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Wolfenstein has first German release with the New Order

Wolfenstein gameplay
The Nazis in the German version are replaced with a force called The Regime

The cult game Wolfenstein, in which players battle a Nazi regime, has been released in Germany for the first time.

Developers have had to censor the game to comply with German laws banning the use of Nazi imagery.

The publishers said that, as in previous instalments, the PC version of the game would be geo-locked to exclude players in Germany.

The publishers are not thought to have placed similar restrictions on the versions for other platforms.

Pete Hines, the head of PR for Wolfenstein publisher Bethesda Softworks, confirmed Tuesday's release of the New Order was the first time a Wolfenstein game was being sold in Germany.

He said: "In Germany, we've removed all Nazi symbols and references. Unlike films and other works of art, video games in Germany are forbidden to use such symbols and references as they are classified in Germany as toys and not media art."

The illegal display of Nazi imagery is punishable by three years in prison in Germany. The game is also being censored in Austria.

Highly sensitive

The series, which has been running since 1981, is highly sensitive in Germany because it features imagery that clearly evokes Adolf Hitler's regime. The version released on 20 May is set in 1960 and imagines that the Nazi leadership were victorious over the Allied forces in World War Two.

The player takes the role of an American war hero who leads a counter-offensive.

Speaking last month, Mr Hines revealed the censorship of the German version, saying: "They have a thing about Nazis there."

In an interview on gaming website Gamespot he said Germany was "a little touchy" about Nazi-linked imagery, adding: "And so [the Nazis] are called The Regime in Wolfenstein in Germany... it's completely stripped of all the constitutionally banned content."

Wolfenstein gameplay
The latest Wolfenstein game has no multiplayer feature

The developers faced questions from fans who were surprised that the latest instalment has no multiplayer feature.

Asked why, Mr Hines said: "For a lot of other publishers, that would probably be a trickier question to answer, but Bethesda stands defiantly in support of single-player stuff.

"Fallout 3, Skyrim, Dishonored, Evil Within, Wolfenstein, we believe that if multiplayer fits and it's part of what you're trying to create, you should absolutely do it. But, if it's not, for God's sake leave it out. Stop shoehorning into stuff that has no business being there."

He added that the latest version of the game would be a departure from the "mysticism" that was prevalent in the previous game.

Speaking to a live audience on the Gamespot website, Mr Hines compared the Wolfenstein series to the Batman films, saying that the "grittier" New Order instalment was the "Dark Knight reboot of Wolfenstein".

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