UPDATE: Necrovision banned in Australia

WWI-era supernatural shooter shot down in Australia due to excessive violence, according to Classification Board statement.

When it comes to banning games, 2009 has been a fairly quiet one down under. Although last year saw games such as Shellshock 2: Blood Trails, Silent Hill: Homecoming, Dark Sector, F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin, and Fallout 3 refused classification (with several of those eventually making it back into the country after appeals and content changes), 2009 has seen no game raise the ire of the Classification Board. That is, until this week featured confirmation that upcoming PC first-person shooter Necrovision has been effectively banned.

With no R18+ rating for games in Australia, any game with content deemed unsuitable for the maximum MA15+ rating is refused classification, making the game illegal for sale in this country. Such a fate has befallen Necrovision, publisher 1C's take on the World War I first-person shooter, which sees players take on vampires, demons, and zombies, as well as the Kaiser's soldiers.

Our previous looks at the game found it to be a bloody shooter, but Australia's Classification Board has so far been unable to tell GameSpot AU exactly why Necrovision was refused classification in this country. We're expecting more detail from the Board, so check back with GameSpot AU soon for more updates.

UPDATE: The Classification Board has just released its decision for the refused classification stamp for Necrovision, and it seems that excessive violence was the culprit. According to the Board, the title contained violence which could not be accommodated under the MA15+ rating.

The Board specifically called out excessive blood spray and the ability to continue to inflict damage on bodies as key reasons for the banning. "When the player shoots an enemy combatant, a large volume of blood spray results and the enemy may be dismembered or decapitated. Injury detail is high with pieces of flesh seen flying from bodies when shot or a high level of wound detail visible on bodies. Post mortem damage occurs when bodies are shot resulting in blood spray, dismemberment and decapitation," the Board said in a statement to GameSpot AU.

In the meantime, check out our in-depth feature on Aussie game classification, Censory Overload.

Written By

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

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Discussion

73 comments
Smoolander
Smoolander

In other news, Australian gamers shrug their shoulders at this game being banned, because of how decidedly average it is.

EksaleOner
EksaleOner

Have the Australian Government - in all of their wisdom - not managed to realise that in banning Necrovision here, anyone interested will just download the game instead? In an effort to stop us playing video games, They're essentially promoting piracy. *facepalm* idiots.

Tyrling
Tyrling

@ gameking5000: If you can show me one flaw in the R18+ rating of video games that cant also be linked to the R18+ rating for movies then I sir will eat my hat, until that day the board of classification is biased and has no idea just how much damage they are doing by disallowing an R18+ rating... If only THEIR children bought GTA4 while they were unaware of they extreme violence and adult material... I for one know I don't want my 15 year old child playing a game where prostitution and gang land violence are its defining features...

Madcow_200
Madcow_200

I can see why it didn't make it with the Rating MA15+ but that just gives more cause for a new Rating of R18+ and just wonder if the new catch phase going around will help "Economic Crisis" It seems to me to stop this "Economic Crisis" is to spend money not to stop people spending money. If the Bureaucrats of the censorship board believe their jobs are safe. I Have News For them it is only as safe as the Government of the time. If enough People Speak up to the right people (Not Act Up) but Speak up then some things change! Madcow_200

smp13
smp13

Great, another one to buy from overseas. Wonder if they will be able to block via online access though?

aaronobst
aaronobst

Also @ Darkfall_05 Thanks for the petition link, I signed it. Heres hoping it makes a difference

aaronobst
aaronobst

As Grif said: "This is totally... totally... lame and not at all surprising which is also totally... totally... lame"

rockatanski
rockatanski

The same thing is going to happen to Necrovision as what happened to Silent Hill Homecoming. They will cut out the "blood spraying" factor and minimise on graphic effects so the entire game loses intensity. In other words, dumbed down in a pointless and fundumentalist mediocrity manner. All because of ONE old man and his little christian altar of family boys.

Payback7
Payback7

Bloody joke. Just bring out an R18+ rating and be done with it. Not having an R18+ rating actually goes against what their trying to achieve. They don't want kids playing the games, but these games that get banned and slightly modified are then sold to the very kids they were originally banned for. Sigh - thank goodness for international imports!

nutcrackr
nutcrackr

I'm guessing painkiller got away when the bodies disappeared after death, because that's the only real difference here.

Domzadom
Domzadom

sure, it looks like a pretty terrible game - but it makes up for it via its gruesome and detailed "blood spray, dismemberment and decapitation". *Sighs at Mr. Atkinson*

Chunky_Tomster
Chunky_Tomster

Im all for an R18+ rating but complaining about it and signing petitions is gonna do bugger all. Lets be realistic, as long as Atkinson is SA's Attorney General, there isnt going to be an r18+ rating.

Blackener
Blackener

i didn't think it looked that violent, but also looks like a bad game anyway

rockatanski
rockatanski

gameking5000, what are you talking about? He is the only Attorney General in Australia that refuses to pass the bill on R18. All the other Attorney Generals have agreed on it but the decision has to be unanimous.

gameking5000
gameking5000

@Chunky_Tomster Mr. Atkinson is not responsible for not have an R18+ rating system. Do not think that an R18+ rating system has not disadvantages...

Jellocube
Jellocube

Its a good thing that this game was banned, it looks really violent. Otherwise children could play it, and that would be bad! Last thing we need is a situation like America where 7 year olds can play ultra-violent games like this.

Chunky_Tomster
Chunky_Tomster

When will people learn that Michael Atkinson and the Classifacation board are two seperate entities. I am somewhat disturbed at why this game got bannned (ive seen a lot more violent games) but at the end of the day its the OFLC that decided that it was inappropriate not michael atkinson AND YES I KNOW ATKINSON IS THE ONE HOLDING US BACK FROM AN R18+ RATING SO PLEAZ DONT QUOTE ME AND CORRECT ME

Darkfall_05
Darkfall_05

@ acidfiend "not missing much"- Well thats good for you. Just dandy that this game does not interest you. But what about the next game that gets banned? It could be a great game. Do you want to be a babysat adult forever with restricted availability of games that other countries enjoy? * right... i dont know how old you are, and you might not even be aussie (no accusation implied) but... STAND UP AND PROTEST. SIGN THE PETITION! And say "I have a bloody opinion too Mr Atkinson!" [url]http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/r18plus-game-classification-reform.html[/url]

francisthompson
francisthompson

Looks alot like painkiller, with the voice overs of the brakness and the violence of fallout 3, doesn't seem so violent it shoud be banned though

jordan_johnson
jordan_johnson

"mrklorox Posted Apr 14, 2009 4:23 pm PT So jordan_johnson, because you aren't interested in the game, nobody in Australia should be interested in or allowed to play it?" What!? I was just expressing my opinion on the game. All I said was that it looked like a worse version of Painkiller, I never said I wanted it banned for that.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@"RebornJeremiah" The only non-religious nation in recent history I can think of was the Soviet Union, and even then, religion wasn't completely absent. Australia IS a religious country, as is the US, and the UK, and just about every other nation on the planet. I know it's depressing, but it's true. Anyway, more on topic, this isn't surprising. If you take a game published by 1C (in Russia, there's really no censorship on games... at all), and bring it to a country that enforces a very strict rating system, this is guaranteed to happen.

rockatanski
rockatanski

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

RebornJeremiah
RebornJeremiah

@ so_hai: I don't remember hearing Australian being a religious country. Your comment gotta be the stupidest I have ever heard.

3lusiv3
3lusiv3

So, they ban a PC game, those who want it have to pirate it, devs make little to no money on it, 1C goes out of business. Right on Censorship Board, right on.

MachineZ
MachineZ

Australia Needs R18+ classification for games. Movies do! WHY NOT GAMES? the average gamer age now is 35 ...... 35! wtf censors? wake up.

Ohno_Kateh
Ohno_Kateh

Us Aussies have to suffer, that is crap :(

Turbo-Evil
Turbo-Evil

That reason is pretty poor, you can do that on Fallout 3.

gameie1994
gameie1994

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUU

gameking5000
gameking5000

It'll be very interesting to see why. I don't understand why this game is banned whilst others are allowed

Tyrling
Tyrling

I'd say the worse part of the censorship in video games is actually quite idiotic. Take Fallout 3 for instance, the game was nearly banned in Australia because you used medication to heal and treat wounds that were named after real life medication. This is an idiotic position to take because now we have GTA: China town wars, a game where you buy and sell illegal drugs in order to score a profit, where all drugs are named after real life illegal drugs... I wouldn't care so much if this was somehow justified, but seriously, GTA is on the DS, shouldn't we at least be censoring video games for hand held consoles we expect majority of children to own if were gonna be banning an R18+ rating in video games? If anyone can explain this in a way that doesn't make our Classification board look incompetent I'd actually be interested in hearing it, thanks...

chaoscougar1
chaoscougar1

so_hai, so ignorant as well. way to bring religion into this in the worst of ways, with a silly incorrect comment...well done!

mrklorox
mrklorox

So jordan_johnson, because you aren't interested in the game, nobody in Australia should be interested in or allowed to play it?

so_hai
so_hai

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jordan_johnson
jordan_johnson

Meh, looked like a bad version of Painkiller anyway.

pandadude01
pandadude01

Send a letter to Michael Atkinson! I sent one and at least got a response. Sure, the reply was just an essay on why R18+ is bad, but maybe if enough people send letters, it will make an impression. Especially from people who live in SA. So go get writing!

mrklorox
mrklorox

Same story, different game. Atkinson, act like a man and allow the discussion. You won't because you know that if you do, the R18+ supporting side would win without effort. You can't convince somebody their country isn't mature enough not to have this basic liberty.

chakkerz
chakkerz

Chunky_Tomster: we seem to agree :) . There is something mildly disturbing out there about learning: Marcus J Ranum remarked that "if educating users [about security] was going to work, it would have worked by now". (Sadly i've lost the reference). Unlike computer security though as we grow up and have children, odds are we will be less likely to have little timmy play violent games... as far as i'm concerned i don't think i'll let my kid have their own computer until they are 16 either... Not with internet connection anyway.

Chunky_Tomster
Chunky_Tomster

IF I MAY QUOTE DARKFALL_05 "I have signed petitions previously regarding R18+, they didn't help because not enough people sign them. Why dont you sign this one and be done with it? SO STAND UP AND PROTEST. SIGN THE BLOODY PETITION! And say "I have a bloody opinion too Mr Atkinson!"" People are very quick to blame SA's Attorney General on this one but if you lived in SA like me than you would know that: 1. We arent going to get a new Attorney General any time soon and 2. He actually has done some good things for his community Gamers need to grow up and realise that yes he is really conservative (not that i like conservatism) and Video Games arent like movies. Games give you the role of being the killer, the drug dealer, the addict, the villan, the criminal. Sometimes games can go a little far with their immersion On the other hand we have our double standards with our ratings. Fallout 3 was banned because of drug names, DRUG NAMES!!!! WTF!? like 8 year old timmy is going to lose sleep over the fact that he is healing himself with morpheine. But i am somewhat angry at Mick Atkinson as he is being too conservative and doesnt realise why some games are being banned. If its a game like dark sector where its so far from realism its weird than that should not be banned but part of me hopes that six days in fullajuh gets banned as it is too soon and realistic to base something on a war where people have died for no reason which is still currently happening and fresh in our memeroies. You could argue that COD4 did this but that was fiction, 6 days in fullajah is based on something real. Anyway im getting sidetracked. Dont try to protect the children, Educate the parents. Educate the parents on what MA15 implies! Educate them on how dealing drugs in GTA4 is not suitable for an 8 year old. Thats my Opinion

chakkerz
chakkerz

Darkfall_05 "Another torrent download it seems". There are a few ways to look at that. 1) The game won't sell in Australia so you're not depriving them of income. 2) Every banned game has so far eventually made it here, and most of the time they haven't been that great. Fallout 3 is arguably the exception (i guess that's two points in that one). FO3 was for a naming issue of drugs (which is ok in WW2 games but not in alternate realities... i guess i'm trivialising... see Velvet Assassin). Mostly others are being refused for blood and gore. FO3 is one of the most violent games ... probably more so than Ninja Gaiden 2 was. Lots of blood sure, but no slow motion action to marvel at it... The general direction i was heading here was this: refusal for using a bad word (which accurately describes a drug) will get you banned. Dismembering won't. Showing (in cutscenes) torture is bad, unless it's a movie devoted to showing that (Saw *, Hostel) which includes the semblance of a story for only two reasons - a) regain composure, and b) marvel at how stupid the characters are since they really don't consider their own actions ... (but i digress). So to recap - drugs OK if not named for real world, not ok in the future/alternate universe, like movies OK when they are in a movie (I guess Pulp Fiction which depicts some real effects of drugs never mentions the name... but it's been a while). Violence is OK, as long as you don't ... go over the top (Silent Hill had some cuts where the scenes took too long). Not ok in cutscenes, but OK in movies that are merely a collection of torture scenes. And finally, i don't buy the interactivity issue: games are not more desensitizing because they are interactive. Nevermind that people in Australia don't have hand guns, or a lot of semi automatic riffles, so re-enacting isn't a likely result. Furthermore, protecting the kids isn't that big an issue: it's getting it through the parents heads that a lot of these games are NOT for KIDS. My dad explained TV to me very simply to me once: Nothing on TV is made for kids, it is made to get money from adults. (I paraphrase and translate, but the point is clearer that way). Kids don't have jobs, thus have no money thus can not BUY anything. Adults buy these things, often for their kids. But it isn't the game developers fault: They tell us quite openly that a game is gruesome, violent, photo-realistic, tries to be immersive, HD. These are not just buzzword they should tell the potential buyer something "You're going to live this, and it is meant to be disturbing" ... at least that was what i got from Bioshock and Resident Evil 5. These aren't games for kids. Hey, let's outlaw alcohol because parents supply that to their kids too!

Darkfall_05
Darkfall_05

[url]http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/r18plus-game-classification-reform.html[/url] I signed it. Thanks Tyrling for the heads up on that petition. Now only if every 18+ gamer in Australia would sign it, we might get somewhere. While I dont like having my name on there and my location, for public viewing. I think its required. I'm Australian, aged 26. And not just another user name on gamespot engaging in idle comments, that only promote the situation internally. * I have signed petitions previously regarding R18+, they didn't help because not enough people sign them. Why dont you sign this one and be done with it? SO STAND UP AND PROTEST. SIGN THE BLOODY PETITION! And say "I have a bloody opinion too Mr Atkinson!" [url]http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/r18plus-game-classification-reform.html[/url] To add the gopetition.com as a URL link. Enclose http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/r18plus-game-classification-reform.html with [url] the address without spaces [/url]

Tyrling
Tyrling

Darkfall that's exactly what I've said countless times and I'm glad to see more people understanding the greater threat here... By banning the R18+ rating the board of classifications has blindfolded the parents of impressionable children to the violent behavior depicted in games that is all too obvious to the intellectual. Take GTA for example, in all countries except Australia it is rated R18+, but given we don't have an R18+ it was rated MA15+ and allowed into Australia, not only putting a game far more violent and impressionable then one set in WW1 on our shelves, but giving parents the impression it is suitable for children aged 15, instead of only purchasable by legal adults... Instead of trying to play the Hero to adults unfitting to care for their own children, the Classification Board should take a closer look at the negative impacts allowing children to buy R18+ games is doing...

Darkfall_05
Darkfall_05

Who smokes weed? lots of people smoke mary jane! Legalising marijuana seems more probable, unless all aussie gamers get busy and devote protest, request an R18+ classification for the sake of everyone concerned. It will only make things better. For instance, I would agree on an R18+ classification for GTA4, due to its violence. And that would only be benificial to parents as they will know its not suitable for their 12 year old! MA15+ does'nt cut.

giort08
giort08

I really don't care anymore, Screw this countries crappy ratings system.

BLAU_the_Pwnr
BLAU_the_Pwnr

We really need the R-18+ rating in Australia because they keep on banning and changing games. It would also be better if their banning was consistent like Fallout 3 being banned not because of the high violence but because the drug names where real. How does this affect people like children are gonna get scarred because they know drug names. Fear was another example of inconsistency because of its banning then unbanning without so much as a change if the things in the game are bad enough to be banned it shouldn't be something that they soon decided was alright. All I wish is that Michael Atkinson would go away and leave people who want to enjoy R18+ games alone.

Weddum
Weddum

Pity, while this game is another WW shooter, this at least had a twist on it. Still though, I'll import if I find the demo enjoyable.