Hell yeah! Harvester, the FMV game that’s simultaneously bizarrely atrocious and even more bizarrely fascinating, is now available on GOG.com … in its completely uncensored form!
Okay, censored, you say? If you’ve ever played the game (if you haven’t, go educate yourself), you’re probably wondering, “Just what the hell did they censor away from this game? So far, I’ve witnessed corporal punishment on school children with baseball bats, driven a single mom to murder-suicide by burning down her diner, shot and killed a paper boy for being a little bastard, and every time I go anywhere near the missile base I’m one smart-alec remark away from starting World War III.”
And I’ll tell you what they censored away: this scene above - “The Temple of Motherly Love.”
Okay, so they didn’t censor the entire scene away. But they did remove the FMV clips of the three little children biting huge chunks out of their mother. For some reason, the blood-soaked room and the plaintive, defeatist warblings of the mother moaning on about how motherhood is draining was okay. Taking a shotgun to the little tykes once mom’s done talking was also okay. But a close-up of some really unconvincing blue-screened gunk being chewed off a prosthetic leg? Oh, please, turn the channel.
And I repeat: this was the only thing cut from the European release. Everything else - and I mean every other deplorable, despicable, blood-soaked, perverted and horribly blue-screened atrocity you can commit in this game (and there are plenty) - were left in. And the game is borderline unplayable as it is, especially during the third disc when you’re loose in the Lodge and killing mad clowns and chessmasters left and right. So imagine how fucking cheated I felt when I reached this scene - which is one of the last scenes in the game - and found out I got ripped off of one tiny morsel of gore. Fuck, up to this point, a baby’s eye had melted out of its socket, a 6-year old girl was hung from the rafters by her mother, a mysterious chessmaster took a fucking battle axe to his own skull, and I can’t remember if “The Temple of Beauty” is before or after this scene, but say one wrong word to that bitch and she literally tears the fucking skin off her face. You’d think a couple of brats noshing on dear mama wouldn’t come as a surprise to the censors at this point?
Fuck it. It’s out and I urge every fan of kitschy horror to go download and play this. I called it “borderline unplayable” and, for the most part, it really does, in the parlance of our times, steer like a brick shithouse. But it’s also a crass guilty pleasure that keeps me coming back for more. No other computer game has spent so much energy trying to be scary and horrifying, and no other computer game has failed so spectacularly whilst simultaneously being hilarious as hell.
How’s that for a recommendation, eh? Go play Harvester! Play through it with a walkthrough if you have to (I did). It really is a phenomenal experience of a shitfest that no self-respecting misanthrope should do without.
Wasn’t the game intended as a Take That to people who say games are “murder simulators” and “promote violence”, and that’s why it’s so over the top and bizarre?
The fact that it got censored, and such a teeny bit, is kind of ironic.