Naughty Dog has confirmed that the PAL territory version of The Last of Us is missing some elements found in the American release. After weeks of questions from suspicious players, a community manager answered a private message from a user, and their response was posted on the Naughty Dog forums (mirrored on the PlayStation forums).
“The gore and violence ratings are subject to local regulatory boards in various countries, so the game must be slightly changed in order to accommodate those choices,” the representative wrote. “If you import the North/South American version, it will not be censored, but EU/UK will be.”
As a result of the censorship, the version of the game released in Europe, Australia and other PAL territories is missing certain elements of gore in multiplayer mode. Survivors cannot be dismembered, and there’s much less blood. The game’s violence is one of the reasons the game is so realistic, and a lot of players have noticed the differences.
Fans have raised questions as to why the censorship is extended to territories like the UK which have more liberal content guidelines than Germany and Australia. Some upset PAL territory gamers have voiced anger at the lack of forewarning of the censorship, noting that they would have imported an American copy if advised of the missing gore and violence.