The Wolfenstein: The New Order release in Germany was a little different from what everybody else got, for probably obvious reasons. The original enemy in Wolfenstein 3D, one of the first of the first-person shooters in history, was the Nazis. Germany doesn’t take kindly to being reminded of its shameful history involving that particular group.
German law states that any reference to Hitler and the Nazis for the purpose of glorification or propaganda is deemed illegal within the nation’s borders. German Criminal Code 86a, enacted shortly after World War II, is the law responsible, and it has been through several updates. In this code, “use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations” includes the Nazi Party and all related symbols, even vague ones. This means that even if it’s rumored to be supporting the National Socialist party, it cannot be displayed, reproduced or sold.
Naturally, similar edits had to be made in the Wolfenstein: The New Order release for German audiences.
Instead of Nazis, the German release of the newest Wolfenstein uses an enemy called “Das Regime,” and instead of the swastika, it uses the Wolfenstein logo, a wolf’s head, and various shapes to represent them. The result can be seen in the video above.
Unlike other forms of censorship, this time the blood and guts remain intact. That’s an element the US government might have a problem with, but that political war has been waged for decades now. Various politicians are always trying to eliminate the first person shooter genre entirely, as well as other gore-heavy games like Mortal Kombat, blaming the games for school shootings and other acts of violence. Other nations have had their peculiar censorship issues as well — such as Australia not allowing anything sexually deviant in a video game, a fact which caused Saints Row IV to be refused classification at least twice before release Down Under.
Even with all of the censored symbols and its enemy faction renamed, Wolfenstein: The New Order is still the same shooter we came to expect, even decades after its original Nazi-heavy counterpart. The censorship of the National Socialist party didn’t stop the game from receiving some relatively positive reviews, and it might be worth looking into.
[image via hdwallpapers]