Soldier of Fortune: Payback gets "unbanned" in Australia

New Soldier of Fortune game reclassified down under thanks to "revised" version submitted by Activision.

Last month, Activision's ultra-violent shooter Soldier of Fortune: Payback fell victim to Australia's game ratings laws, being banned for sale after it was refused classification by the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC).

It seems Soldier of Fortune's fortunes have been reversed, however, with Activision Australia today releasing a statement saying a revised version of the game had been reclassified by the OFLC as MA15+ for strong violence, coarse language, and sexual references. MA15+ is the highest rating a game can be given in Australia.

An Activision Australia spokesman said the revised version of the game featured reduced rag doll physics, no dismemberment with enemies (alive or dead), and toned-down blood effects.

Soldier of Fortune: Payback joins games like Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which were both banned for a short period of time in Australia before being reclassified after some content changes.

Soldier of Fortune Payback will be available in early 2008 down under for the Xbox 360 for A$79.95, the PC for A$49.95, and the PS3 for A$89.95.

Written By

Randolph is the managing editor of GameSpot, and needs more time to play games.

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Discussion

183 comments
denaz
denaz

Sick of this cr*p. Was going to buy this game, but no way i am now. i want the full game, not some censored peice of ...

MrFisty
MrFisty

Can someone explain to me why the PS3 version is 10 bucks more expensive than the 360 version? And don't tell me it's BD manufacturing because that's the worst mark up I've seen.

leon41235
leon41235

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Pipucho
Pipucho

is0lati0n, i know what you mean, but there is nothing you can do. Different cultures, Different rules.

is0lati0n
is0lati0n

It way too unfair to ban a game in one country but not in another. I don't understand why they would do that. Do the OFLC think that we're gonna get a gun and go on a killing spree? I think not.

DiabolicalX
DiabolicalX

damn OFLC, Australia bans more games than any other country, jesus stop letting stupid politicians judge what we should play. Who wants to play a revised version of SoF anyway, what made the game good was its over the top violence

rockatanski
rockatanski

LOL! This is hilarious!! I simply cannot believe how unbelievably stupid this OFLC is?!!! Within days I guarantee that there will be a patch which will unlock all the rag doll and gore features just like that!!! And get this... PATCHES ARE NOT ILLEGAL! Bravo to OFLC. What a bunch of monkeys.

majorfoley
majorfoley

thats bull man they cant get rid of disemberment thats tight as they let it go past in soldier of fortune 2

HylianHeart
HylianHeart

Good for Australia for toning down the game.

ctifer1
ctifer1

"okay, I must be missing something, cos when I played Gears of War, I'm pretty sure there was a ton of blood and loads of dismemberment." ----------------------------- I don't remember dismemberment in Gears, and if there was it was nothing compared to what's in Soldier of Fortune. The achievements are FOR dismemberment.

DaDude253
DaDude253

Kevin rud is aussies new priminster please make a r rating i love killing pople :P

billybonkas
billybonkas

okay, I must be missing something, cos when I played Gears of War, I'm pretty sure there was a ton of blood and loads of dismemberment.

Sp1tfire88
Sp1tfire88

You're wrong scorpion, its not available anywhere in Australia, if your buddy really got it then he imported it.

scorpion_great
scorpion_great

"Soldier of Fortune Payback will be available in early 2008" honestly gamespot do your research first, the game already came out and a buddy of mine already bought it in Australia.

vhx
vhx

No dismemberment? Isn't that the main feature of this game? The ability to dismember your opponents? :P

nicky1973
nicky1973

Just remember though...sites like Gameplay in the UK and game sites in New Zealand (of all places lol) are supplying the uncut versions of this game...online shopping overseas is a beautiful thing :)

GANGSTA287
GANGSTA287

it's 89.95 Austrialian Dollars... different currency...

Makhdoom82
Makhdoom82

Come on man after all it's a soldier killing people, that's not bad !!!

mercenar3
mercenar3

mad lame. feel bad for all you aussies they cut all that made sof - soldier of fortune hopefully it will at least be a good shooter. Why is the ps3 version $89.95? That's a heck of alot of money for one game!

Alkerio
Alkerio

It's because stupid politicians all see videogames as toys instead of an actual hobby, like it actually is.

MKOwnzU
MKOwnzU

That sucks for Australia, we Americans love our blood and ragdoll effects!

401225
401225

What a %@ck this is getting more strictly while the time passes.

Noclippin
Noclippin

a bloody game without blood is like a game without gameplay.

Riverwolf007
Riverwolf007

Can it be revised so it is actually a good game?

u_poop
u_poop

common dont be liberal Austraila...i am getting this fo ps3

widdleskater
widdleskater

"Australia's got to be the worst part of the commonwealth. Here in Canada nothing gets banned. I'm pretty sure I can still find copies of Postal 2 here." keyhunter, if not being able to play a few games makes your country the worst in the commonwealth, maybe you could get out of your chair, go outside for a run in the snow and get a life. maybe there's more to life than video games.... :o oh and while you're on your run, think of me going for a swim at the beach on a warm summer day, after playing one of the other 99.9% of un-banned uncensored games available in this great country, Australia

widdleskater
widdleskater

PseudoFinrod , the only thing that gets banned here are the worst games... you can still view and read whatever you want, unless you're into scatty porn and weird things like that, although there is a territory here whaere all of that is actually legal, so it's okay, you can come and enjoy australia with all the 'perks' you get in other countries, as long as you're in the right part of the country.... :)

Voodoo2k3
Voodoo2k3

You know something is wrong with your rating system when your highest rating for the most intensely violent games legally allowed in your country can be purchased by 15 year olds......... I wonder what the problem could be??? Hmmmm

raghraghragh
raghraghragh

@MessiahKnot Correct! In fact, the MAJORITY of gamers are well above the age of 18.

MessiahKnot
MessiahKnot

I know its been said before, but it really is stupid the 'R18+' classification hasn't been extended to games, yet it exists for movies. It makes no sense. The age of gamers varies greatly, and a large portion are adults - yet no rating exists to cater for them. The OFLC need to wake up.

P3ll1n0r3
P3ll1n0r3

Banning / Censor has no good effects. If a "full" version exist, ppl will get that instead even if it comes down to "piracy". I wonder if the same rules apply to movies, *gosh* many movies should be banned.

PimpiNbananas
PimpiNbananas

Does the Maximum M15 rating only applies to video games or does it apply to movies too? Does this mean 15 year olds could buy Pornos in Australia???

hazelnutman
hazelnutman

times like this when I'm glad I'm in North America.

sponge94
sponge94

What is the point of banning a game and taking out all of the good parts so it can be "unbanned". By the time you "unban" the game, gamers are not going to not want to play the it as much making it practically useless. The whole thing of banning games is ridiculous and stupid because if you want people to have fun playing videogames then you should keep it as it is and not "censor" it. If you cannot handle the gore in a game then just don't buy it, because i'm sure that it is a lot harder to ban one game from an entire country then to just tell people to not buy it if they can't handle it. I'm sure that Australia is a great place but banning games is just not right.

quietguy
quietguy

Kinda ironic that AUS bans and unbans, it just as Singapore bans & unbans Mass Effect for the 360 and yet both are followed by an incredibly ridiculous chirade of media circus.

bennie12
bennie12

It's a game based on a friggen magazine. It's stupid.

zinstro
zinstro

Wow hopefully this and manhunt 2 don't show a trend that is starting

abbnormmal
abbnormmal

Dear Australians, please transmit the coordinates of your OFLC office to us in America, and we will gladly deliver a tactical nuke to their location.

Proman84
Proman84

Meh, the game should not have been banned in the first place. And Australia obviously needs an additional and higher rating more more adult games.

Alkerio
Alkerio

Activision probably would have saved money leaving it banned. This game is crap.

PseudoFinrod
PseudoFinrod

Once again, how very generous of them to unban a game when they should not have the right to ban it in the first place! It is this kind of thing that makes me glad I live in the U.S.-sorry, Aussies, you've a lovely country that is great to visit, but I would never want to live in a place where the government could tell me what I could and couldn't play, view, and read.

SecretWasianMan
SecretWasianMan

This SoF kinda came outta nowhere imo. I wonder if its gonna be the black sheep of the series.

shadow9669
shadow9669

i don't know why the country's even bother banning games when in the end they end up unbanning them anyway.