Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2 is a seminal multiplayer title that has been popular for its encouragement of group zombie-killing antics and its active modding scene since releasing in 2009. The game’s community is so passionate that a fan-made update called “The Last Stand” was officially added to Left 4 Dead 2 in September 2020. However, German fans have only been able to play a censored version of the game until this week.
Germany has had a long history of censorship and banning with regards to violent video games in particular. Valve’s first-person shooter Half-Life was censored in Germany until 2017, over 19 years after it released, meanwhile Bethesda’s Fallout 3 was banned entirely for about eight years; only becoming available in 2016. The country has been moving to become more open, as seen in 2018 when Germany’s total ban on Nazi imagery was lifted in favor of a system utilizing case-by-case evaluation.
German versions of Left 4 Dead 2 have been censored in a number of ways until recently, according to Engadget. All blood effects, dismemberment, and fire-based weapons were removed, and the game’s cover art restored the missing thumb of its iconic zombie hand. In an update posted to Steam on January 28, Valve announced it requested German authorities re-evaluate the game, and now the uncut international version is available there.
Anyone who already owns a copy of Left 4 Dead 2 in Germany can download free DLC provided by Valve that converts the game into its uncut form, though they can also choose to keep it the same if they so desire. Between the still-recent release of The Last Stand and a constant ocean of mods ranging from serious challenges to transforming zombies into Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout beans, there are certainly reasons to jump back in.
However, those who want to get in on Left 4 Dead‘s zombie-killing action without returning to the original games are in luck. Developer Turtle Rock Studios, responsible for Left 4 Dead and Evolve, officially showed off its upcoming spiritual successor Back 4 Blood during The Game Awards 2020. Published by Warner Bros. Games, Back 4 Blood is set to release this June.
While 2021 is a good year for German Left 4 Dead 2 fans given this announcement, 2020 was largely dominated by a more casual experience. Animal Crossing: New Horizons sold over a million copies in Germany last year, according to Gamescom-organizer Game, which is just one example of the Nintendo blockbuster’s success all over the world amid the large-scale spread of COVID-19.
Left 4 Dead 2 is available now on PC.