An uncensored version of Half-Life is now available for the first time in Germany, a country that has a history of censoring games. People living in Germany can now pick up the uncensored game for free on Steam right now.
This uncensored version replaces the original when it’s installed (via Polygon). Some things to note is that your progress will remain intact and you will not be able to revert to the original, edited version after making the switch.
Up until now, Half-Life was on the list of games considered to be potentially damaging to the country’s youth. Red Faction and Fallout 3 were also removed from the list in recent years. Additionally, the German government lifted its ban on Doom in 2011 after 17 years.
It’s not immediately clear what drove the decision to remove Half-Life from the list this week.
In 1998, Valve boss Gabe Newell explained in an interview with Link that the edited version of Half-Life for Germany replaced blood with oil and made human characters effectively robots (“body parts are replaced with mechanical components like springs and cogs”) to comply with Germany’s rules.
Some games remain edited in Germany. For example, in the German version of Wolfenstein: The New Order, Nazis are called “The Regime” and no Swastikas are shown.