Valve time takes a long time these days, but you can be rest assured Valve stick to their guns. After only 5 years, L4D2 has been resubmitted to the Australian classification board and been classified as R18+. If you have recently been somewhat disillusioned with a few of Valve’s choices and lack of action regarding a certain third entry into one of the best selling science-fiction series on PC, then you had probably given up on a resubmission of Left 4 Dead 2 within Australia ever happening as well. Well I’m happy to say that those who never lost faith have been rewarded.
Fans might recall that back in 2009, Valve hinted that they wanted to get the uncensored version out to those poor people like myself who were issued the gimped version of Left 4 Dead 2, should Australia ever get an R18 rating. Back then, the news came as an amazingly benevolent offer from Valve itself, much in the same way that Team Fortress 2 was made free to play back in 2007. This is the most recent in a long line of refreshingly fan-base friendly actions throughout a long and illustrious career for the American based Software company. It’s why they’re so highly thought of.
As of the 29th of August 2014, Left 4 Dead 2 under the Australian Classification Board has been resubmitted in it’s R18+ form. What this means is that the rather annoying and immersion breaking issue of bodies disappearing should be able to be removed. The other little issues like no gibbing, no flames appearing, no blood spatter and no dismemberment were for the most part negligible, but if there was one thing that did detract from the game-play somewhat it was definitely getting that pixel perfect head-shot on one of the members of the horde, only to be rewarded with it suddenly vanishing before your eyes.
Unfortunately there seems to be no news on the method through which they will transmit this new version to users with the existing censored content. The users that were too young to have access to the game in it’s original form at launch are likely of age by now but sadly this doesn’t fix the issue of those buying it recently for people new to the series. This could pose a problem as it means Valve can’t just overwrite the existing files with the uncensored content for everyone. The main method that seems most viable would be to release the uncensored option as free DLC that requires you to state your age much like they did “The Passing” for PC users, but of course this is only speculation on my part. The resubmission says that it is for “computer games” applying only to the PC. Hopefully console user will be included and they won’t be left out in the cold. It would be really nice if Valve were to include the Xbox 360 version in this resubmission but as it says PC only and not multi-platform as it did back in 09, I fear their cries will go unheard.
This news may have come too late however as its been suggested in the gaming underground for a while that Valve have already started work on Left 4 Dead 3. If it turns out in time that this information is accurate then this change to Left 4 Dead 2 may have come at an unfortunate time as the user-base will likely drop it and move over to the brand new Left 4 dead 3, but I guess we can still enjoy the game as it was meant to be played retroactively til then.