Killing zombies is A-OK; killing more zombies gets your game banned.
Australia has developed a whole new way to fight zombies: don’t let them on your shores in the first place. While the original zombie gore-fest House of the Dead: Overkill made its way to Australian Wiis, the Australian Classification Board has denied a rating for its PS3 update. The board deemed House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut too violent to comply with its most restrictive MA15+ rating, but Sega is determined to appeal the case.
Information comes by way of the Australian Classification Board’s website, which lists the game as “RC,” or “refused classification.” While the Board classified the original House of the Dead: Overkill as MA15+, it does not believe that the update meets the same standards. In particular, it points to “Hardcore” and “Extra mutants” modes, where players must frequently make graphic headshots against a swarm of humanoid enemies. “In the Board ‘s view the additional modes included in this modified version and the interactive nature of the game increases the overall impact of the frequent and intense depictions of violence,” reads the Classification Board’s report.
House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut may end up being a victim of bad timing. Within the next year, the Australian government may move forward with a R18+ rating, a move which would theoretically allow more graphic games into the Australian market. For the time being, though, the Board demands that the most mature content in videogames must be fit for the average 15-year-old. In the meantime, Sega Australia will try to appeal the ban. Darren Macbeth, a managing director at Sega, has written a statement in the game’s defense: “There are far worse titles currently available in the marketplace, which involve more than shooting down mutants in humorous circumstances.”
If the game does manage an appeal, it should see an Australian release on October 27, 2011. If not, Australians may have to hang tight until the elusive R18+ rating becomes reality.