R18 is coming but FPS fans in Australia may still have to put up with a "low violence" version of Red Orchestra 2.
Second World War FPS Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad isn't for everyone. It boasts realistic gameplay elements, with weapons modeling that includes bullet spin, drop and no ammo counter on the HUD, blind firing, permanent health loss, limited cover and more. Set as it is in the vicious Battle of Stalingrad, it will presumably also bring its share of violent imagery to the table - unless you're in Australia, that is.
Preorders on Steam are now available but if you happen to log in from the Land Down Under, you'll receive a message telling you that you're getting the "low violence version" of the game. That's the same message that came attached with the Aussie version of Left 4 Dead 2, which was heavily edited in order to keep the country's censor brigade happy.
With an R18+ rating for games in the offing, the assumption was that this sort of nonsense was over, but as Tripwire Interactive Vice President Alan Wilson explained, it's not quite so cut-and-dried.
"We've put 'LV' up for Australia because we haven't got the rating back yet - and dear old Oz has just announced the new higher rating category," he wrote on Steam's Red Orchestra forum. "We are HOPING that they will take the same view as PEGI/BBFC and NOT go all silly on us. However, until we're sure, we putting LV up to be safe. The Okkers may want to wait a few days and see what the end result is - but we'd hate for you to buy it and THEN find your ratings board can't cope with dismemberment (like USK...)."
The USK, for the record, is Germany's videogame rating board, which takes a dim view of such shenanigans [particularly when Nazis are involved], while "Okkers" is apparently a term of endearment for Australians.
The PC-exclusive Red Orchestra 2 comes out on August 30 so there's still plenty of time for the Australian situation to be resolved, but unless and until it does, consider yourselves warned.