Sony appears to be trying to band-aid its corporate karma by apologising to the Church of England after setting one of its most violent games within Manchester cathedral.

Resistance: Fall of Man represents "an alternate version of the 20th century" that was the first million-selling gamefor the PlayStation 3.

In the game World War II never happened because there was no Nazi enemy. Instead humanity is threatened by brutal alien invaders, the Chimera. In 1951, with Britain the last outpost of humanity in Europe, the US finally abandons its isolationism and begins a counter-attack.

Developer Insomniac Games describes the alien blaster as "lively", "sassy" and "gritty" - "in many ways defined by over-the-top weaponry".

Trouble is, the developers set one level of the ultra-violent game in a place startlingly similar to Manchester Cathedral. The controversy was such that even former British prime minister Tony Blair was forced to condemn the game in parliament.

Cathedral leaders accused Sony of the "desecration" of Manchester Cathedral, referring to one scene which depicts a shoot-out in which dozens of Leapers are killed during a bloody gun battle inside the cathedral. Officials described the use of the building as "sick" and sacrilegious and stated Sony did not ask for permission to use the cathedral. They have demanded an apology and the removal of the game from shop shelves - otherwise legal action will be considered.

The cathedral’s spokesman, David Marshall, told reporters that the cathedral had received many supportive e-mails for its stance and that they intended to make several demands of Sony. These include an apology and a substantial donation, complete withdrawal of the game or modifying the segment featuring the interior of the cathedral, and financial support of Manchester groups trying to reduce gun crime in the city.

No word yet on compensation or changing the game, so here's a suggestion: how about Sony installs a PSP in the back of all Manchester church pews, thus drawing the city's youth into a place of moral guidance and therefore stopping all non-Christian gun activities?

See also:

Church of England slams Sony PS3 game

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