nice quick work around.

  • Do previously purchased censored versions get automatically patched to the unrestricted version, or does it require another purchase?

      • I attempted to play it, despaired at almost 0 blood, insta-despawning bodies, and the whole game just being utterly butchered – the promptly went back to L4D.

        Really, really hoping the Steam version gets updated/patched/unlocked. Such a fantastic game, utterly ruined by being the scapegoat for Australian classification at the time.

        • If it’s any consolation, I managed to get the US uncensored version. Played for one campaign, then also promptly went back to L4D1.

          L4D2 is bloated [no pun intended] and doesn’t have the same atmosphere. L4D one is simply distilled down to it’s pure essence. And it’s all the better for it.

          • I played the uncensored EU version of L4D2 on 360 – quite enjoyed it. Still think L4D is my preferred, like you – but I’d love to be able to fire up L4D2 on a whim without remembering it’s ruined.

          • On PC everything from L4D1 is in L4D2.

            For free.

            I didn’t understand the need for a sequel so close to the release of the first game, but after mastering it everything was clear. I have had no experience with this game on consoles, so I cannot comment on that.

    • I would say so. Valve mentioned back in the day that if they managed to get it through, it would be by way of a PC patch. It’s the console versions I wonder about

      • I am curious as to how they’ll handle it too. Yep, everyone that bought the censored copy should be entitled to the uncensored copy….. however….. if Valve just patches a game currently at 15+ to an 18+ level of content, then they are potentially providing 15’s with restricted content, and I’m sure the classification board won’t let that fly.

        My guess is it will be a separate purchase. “L4D2 Director’s Cut” with the new rating attached, presumably with a substantial discount for owners of the original… even if its 99.99% off, there will still need to be some kind of agreement/purchase stating you are over 18 and not getting a free update to restricted content.

  • So, how can we get it? Are they going to re-sell it, create a game patch, “replace” it on Steam but no other platforms?

  • I don’t think its silly, Steam said when the new R18+ game laws came into effect they were going to update it on steam for the people who purchased it to get it uncut, looks like its finally happening!

    • Oh owch, I hadn’t even thought of that. 🙁 Dangit!

      On the plus side… at least my child-like naivety isn’t completely dead. Just huddled in a corner, shivering and weeping.

  • “The rating, as you might expect, is R18+.”

    Would’ve been rather amusing if it had got through as MA15+ this time. 😛

    • it’s now G-Rated, and is called “Left 4 No-No-Honey-That-Man-Is-Just-Sleeping” and you run around maps patting bunny-rabbits.

      • Definitely not G-rated. The amount of angry and surprisingly creative abuse that game inspired when we saw how it was butchered blew my mind. We all got a bit of insta-tourettes with that revelation.

  • I wonder how they’ll go about distributing it? I imagine there would be problems for them to sell something as MA15+ and then have magically morph into an R18+ game without any user action. Perhaps a free DLC that people need to explicitly install to convert the game?

    • ^^ Someone’s got their thinking caps on this morning.

      No way will it be legal to simply offer a patch to people who purchased the censored version, for this exact reason.
      Perhaps it is ok if they first have a confirmation screen which informs you of the rating change if you proceed to the upgrade path, but to do so without notice is certainly a breach of the classification laws.

      • and we can trust every 15-18 year old to accept these changes and restrict themselves from playing the game any further…

        (although, who the hell would still be playing it?)

        • But that’s not the point 😉
          It’s like those messages asking you to enter your age before looking at certain web pages [or steam titles]. The point is, that valve need to demonstrate that they have taken ‘reasonable measures’ to make it known that the content is for those 18 and over. If the person ‘lies’, then the onus is on them and Valve can wipe their hands of it.

          • It honestly shouldn’t matter anyway, since under 18’s are allowed to buy/access 18+ video games as long as a parent or guardian figure is okay with it, it’s the same with MA15+ video games. All the rating does is stop them buying it retail without proof of age/parental permission.

            But saying that, to me that’s really strange that stance, given the other laws in place for 18+ only things like tobacco, alcohol & pornography. Especially pornography which an R18+ game could have in it.

          • It’s actually MA15+ material that minors are allowed to access with parental guidance. R18+ is restricted to persons over 18 years. I am pretty sure pornography will get a game refused classification.

      • The steam client knows what (you’ve told it) your DoB is, so maybe it could be done off that? Server says “update available for L4D2, if user’s DoB allows age-restricted material”. If they don’t feel it necessary to restrict the store pages after I’ve set my DoB in the client, it doesn’t seem to be much of a stretch to apply it to updates, too.

  • I imported the game years ago, when all this hoo haa was going on. I played it and loved it, but I didn’t really even pay attention to the gore? Like, when I played it at a friend’s place (she had the censored version), I didn’t really notice the difference. I guess because I didn’t tend to linger and look at the bodies.

    Does this mean retail copies are going to be imported for sale? Wonder how much they’ll cost.

  • I’ll expect my 1kb patch update to change the 3 digit number that sets the game to low violence. soon then.

  • Wow six years since this was released eh? I might have cared six maybe five years ago. Now not so much.

    • You need not care, but it’s still a good gesture from Valve. Most publishers and developers don’t give a damn about their games (or our tiny market) after that long.

  • I just L4D1 the other day on the Xbox cuz they finally put it on Sale (L4D2 has been on sale several times but no way I was touching what was a sad joke of a game)

    I wonder how many Australian’s actually bought this on console?

    • I almost did when I ended up with a 360 and was looking around for games that I’d been interested in. But then the whole censorship thing made me decide to skip on it.

      Now though, I totally don’t care. Especially since I won’t be going online with it at all.

  • That’s great news, finally, I thought nothing was gonna happen with this given how long it’s been.
    Me and my mates still play L4D and L4D2 all the time, but yeah I prefer L4D simply because L4D2’s crazy censoring really takes you ‘out of the game’ with all the disappearing bodies and dudes not catching on fire et al.

    L4D1 really has too few weapons, its pretty much use the submachine gun until you get the upgraded shotty, (or occasionally grab the M4 if you want to go for headshots).

    Oh I really do enjoy me some AK47 + laser sights in L4D2 😛
    Bring on Venice and Venice 2, great maps.

  • I’ve been playing it with the left4gore mod for a while now, that uncensors it and makes the game actually worth playing. This is still good news though.

  • Do I feel a ‘remastered’ PS4 version on the horizon? Probably released same day as Halflife 3?

    • The PC community is alive and strong, you will never, ever have problems finding a game. L4D original also still going strong.

  • “We are delighted that the full version of Left 4 Dead 2 will be available to fans age 18+ in Australia,” he said. “We are making plans to deliver that version to those who have already purchased the game. We will announce more details on that soon.”

    Out of curiosity, how would that affect people who bought the MA rated version but might still be aged under 18? Wouldn’t Valve be breaking the law by giving them the R-rated version? Or do they check their age in their personal information on their Steam account (I’m not sure if it even records it?) and only provide the patch to those aged over 18?

    • My son has a copy I bought him, and he is only 15. I have non problems with him playing the R18+ version, but I am interested as to how Valve will handle the upgrade for existing players.

      Given that the steam user database includes DOB data I imagine it will be a simple IF THEN.

    • Theoretically I guess there shouldn’t be too many in that category, as the game was out 4 years ago I think, and since MA15+ is restricted to people 15 years and over, even the 15 year olds would now be 19 😛

      seriously however, I guess they could offer it like how Shogun 2 offered a blood pack DLC after the game was released. That let them release the game as an M rating with next to no blood, and then had the blood pack for I think $1 DLC purchase on day 1 or something, as that required a credit card so buyer >18.
      Perhaps they will simply offer the uncensored patch (which, since changing the AppID used to work, I think would not need to be a very big patch at all) for $1-$2 or something.

        • Yeah but come on, how many kids these days would buy a game that’s 4 years old. Isn’t it all about ‘the game out next week’ for consoles for kids these days?
          … and get off my lawn lol

          I reckon my serious bit of the answer is probably what’s gonna happen to get around that anyways; that it will be something that has to be purchased/authorized with a credit card, but who knows until they give some more info.

    • @braaains, Online and Delivered content is not applicable to Australia’s Rating system, because the laws are slow. Valve only needed to have a local rating for those copies that were sold in stores, not those who bought it from steam and downloaded it.

  • You need a credit card to buy via Xbox Live and online in general, anyway. There’s your age verification. I doubt anyone would care if L4D2 suddenly got an uncut patch anyway, there are far more violent games in the MA category as it is. The ACB are a pack of jokers who think huge blood sprays and splatters from “INFECTED” humans are in any way realistic. They mustn’t have ever been to Liveleak.

    Who cares anyway? I imported the uncut version 5 years ago, anyone who bought the censored version is a complete idiot and supported censorship. I would have imported either way though as there’s no way I would support this countries rip off merchants. I went digital this year as well and downloaded the uncut version of Saints Row IV and South Park.

    You do not need to buy censored versions. Download or import. Don’t be a fool. Create a US account on XBL or PSN & purchase some US digital points cards.

  • Hey Mark. This is pretty rad. Right step in the right direction. But do you think Saints Row IV getting a do over is a pipe dream?

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