back to article Oz censor bans Soldier Of Fortune: Payback

Australian gamers looking forward to a fix of blood, guts and gore in Soldier Of Fortune: Payback will be disappointed - the country’s Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) has banned the game. The game, the third in the Soldier of Fortune series from publisher Activision, was due to appear in Australia for …


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  1. David Harper

    What kind of sicko plays games like this?

    More to the point, what kind of sicko writes games like this?

  2. sean


    i'd buy that :D

    when's it out in the uk?

  3. BoldMan
    Thumb Up

    She'll be right, no worries.

    Can't fault them on their decision after seeing the video. The amount of blood and gore is idiotic and I can't see any useful gameplay purpose so it simply exists to be gross. I'll raise my tinnie to the Aussies over this one!

  4. Jason


    I'm 20, I think I can deal with a bit of mindless violence, don't try and tell me what I'm not allowed to see.

    I wonder how many of the developers and testers went insane and killed hundreds of people whilst building the game....?

    We need an emoticon for furious, the :( face just doesn't quite cut it

  5. AndyB
    Thumb Down

    There IS a difference

    I have less of a problem with this game than with Manhunt 2. The big difference is that the actual object of the game in Manhunt is to commit murder in the most brutal and sadistic way, which is completely different to a war scenario.

    The fact is that Manhunt 2 allows gamers to act out something (brutal, sadistic murder) that, if done in the real world would shock and disgust almost anyone.

    Those that complain about being adult enough to decide for themselves about Manhunt 2 and condemn the BBFC for banning it might like to consider how they would feel about a game that allowed them to act out other revolting crimes.

    How about a game where the object is to rape as many women as possible?

    What about a game where the object is to brutally and sadistically murder children and babies (as opposed to adults)?

    Neither of the above would ever get made, let alone get past the BBFC, and quite rightly too. I just cannot understand why Rockstar think that the theme of Manhunt 2 IS acceptable.

    I'd be interested to know where those that think the BBFC are wrong with Manhunt 2 would, themselves, draw the line?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    15+ as highest?

    Then what about Larry games, are they banned too? Or others like "Lula", which are adult only games?

  7. Guy

    Might Appear as a defence soon.

    you see your honour because my client couldn't act out his violent fantasies in a safe manner on his playstation, he had to go out into the streets and get "payback" on the real world, so it really is the fault of the censors and not his psychopathic disorder

  8. Anonymous Coward

    @ David Harper

    Instead of getting all outraged, why dont you go hug a tree?

    Nothing wrong with violent video games.

  9. Anton Ivanov
    Thumb Down

    Colors are off and fluid flows are pretty lame

    I had a look at the demo videos on gootube and they are laughable.

    Granted, the developers have tried to make it disgusting, but the overall result is quite lame. The "blood" is shit-brown in colour, sprays evenly from any cut part instead of spraying from arteries and veins, there are no visible bones and the blood pressure does not drop if you cut off multiple appendages. The fluid flow is also rather lame and any spray is immediately absorbed on the surface wherever it is sprayed. Looks more like a badly drawn lame low quality cartoon than real "Killing fields" or "Apocalypse Now" style gore.

  10. Ian


    "What kind of sicko plays games like this?

    David Harper

    More to the point, what kind of sicko writes games like this?"

    God forbid a computer game ever be like 10% as gory as the likes of Hostel and Saw. God, even itchy and scratchy on the simpsons has stuff more fucked up than shown by that video.

    It seems as soon as anyone dare put blood in computer games nowadays there's uproar which frankly, is fucking stupid. To be honest it didn't even look worse than Gears of War's chainsaw parts and such so I'd be suprised it it got censored here too, but then I was suprised that the BBFC censored Manhunt 2 which again, is far less gruesome than the likes of Saw and Hostel.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh look the sicko troll got in first.

    I could argue that anything which gets closer to the true horror of combat, should leave a player with the impression that it's not a good idea to get into any such situation. It would be a lot better than giving players the impression that combat is not a gory business and there is hardly any blood.

    As long as it has the appropriate rating 18+ then I can not see any problem with it.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    I just saw...

    ... this film called Apocalypse Now that had GUNS!

    And people getting 'sploded!

    And Dennis Hopper off his tits on acid.

    And a guy shooting at a tiger! A TIGER! Tigers are endangered!


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How hard is going to be to get this game illegally in Oz? Drugs are illegal and they still get sold, censors only serve to push their moral view on other people.

    Has anyone considered that showing the horrors of war more graphically might teach impressionable youths just what the implications of war are and just what is happening to people every day in Iraq etc....?

  14. Anonymous Coward


    Anyhoo, that looks awesome. I remember playing the first one, which was great, specifically cos you could blow DIGITAL CHARACTERS arms etc off. Wow, 10 years later and I still haven't gone on a rampage. As for Oz, if the greatest rating they can give games is 15 then I guess that's in line with this being banned, I didn't realise that before now, obvious why GTA etc was banned there then.

    "What kind of sicko plays games like this?" - Awwww, did we have a sheltered childhood? Never seen a horror film before? Obviously you don't want to play games like this and guess what? You don't have to! However, to describe others as "sick" for wanting to seems awfully fascistic to me. Vote Conservative did you?

  15. Lickass McClippers

    Lack of enthusiasm...

    ...leaves me almost unable to comment. I can't see the vid from work, but at least one commenter suggests it's rather crap. I seem to remember the previous version of this game allowed you to blow appendages off too, so without reviewing the vid, I'm not sure what the fuss is all about.

    I wish the censor people would knob off sometimes, we don't need to be pampered and molly-coddled quite as much and as often as we are.

  16. Paul Talbot

    OMG the games are going to eat me!

    @AndyB, David Harper, etc.

    Stop being such dimwits. Most forms of entertainment, from books and plays to movies and games, depict things that would be unacceptable outside the realm of entertainment. So, Soldier Of Fortune and Manhunt 2 despict graphic murder. So what?

    I love playing games like this as a tension release. Bad day at work? A few dozen murders and I'm right as rain. It's no different to watching an action or horror movie, or reading the new Stephen king novel or putting on some hardcore metal with questionable lyrics - it's fantasy. I'm a well adjusted member of society and I don't need prudes like you telling me I can't buy Manhunt 2. Which I will, regardless of its banned status in the UK, just as I used to buy "video nasties" in the 80s.

  17. Kevin Peacock

    Hypocrisy compared to other media

    AndyB, you made comments such as "How about a game where the object is to rape as many women as possible?

    What about a game where the object is to brutally and sadistically murder children and babies (as opposed to adults)?"

    And what would be wrong with those as games? Other art forms exploit such topics. Even highly respected literature such as Lolita could be seen as paedophilia.

    The only difference here is that it seems to be accepted that adults can make their own minds up about the internet, books, music and films. But when it comes to games people can't seem to get past the preconception that games are only for children.

    So long as nobody is hurt in making these things, then let adults make their own decisions on whether to enjoy it or not.

  18. Rachel

    Done before

    This reminds me of the old game Rise of Triad. It did this same thing, except it is now pretty ancient and so quite a bit more cartoonish. They even had the body parts flying.

    All they need to do is go in with a censor option like that game did. You could set different levels for the gore and I believe you could password lock it.

  19. Gordon

    Well, actually...

    "How about a game where the object is to rape as many women as possible?"

    That's been done, unbelievable as it may seem - Custers Revenge, Atari VCS game system, about 1980.

    And I ain't joking. It was banned, eventually. No loss.

  20. Law


    Looks like a big improvement in realism compared to the earlier games... cool graphics. I'd buy it! Don't companies provide a "blood-level" option these days still - it used to be an option to turn gore off...

    To all you nay-sayers..... get a life! You would be the first to defend peoples rights to horror films, drinking, smoking, driving, boxing and other junk - so stop trying to wade in just because you don't see the appeal in realistic violence.

    I hate horror films, never saw the point in smoking, only drank lots at uni, and only drive to get to work... but just because I like a game with some blood and guts I'm the wierd one?? Whatever!! :p

  21. Spider

    aussie condemn filth?

    this from the country that gave us madmax? not to mention dame edna...

    ...slowly now... ITS A GAME. maybe a shit game. but a game nonetheless.

  22. Jacob

    @ andy B

    If it's a video game and not for real and the gameplay is good then I would probably give all of those examples you gave a try. (heck I`m sure there are rape games already. the japanese create some bizaar games)

    I may not like them but in the end it should be my choice to decide what to play.

    As long as it doesn't hurt anyone, what do you care and who are you to decide what I can and cannot play.

    In the end games are based on fantasies and thoughts.

    In fact since you gave those examples the thoughts must have crossed your mind otherwise you wouldn't have been able to sum them up.

    Does that make you a psycotic child killing rapist? I would think not. You, just as everyone else here (I hope) know where the lines of reality and fiction are.

  23. Greg

    @David Harper

    Me. I play games like this. If that makes me a "sicko," then tough. I'm going to play it anyway. I've played Carmageddon, Postal, Soldier of Fortune, God of War, Psi-Ops, Unreal Tournament, etc, etc. Am I violent? Nope. Am I going to keep destroying digital representations of real-world forms? Yep. Know why? It's fun.

    I'll quite happily blow a digital character's head off, or stab them in the eyeballs, then rip their limbs off, savage what's left, set fire to their corpse, and throw it at someone else. I'll use their severed limbs to beat people over the head. I'll quite happily cut a digital someone in half, or rip them inside-out. And I'll be laughing like a Bond villain the entire time.

    Then I'll turn the PC off, buy a bunch of roses, and take my girlfriend out somewhere nice.

    Being horrendously, horrifically, nauseatingly violent in computer games doesn't stop you being a perfectly ordinary person in the real world. It's all about having the power to distinguish between the two. If you don't have that, well, you're probably a) a moron and b) nuts anyway, and you're going to do something stupid with or without the help of computer games.

  24. Lawren
    Thumb Up

    Good lord!

    How dare a company develop a game that shows blood and gore WHEN YOU'RE SHOOTING PEOPLE?! I personally think it would be way better for the mental health of youth everywhere if we sanitized death to make us feel better--maybe rose petals should come out of bullet wounds instead?

    If we can't allow those under 15 (assume that's what the rating's for?) to see death as it actually is (again, I assume--never seen anyone die, personally, let alone from gunshot wounds), how the hell can we allow them to see a clean and happy version of death? Or even as important, if they could set up a new rating sceme, who WOULD they allow to play this game?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not for banning games at all, and the utube video's got me seriously considering a PS3. I just think part of instilling a sense of responsibility has to do with allowing people to see what life is actually like.

  25. Tom

    Why not...

    Why can't they just do a Carmageddon and replace the people with zombies, then 5 minutes later, leak a blood patch on the Internet that allows people to convert the game back to it's full bloody glory. Censors don't seem to mind as much when it's the undead being butchered, and honestly, all they'd have to do is change the skins for the characters and change the colour of the blood to green.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    going underground...

    Welcome to bit-torrent ladies and gents. If the game maker is smart they'll have a blood splatter slider which could be locked for Oz, although I'd be highly amused if a subsequent patch could unlock it ;)

  27. cor
    Jobs Horns

    @Anton Ivanov

    You scary.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this that bad?

    I saw countless WWII war movies as a kid where the nature of war was toned down dramatically... then Saving Private Ryan comes out and within the opening 15 minutes I was left sickened and shaken by what I saw...

    Why? Because it presented a realism to war that had never been shown before.

    This game might not be "realistic" in all that it protrays, but it is a step closer than a game where grenades and 60 mm slugs do no visible damage whatsoever.

    I'd say that the more realistic a game of this nature is, the less glorified the violence is...

  29. Jon Green

    Heaven forfend...

    ...that people might actually see the consequences of using high-powered weapons in combat! They might start to think, despite all they've seen in Hollywood blockbusters, that guns maim, that their targets might not die immediately but suffer protracted deaths in horrific pain, or that bodies spray blood and tissue when parts of them are blown off ("traumatic amputation", as the medics have it). Worst of all, they might start thinking that guns are neither good nor the solution to every problem.

    Thank goodness the censors are here to help maintain our nice, safe delusions.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: 15+ as highest?

    It appears that the Australian authorities have come to the conclusion that video games are only for children - hence, there is no need for an 18+ certificate.

  31. Matt

    ero gaming

    "How about a game where the object is to rape as many women as possible?"

    Not big on Ero-Gaming then? Good times good times.

    I remember one game where you had to stalk a selection of girls finding various items that you could use in the eventual mongoling. The maid was without a doubt the best girl - o yes o yes.

    Dogs? Yeah, Loli? Yeah, Dick girls? Yeah, Corpses? Yeah, Woman with no legs and arms hanging from hooks begging for more? Yeah, Crazed tentical mosters? Yeah. Maids, Catgirls, Doggirls, Androids, Aliens, Nurses, Nuns, Teachers, Soldiers, Magical Girls, Childhood friends, Best mates sisters - You name it I've played a game where you can shag it (both happily and unhappily.) You know what girls if they feel inclined can play a large range of games where they can torture, rape, mongle, have happy love affairs, so on and so forth with guys.

    Although at the moment I'm only playing through nice happy romance Ero titles. Heart De Roommate was so sweet, even though the final ending was very very sad.

    I remember one story line in one game where these guys try and rape your girlfriend maaaan I wanted to kick the shit out of the guy, yeah I know emotional reaction to games - shocking. Shame most of the translated stuff is junk (I would recommend A drug that makes you dream, Planetarion, Heart de roommate, true love and season of sakura)

    Anyway just had to mention that it's been done.

  32. Marco

    Oh yeah, art!

    The violence in these games does not serve the purpose to drive a point across - it is only in there for its own sake. Anyone comparing them to "Apocalypse Now" or "A Clockwork Orange" is ridiculous.

    So, do yourself a favor, have a hard, strong look at yourself and ask yourself why, to relase your tension, you need to play games whose only objective is violence.

  33. tim chubb


    who cares, frankly, SOF2 was so badly designed it put me off the franchise forever. every version of the game has allowed you to target body parts, and i have to say it is damn good fun to blow a knee cap off, watch the sprite hop about then go in with a head shot

    much like the self made oap rampages i go on in gta (its the perfect antidote to the poison that courses through your veins after trying to go anywhere on a sunday)

    the point is though its a game, 20 years from now the outrage caused today will be as laughable as the outrage caused by splatterhouse 2, or mortal kombat, or ne of the other video game nasties from the good ol 8 and 16bit days

    and as has been said several time before, the violence in a game will never compare to the violence in in a film, and if it ever does i want to play that game because it just shows how quickly the game has gone from being a game to art. end of the day show me anybody who can say that computer games were the sole motivation for going on a rampage. it wont it never will be, but it will be eternally dragged out as a comfort blanket for the parents of whoever the next one is, who cant handle the fact that there inability to parent (you know that old fashioned concept of saying no, enforcing boundaries, knowing who and what they are up to) will be a thousand times more damaging, than any unsuitable game or film they have allowed them to play or watch

    i mean was there any need to see someone get ham stringed in hostel?

    or what about cannibal holocaust, the human violence may be laughably bad, but the stuff done to the animals was real, see a turtle get decapitated or a monkey have its face cut off? n

    i believe in classification, but not outright censorship [unless its undeniably illeagal, like child porn], i may not like it, or agree with it, but i have the power to remove myself from a situation where i feel uncomfortable or morally challenged. in fact the only thing i feel that should be censored, is peoples need to censor. if you have the mental capacity to decide if its safe to cross the road, you have the capacity to follow your moral compass, not inflict your self upon the rest of us.

    and who the hell coined the phrase moral majority?

    surely its the other way arround?, being a minority of fachists who inflict there views upon the world, with the indifferent response by the tv brained, unable to make a decision unless its binary (yes/no, black/white) majority being taken as a sign of acceptance?

    mary whitehouse may you rot in hell!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Well done, then

    Good to know that Australian adults are confident in letting their government tell them what's acceptable for them to see and hear.

    I suppose none of those lauding this decision would have any problem with, say, me and three of my friends deciding what movies you get to watch, as you clearly have no issues with a similarly randomly selected group deciding about your video games.

    The willingness of people to let others tell them what to think is absolutely staggering.

  35. Tim Bates

    Who cares....

    OFLC can ban it for all I care. I wouldn't play it anyway... It's way too unrealistic for my liking.

    The blood spray in itself doesn't worry me, but the fact that it's completely retarded and unrealistic is very distracting. The arms shot off totally by a bullet are a bit confusing too, especially when direct hits with rockets/grenades seem to just launch an intact body.

    The reason we don't have a higher rating than MA15+ is because most people don't see a point. It would only be 18+ after that, which is 3 years difference.

    Besides, most "mature" adult gamers aren't that interested in games that base themselves on getting a rating that high.

  36. Gower

    uninformed decisions

    its pretty dumb to ban this game because it is a game.

    Ahhh custers revenge... look out stick figures shagging!

    @ Wiernicki -chill out bro same happens in US and UK even more so I'd say don't forget where mad max, romper stomper, and other ultra violent greats come from

    @ Harper -did you happen upon this article thinking it was an open source piece, and pop a clasp off your jesus sandal in outrage? opps look out I think you spilled some of your delciious pulse based desert on your eco friendly brown shorts.

  37. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Money is king

    Rest easy, my fellow gore-lovers, the holy righteousness of the intellectually-challenged will not keep this wonderful piece of digital joy from being sold or bought.

    It doesn't matter what the joyless minority thinks, what matters is that there is taxes to be made, and made they will be ! So go on having fun, fellow gamers, heed not the feeble rantings of those who live in a lesser world.

    Games rule !

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to take my wife out to lunch.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Missing Command

    Which key allows you to lick the brains off the wall ? I can't find it.

    Do the censors have a category for shite soaps ?

    When is SAW IV coming out ?


  39. James Henstridge

    Re: 15+ as highest?

    Yes, the 2004 Larry game was refused classification too. You can do searches on the OFLC website:

    While MA15+ is the highest rating available to games, movies may be classified R18+ or X18+ (although it is illegal to sell or rent X18+ material in most states).

    Most people I know would be happy if the R18+ classification was made available to games. Usually games and DVDs are sold at the same shops, so they should already have procedures in place to limit access to R18+ movies. It should be trivial to apply those same procedures to games.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    I must confess I loved the original SoF on the PC, we ran server for many months and it was a very funny game (that should get me a few comments in CAPITALS calling me sick) being able to remove a leg with the shotgun then get up close and personal with it and remove their head!

    Perhaps if they are really bothered about saving us from seeing gore they could ban us from serving in the army then I wouldn't have to bugger off and shoot at people for real ;-)

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