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Resident Evil 2 Remake Has Some Gore Censored in the Japan Demo

Resident Evil 2's demo has the gore toned down in the Japanese version, easily spotted in a comparison video of the PC, PS4, and Xbox One game.

January 12, 2019

While here is hyped for the upcoming release of Resident Evil 2’s remake, it appears the Western version of the game will be the place to play. If the demo is any indication, the remake of Capcom’s legendary horror game has a lot of the gore censored out. This is all to be expected is known by fans of Japanese media, given their stricter CERO rating scale that prohibits more gory images.

The toned-down gore was first noticed by publication Dorkly’s Tristan Cooper, who present a side-by-side comparison of scenes from the US and Japanese demo of Resident Evil 2‘s remake:

If you have a weaker stomach and want to avoid the digital gore, here is a quick play-by-play. The first scene with the obvious distinction is one where protagonist Leon S. Kennedy examines the head of a dead police officer–while the US version is a direct shot, showing a concave and bloody carve-out of the head, the Japanese version pans away and the face is simply bloodied up.

In another scene, when escaping zombies, Leon is dragging away an officer who is split in half while alive. Meanwhile, the Japanese version instead shows the officer fully intact. Last but not least, we notice the self-censoring isn’t solely for living characters, with a lot of the blood effects toned down on a scene with a zombie being crushed.

This is a move that seems both weird and expected. On one hand, everyone who follows news of localization changes and the occasional censorship notices it is typically the opposite — Western media is often changing Eastern media. As a prime example, you can see Steam’s new take on games that include digital “child exploitation” and Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal censorship on the part of Sony. So hearing that something is Japanese games are being censored is at first jarring.

On the other hand, anyone who has played both Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and the Japanese Biohazard 7: Resident Evil knows that this has been Capcom’s MO for some time. Other outlets had previously reported the changes made to the Eastern version of the Resident Evil games, notably avoiding more gory images and scenes. It was announced earlier this year that there would be two versions of the game: Biohazard RE: 2 (which would be censored) and Biohazard RE: 2 Z Version (that will be more reflective of the US version). This demo is obviously taken from the latter.

Resident Evil 2 is heading to PC, PS4, and Xbox One on January 25, 2019. You can pre-order the game now on Amazon, or get a taste of the game early by playing the recently-released demo.

Update: Edited for accuracy on Japanese version.

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Lou Contaldi

Lou Contaldi specializes in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.

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