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Resident Evil 7 Isn't Quite As Gory In Japan

There's more to Resident Evil 7 than just blood and guts, and the spooky atmosphere goes a long way towards making the latest entry in Capcom's long-lived survival horror franchise one of the scariest video games in years—especially in VR. Good thing, too, because thanks to some regional censorship, fans in Japan are playing a version Resident Evil 7 that has had almost all of its gore removed.

A side-by-side comparison by the

Censored Gaming YouTube channel

shows exactly how tame the Japanese version of Resident Evil 7 is, especially compared to the international release. In one scene, Capcom's developers removed a gruesome decapitation. In another, they replaced a severed head with a photo of the victim. A severed hand becomes far less disturbing when the blood is removed, and a key that American players have to grab by reaching inside a corpse is lying peacefully next to the body in the Japanese edition, making it easy to retrieve the item without getting your virtual hands dirty.

This is the "Grotesque" version of the game, too, which carries a CERO Z rating (roughly equivalent to the ESRB's "A," or adults-only, ranking). According Censored Games, the normal Japanese version of Resident Evil 7 has been cut even further.

Censoring horror games is a pretty standard practice in Japan—Suda51's bloody action game Lollipop Chainsaw and Bethesda and Tango's survival horror title The Evil Within received similar cuts, although fans of the latter could download

special DLC pack

that unlocked the game's full, uncensored content.

Bloody or otherwise, Resident Evil 7 is one of 2017's first must-play games—retailers have sold over

three million copies

of Resident Evil 7 in the game's first couple of weeks on store shelves—and seems to have given the once-stagnant franchise a new lease on life. It's good timing, too: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, supposedly the last entry in the long-running (and only

tangentially related

) film series, debuted at the end of January, making video game consoles the only place where fans will be able to find new Resident Evil content for the foreseeable future.