Controversial videogame gets OK from U.S.

British regulators Monday banned a toned-down version of the horror videogame “Manhunt 2,” saying the changes didn’t go far enough to alter the game’s “bleakness and callousness of tone.”

In June, Take Two Interactive suspended plans to distribute the game, because it was rejected by the Entertainment Software Rating Board in the United States and by regulators in Europe. Two months later, the company is planning to release a revised version.

The game, made by Take Two’s studio Rockstar Games, allows players to assume the role of an escapee from a mental institution who goes on a killing rampage.

In the U.S., the less-violent version eventually was accepted by the ESRB and received a Mature rating, meaning it is appropriate for consumers age 17 or older. It will ship Oct. 31.

But the British Board of Film Classification said it was dissatisfied with the changes, which included blurring out some of the game’s execution-style kills.

“The impact of the revisions on the bleakness and callousness of tone, or the essential nature of the game play, is clearly insufficient,” BBFC director David Cooke said in a statement.

Cooke said it was up to Take Two and Rockstar Games to resubmit a further edited version. Rockstar Games said it would appeal.

“The changes necessary in order to publish the game in Britain are unacceptable to us and represent a setback for videogames,” Rockstar said in a statement. “The BBFC allows adults the freedom to decide for themselves when it comes to horror in movies, and we think adults should be similarly allowed to decide for themselves when it comes to horror in videogames, such as ‘Manhunt 2.’ “

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