I'm not usually the sort of gamer who's uncomfortable with excessive profanity or gore, but I found Sunset Overdrive's tone grating enough at points that I decided to give its swear filter a shot last night. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it actually makes the game a lot more charming in its own small way.


Basically, the way the profanity filter works is the same as all the immensely self-aware humor in Sunset Overdrive: by turning it into its own joke. So any time a character says "fuck," "asshole," or some variation therefore, you hear a tinny "bleep" instead. I captured a few examples that occurred during a side-quest that involved killing lots of scabs—the most sailor-like set of bad guys in the game by far—in the video above. The real action of the quest comes at the three-minute mark. That's when the scabs start yelling stuff like "what the [BLEEP] is that thing?!?!" See: I'm trying to scare them off a certain part of the map by wearing the disembodied head of a mutant I killed in the first part of the mission. It all makes sense with more context, trust me.


Now: you might be thinking that the "bleeps" don't actually stand out all that much, delivered as they are in the midst and endless sea of explosions and brightly-colored gore. And you'd be right—this isn't one of the most visible or immediately recognizable jokes in Sunset Overdrive. But that's precisely what I love about it. As I noted in my review, what annoyed me more than anything about the game was just how oppressively in-your-face the vast majority of its humor is. The little bleeps are a subtle detail in comparison. Their very subtlety is what makes them charming. Also, I just think the silliness of self-censored dialog fits better with the otherworldly vibe of the game's colorfully absurd, dream-like setting.

Special thanks to Kotaku reader Alex of the Colossus for recommending I give this a try after reading my tips post yesterday. I encourage other Sunset Overdrive players to do so as well.


To contact the author of this post, write to yannick.lejacq@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq.

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