On the left, Half-Life Marines in the original release, while on the right, as robots in the German version | Image: MarphitimusBlackimus

The Half-Life that was released in Germany in 1998 was a little different. Instead of marines there were robots, and instead of dying horribly the scientists would just kind of sit down and be sad. Well chin up lads, in 2017 Germany’s Half-Life is now as human and violent as everyone else’s.

An official update released for the game on Steam called Half-Life Uncensored does just that, giving German players access to the same game that everyone has been enjoying without robots for almost two decades now.

As you’ll see in the video above, some of the other changes to the original German version included the removal of gore (with body parts replaced by...metal springs) and bodies disappearing only seconds after they’d been killed. Those censored tweaks will be removed by the update, and players won’t be given the option to toggle or restore them once its installed.

Germany has a long and complicated relationship with objectionable content in video games. In 2010 there were calls for the outright ban of violent games in the wake of a mass shooting, which were ultimately refused in favour of an age rating system, while federal laws against the display of Nazi imagery have sometimes resulted in some extreme edits to popular action and strategy games. Older readers might even remember the way Left 4 Dead’s box art had to include a paper insert covering the rotten thumb.

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German players can download the update here.