Almost 20 years after its original release, German gamers can now legally play an unedited version of Valve’s Half-Life for the first time.
Polygon reports that the game has finally been removed from Germany’s ‘list of objectionable media’, which is compiled and managed by the Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Young Persons.
Half-Life has spent many years on the list alongside titles such as Red Faction and Doom, meaning they could not be publicly advertised or sold to anyone under the age of 18.
However, the game has now been removed from the list, and Valve has made an unedited version free to download in the region.
Until now Germany gamers were able to buy and play a heavily edited version of the shooter. Changes included replacing all of the humans with robots who spew oil instead of blood and clank mechanically when struck.
It’s not entirely clear why the game has suddenly been given the green light after all this time. However, it does appear to be part of a trend. Bethesda’s new Doom, for instance, was released last year without any edits.
Late last year it was confirmed that THQ shooter Red Faction would be released in Germany for the first time. Like Half-Life, Red Faction was originally placed on Germany’s ‘index’ of potentially harmful media in 2003 due to its then graphic 3D depiction of violence.
Even a resubmitted version, stripped of all blood, dead bodies and some sound effects, were not enough to sway the verdict.
Here’s a look at how the edited version of the game looked: