Borderlands 2 may have blood, but it’s nothing compared to the skull popping, limb severing, butcher shop of a game that Borderlands 1 is, the freshly released sequel was slightly censored so that the game could receive an international release without bans from countries like Japan, Germany, or Australia (Australia’s 18+ rating wont be implemented until 2013).
So naturally the internet is aflame with angry fan complaints, some even stating that they won’t play Borderlands 2 until the good old fashioned gore makes a return via patch, a little radical, but they sort of have a point; the most convincing and grounded argument comes from a petition on the matter:
Although violence in the real world is a horrible thing…It was, in fact, an important part of the stylized feel of Borderlands 1.
The rest of the petition goes on about compromising artistic vision, kneeling to pressure from anti-violence groups, and other assumptions I don’t think apply.
You see, the original Borderlands shipped with censored violence for certain countries, which is unfortunate but was out of Gearbox’s control. Fast forward to just before Borderlands 2‘s release, and Gearbox was advertising on their blog that Borderlands 2 would be “uncut all over the world” so, instead of neutering Borderlands 2 in certain countries, the misleading developer toned the game down across the board (quite likely at 2K Games request to boost sales in the earlier mentioned content-safeguarded countries).
There is hope for a patch though, Gearbox’s CEO Randy Pitchford stated before the petition was created that the possibility for a patch is on the table, and encouraged the community to debate the idea on their forums.
Not having a guy’s head explode, or arm fly off when you shoot them isn’t a game breaking loss, but the inclusion of extreme gore certainly adds to the aesthetic and twisted charm a title carries, so in essence this is an overall presentation loss rather than just another immature cry from the gaming community.
Of course presentation is all subjective – do you prefer the original brutish bloodshed of the first Borderlands, or does the sequel’s tamer look suit you just fine?