I'm not usually the sort of gamer who's uncomfortable with excessive profanity or gore, but I found Sunset Overdrive's tone grating enough at points that I decided to give its swear filter a shot last night. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it actually makes the game a lot more charming in its own small way.
Basically, the way the profanity filter works is the same as all the immensely self-aware humour in Sunset Overdrive: by turning it into its own joke. So any time a character says "fuck," "asshole," or some variation therefore, you hear a tinny "bleep" instead. I captured a few examples that occurred during a side-quest that involved killing lots of scabs—the most sailor-like set of bad guys in the game by far—in the video above. The real action of the quest comes at the three-minute mark. That's when the scabs start yelling stuff like "what the [BLEEP] is that thing?!?!" See: I'm trying to scare them off a certain part of the map by wearing the disembodied head of a mutant I killed in the first part of the mission. It all makes sense with more context, trust me.
Now: you might be thinking that the "bleeps" don't actually stand out all that much, delivered as they are amidst and endless sea of explosions and brightly-coloured gore. And you'd be right—this isn't one of the most visible or immediately recognisable jokes in Sunset Overdrive. But that's precisely what I love about it. As I noted in my review, what annoyed me more than anything about the game was just how oppressively in your face the vast majority of its humour is. The little bleeps are a subtle change. But their very subtlety is what makes them charming.