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Editorial: Forza Horizon 5 Heavily Censors Teardrops by Bring Me The Horizon

Forza Horizon 5

I’ve been playing a bunch of Forza Horizon 5, and I noticed Teardrops by Bring Me The Horizon has been heavily censored.

While I was working on getting our review out, it wasn’t until today had the chance to change my sound options to focus on the music. This is something I often do while playing anything that includes a licensed soundtrack.

Even though I have a few gripes about how the radio stations are implemented in the Horizon Franchise, Xbox first party games often have terrific choices for musical selections. Halo 2 famously used an instrumental of Breaking Benjamin’s somber nu-metal anthem Blow Me Away.

 

Crackdown included Celldweller’s industrial creeper track Frozen, and Quantum Break introduced to me one of my now favorite new bands – Worthing, England’s bass-led duo Royal Blood, fires off the attention grabbing Ten Tonne Skeleton to cap off the end of Act 4. Hell, even Gears of War 5‘s promotional material featured Evanescence’s incredibly haunting cover of The Chain by Fleetwood Mac.

Which leads me to how jarring this discovery was: Forza Horizon 5 attempts to be the most inclusive entry in the series, but in trying so hard not to offend anyone, they’re drawing attention to minor details that may have originally went unnoticed.

For me, this meant noticing that they’ve basically cut out a majority of the lyrics of Bring Me the Horizon’s absolute banger Teardrops. I’m going to post the lyrics to that song here, alongside the version included in the game, just to show you exactly what’s been changed and muted. I’ll also attempt to explain any possible offenses that could be perceived whether the song was altered to cover them or not.

 

 

[Intro]

(Spoken) Teardrops

[Verse 1:]
(Muted: We hurt ourselves for fun) – Trigger: Self-harm
(Muted: Force-feed our) – Trigger: Eating Disorder
Fear until our hearts go numb
(Muted: Addicted) – Trigger: Abuse
To a lonely kind of love – Trigger: Depression
What I wanna know…
Is how we get this stressed out, paranoid – Trigger: Depression
Everything is going dark – Trigger: Description of physical harm
Nothing makes me sadder than my head – Trigger: Depression

[Chorus:]
I’m running outta teardrops – Trigger: Crying/Sadness
(Muted: let it hurt till it stops) – Trigger: Self-Harm, Depression
I can’t keep my grip, I’m slipping away from me – Trigger: Psychosis/Mental Illness
Oh,
(Muted: God) – Trigger: Religion/Deity
Everything is so fucked (Radio edit: Messed up)
But I can’t feel a thing – Trigger: Numbness/Depression
The emptiness is heavier than you think – Trigger: Depression

[Verse 2:]
(Muted: I’m tripping on the edge) – Trigger: Drug use/Mental instability
(Muted: High as a kite) – Trigger: Drug use
I’m never coming down
And if you hear me…
Guess you know how it feels, to be alone – Trigger: Depression
What I wanna know…
Is how we get this stressed out, paranoid – Trigger: Depression
Everything is going dark – Trigger: Description of physical harm
Nothing makes me sadder than my head – Trigger: Depression

[Repeat Chorus]

[Breakdown]
(Muted: Suicidal, violent, tragic state of mind) – Trigger: Self-Harm/Violence
Lost my halo, now I’m my own
(Muted: anti-Christ) – Trigger: Religion/Deity
(Muted: Suicidal, violent, tragic state of mind) – Trigger: Self-Harm/Violence
Lost my halo, now I’m my own
(Muted: anti-Christ) – Trigger: Religion/Deity

[Chorus]

Teardrops…
Teardrops…
I’m running outta teardrops… – Trigger: Crying/Sadness
The emptiness is heavier than you think – Trigger: Depression

 

So, almost every single line in this song could be considered problematic – so why would they include a lyrical version at all? Why not just do an instrumental?

Normally I wouldn’t even bat an eye to a radio or clean edit of a song. Nonetheless I think it’s surprising to hear Teardrops muted for a large portion of it, but didn’t notice nearly as much censorship on Industry Baby by Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow.

I could make an entire argument about how it’s dumb to even censor any songs at this point, because the idea that words are bad is draconian and archaic.  It sure would be swell if game developers would stop trying to cater to a vocal minority who aren’t even likely to play their game.

 

This is especially true since they’ve already caught backlash for not allowing certain non-European names, or automatically naming your driver after the name on your Microsoft account. The latter has led to a ton of outrage after it deadnamed someone (using their name before they transitioned).

Does it hurt my feelings that the song is mostly muted? Am I driven to tears? No, but it’s jarring and the first time I noticed it. I pretty much failed the race I was in because it drew all of my attention to it. This is more of the unnecessary censorship people should be against, because it’s tarnishing a perfectly fine experience for an absolutely minuscule fraction of the possible (but not probable) player base.

 

Forza Horizon 5 is available on Windows PC (via Microsoft, and Steam), Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. The game will also be available for Xbox Game Pass for PC, cloud, and Xbox consoles.

This is an editorial piece. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of, and should not be attributed to, Niche Gamer as an organization.

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