Over a decade since its original release, People May Fly’s 2004 title Painkiller has been removed from the list of banned games in Germany.
The title, which is now published by THQ Nordic, was on the ZE Index since its release due to its violence and use of Nazi symbols in the game. The original game and the Painkiller: Battle Out of Hell releases have both removed from the index.
The game, which was an early game to heavily use the Havoc 2.0 physics engine, sees you battling monsters across Purgatory to reunite with your wife, who has gone to Heaven, with the representations of Purgatory taken from various points in human history. The game is heavily inspired by the popular FPS games of the time such as Serious Sam, Quake and Unreal. There was also a 2006 port of the game to the original Xbox under the title Painkiller: Hell Wars.
"We will of course still be nurturing our extensive games portfolio, and will do what it takes to ensure that gamers can play our games in the future,” THQ Nordic said in a statement. "We can still celebrate “small” successes like this, even if more than a decade later!"
The list of banned games in Germany is populated by many games that have extreme violence or use Nazi iconography. Rockstar Games titles Manhunt and Manhunt 2 were both banned for violence, as was Techland’s Dead Island. Wolfenstein 3D and the Wolfenstein reboot were also banned for using Nazi imagery but recent Wolfenstein releases have not due to assets being adapted for the market.
A game will be banned automatically for ten years where the ‘Beschlagnahmung’, as it is known in Germany, will either be overturned or able to be appealed. Mortal Kombat is one such game that was removed from the list after a decade had passed.