German authorities have decided that Painkiller: Hell and Damnation is a little too hot to handle.
Did you know that the brilliant Painkiller is getting a high-definition remake as Painkiller: Hell and Damnation? It actually came to light back in June, although at the time it appeared to be an entirely new game rather than a rehash of the original. I've played an early beta and it was rough around the edges, as early betas tend to be, but it was also very much Painkiller: a note-for-note do-over of the first level, in fact.
So it's rather odd to hear that the USK, Germany's videogame rating agency, has decided not to give the game an age rating, effectively banning its sale in the country. Why exactly a rating was refused isn't known, although one outside source says "blood and violence and demons" may have something to do with it. What makes the situation odd is that the original Painkiller and every other release that followed it - Battle Out of Hell and the Black edition, plus the awful Overdose and Resurrection - were all given an "18" rating.
These screens might offer a little insight into the matter:
In any event, Nordic Games hasn't said yet whether it intends to appeal the ruling or put together a "low violence" version for German audiences; at this point the focus seems to be on squeezing it for PR value. And it's working! Painkiller: Hell and Damnation comes out in both Standard and Collector's Editions on October 31, exclusively for the PC.