I'm not usually the sort of gamer who's uncomfortable with excessive profanity or gore, but I found Sunset Overdrive's tone grating enough at points that I decided to give its swear filter a shot last night. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it actually makes the game a lot more charming in its own small way.
Basically, the way the profanity filter works is the same as all the immensely self-aware humour in Sunset Overdrive: by turning it into its own joke. So any time a character says "f**k", "asshole" or some variation therefore, you hear a tinny "bleep" instead. I captured a few examples that occurred during a side-quest that involved killing lots of scabs -- the most sailor-like set of bad guys in the game by far -- in the video above. The real action of the quest comes at the three-minute mark. That's when the scabs start yelling stuff like "what the [BLEEP] is that thing?!?!" See: I'm trying to scare them off a certain part of the map by wearing the disembodied head of a mutant I killed in the first part of the mission. It all makes sense with more context, trust me.
Now: you might be thinking that the "bleeps" don't actually stand out all that much, delivered as they are in the midst and endless sea of explosions and brightly-coloured gore. And you'd be right -- this isn't one of the most visible or immediately recognisable jokes in Sunset Overdrive. But that's precisely what I love about it. As I noted in my review, what annoyed me more than anything about the game was just how oppressively in-your-face the vast majority of its humour is. The little bleeps are a subtle detail in comparison. Their very subtlety is what makes them charming. Also, I just think the silliness of self-censored dialog fits better with the otherworldly vibe of the game's colourfully absurd, dream-like setting.