Under Germany law if enemies are "human-like then you have a problem," said Reichert. Zombies are of course former humans, and hacking at them post-death is "mutilation of corpses." Big no-no.
Continuing to attack an already 'dead' Undead though is punished in-game. In fact any attack is 'punished' by way of losing durability, forcing us to strike conservatively.
"We have no censored version of the game," Sebastian Reichert told , "so we cannot release it in Germany. It feels f**king awkward to have one of the most successful games in years and nobody in your country knows it."
"There are laws that prohibit violence against human-like characters," he continued. The nature of the enemies are irrelevant, "as long as they're human-like then you have a problem. For Dead Island in particular it was a problem that you could attack the zombies when they are dead, because that's mutilation of corpses."
"We even punish the player if he does it," he explains, "because if the player tries to stab and slash everything that lies around him, his weapon will break and he's fucked. We're not even rewarding him, we're punishing him for that stuff."
Reichert has a bone to pick with the Germany authorities as Microsoft and Epic Games' Gears of War 3 had no trouble getting to retailers, despite the Locust clearly being humanoid.
"At the moment I'm really confused that you can buy Gears of War 3 in stores in Germany, but not Dead Island. Because where's the difference?" The primary enemy in GOW 3 are the locust and they're "human-like, and the things you do to them... ah, they really have nice finishers! That flamethrower finisher, he rams the flamethrower into the body, pulls the trigger and the flames come out of every body part. That's in stores."
Sebastian Reichert 'hopes' Germany gamers are being savvy consumers and getting hold of Dead Island anyway. Dead Island: Riptide releases on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC April 23rd in the US, 26th in EU; it's a direct sequel.