Left 4 Dead 2 is one of the most classic and iconic multiplayer games in the video game community. It was incredibly popular back then after releasing in 2009, especially given how active its modding community was.
Fans of the Left 4 Dead franchise are known to be extremely passionate about it, so much so that the community created a Left 4 Dead 2 fan-made update known as The Last Stand, which was initially announced and launched in September of last year. However, for the longest time, German fans were only given access to a censored version of the series—that is, until now.
For a little bit of context, it’s not uncommon for Germany to censor and ban games that have themes of violence, and this has been the case for quite a while now. For instance, when the first-person shooter Half-Life was released in 1998, it remained censored in Germany until 2017—nearly two decades after its release. On the other hand, Bethesda’s Fallout 3 was completely banned from the country for more or less eight years.
Germany has been making an effort to become more open to certain content, and this can be seen in the way it lifted the total ban on Nazi imagery back in 2018 to instead implement a system that evaluated games on a case-by-case basis.
Until this week, the German versions of Left 4 Dead 2 were censored in several different ways, according to a report by Engadget. For instance, anything that could be deemed as violent was removed, including fire-based weapons, any and all kinds of blood effects, and dismemberment. As a matter of fact, the censor even went as far as to restore the missing zombie thumb on the game’s cover art.
Last week, on January 28, Valve announced in an update post on Steam that it requested the German authorities to evaluate Left 4 Dead 2 again, and now, the uncut international version of the game is finally available in Germany.
For the fans living in Germany who already bought a copy of the prior censored version, they can download a free DLC released by Valve that will automatically convert their Left 4 Dead copy to that of its uncensored version. However, they can also keep its cut form and not change a thing if they prefer.
With the recent The Last Stand update, the waves of mods that offer a range of changes to the game, and now this uncut form for German fans, there are numerous reasons to hop back into this classic zombie-slaying title.
However, those who no longer want to return to the Left 4 Dead franchise but still want more action-packed zombie action similar to it are in luck. Developer Turtle Rock Studios, who created the highly acclaimed Left 4 Dead, will be releasing a spiritual successor in June called Back 4 Blood. This was first announced during The Game Awards 2020 along with a trailer.
While we expect Left 4 Dead 2 to have a spike in German players this 2021, the dominating video game genre in 2020 was more on the casual side. Animal Crossing: New Horizons reached impressive sales in Germany last year—over a million copies, to be specific—which just goes to show how incredibly popular the life simulator was (and is) despite the ongoing pandemic.