In Japan, the amount of gore in The Evil Within (titled “Psycho Break” in that territory) is toned down. Creator Shinji Mikami previously explained how “Gore Mode” DLC will allow players in Japan to experience The Evil Within as it is in the West, but even with this DLC included, the level of gore isn’t quite as high as in the West. Famitsu gives us a closer look at the comparison.
The top image is a look at the Western version of The Evil Within, and the bottom shows the Japanese version of the game, called Psycho Break.
While the Japanese version might look a little extreme with a bunch of innards showing, the top image shows a form of decapitation, which actually gives it a higher maturity rating in Japan, as any form of decapitation bumps the CERO rating to a CERO Z, which is the equivalent of our rated M or 18 and over.
If you’re wondering why they couldn’t just include both options as part of the regular game, in Japan, a game rated CERO D game (ages 17 and over) can get wider release and proper advertisement, unlike CERO Z games. Having the gorier version available through DLC allowed for the game to be released at retail as a CERO D title.
This isn’t the only case where a Japanese version of a game has been censored. All versions of Resident Evil 4 in Japan did not show decapitation, nor Leon getting his head chopped off, among other gory deaths. This applies even to the Japanese CERO Z version of the game, which was a GameCube-only release.
Here’s a look at some more comparisons, with the top images showing the Western version and the bottom showing the Japanese version:
You’ll notice that, even with the DLC, the Japanese version is still a little toned down. If you look closely, the Japanese versions show bodies fully intact, whereas the Western version of The Evil Within shows bodies getting blown into pieces.
The Evil Within is currently available for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.