Censorship is nothing new to gaming, with titles ranging from Mortal Kombat to Ice Climber having received slightly altered versions when being ported to different regions. In the past, fans hoping to play something other than their area's censored version were out of luck (unless they were able to import). This could have easily been the fate for Japanese fans of The Evil Within, but Shinji Mikami and his team at Tango Gameworks have devised a unique workaround that will let players see all of the game's content intact.
The Western versions of The Evil Within will feature unedited violence and gore, though the Japanese version has been toned down a bit in order to retain a much more marketable CERO D rating, which is equivalent to North America's Mature rating. Had these changes not been made, the game would have been labeled as CERO Z, which would limit its potential reach by a considerable amount (games like Grand Theft Auto had similar issues when trying to avoid the Adults Only rating here). In order to give Japanese players the ability to play the unaltered version, Tango Gameworks will be releasing a special “Gore Mode” DLC, which will take the game up to the CERO Z rating. In an interview that was posted yesterday, Tetsu Takahashi, the general manager of ZeniMax Asia, gave Famitsu a few additional details regarding this decision.
The Evil Within will have two types of CERO D and CERO Z, with both of them having passed the CERO inspections, but the retail version will only be done using the CERO D version. Those who pre-order the game can also get the CERO Z version's representation through the 'Gore Mode' DLC.
This statement makes it apparent that this 'Z' rated DLC will only be open to those who pre-order the title, which shouldn't be too much of a problem as plenty of Japanese fans have already done so. Takahashi also stated that this DLC can't be found on the game's disc, which will prevent more tech savvy fans from unlocking the restricted content through unofficial means.
This isn't the first time one of Shinji Mikami's titles have been censored before a regional release. The original Resident Evil featured a few small edits before being released in North America and various versions of Resident Evil 4 had decapitations removed. North American fans won't have to worry about any of this when The Evil Within launches for PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 21st.