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Hotline Miami 2: Wrong NumberHotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is an upcoming 2D top-down action video game, developed by Dennaton Games and published by Devolver Digital. A sequel to Hotline Miami, Wrong Number takes place before and after the events of Hotline Miami, and focuses on the aftermath of the protagonist Jacket after killing off the entire Russian mafia on the behalf of mysterious messages on his phone. Hotline Miami 2 will be the final game of the series.
GameplayThe gameplay is mostly identical to that of the first game, but Hotline Miami 2 will feature new different difficulty modes (easy, classic and extreme), which can only be unlocked when the player finishes a level with a ranking of C+ or higher. In "extreme" mode, enemies will be more difficult to take down and some abilities may be taken away from the player, such as "enemy-locking". Thirteen characters will be playable as opposed to just Jacket and Biker in the first game; each will have their own interpretations as the story unfolds. The masks mechanic will be featured again with some older masks making a return, while new masks will offer new and exciting abilities and playstyles. Each character will also have their own special abilities or perks; Corey can do a roll and dive under enemy gunfire, Mark can dual wield two sub-machines guns and can spread his arms to shoot left and right simultaneously, Alex and Ash use a chainsaw and a gun respectively.
A level editor has also been announced, but will be added later in spring 2015 after the game's release.
StoryHotline Miami 2 will take place before and after the events of the original, focusing more on the latter. The game suggests that Jacket's interpretation is the canonical ending of the first game. In this version of events, Jacket is unwittingly manipulated into killing off the leadership of the Russian Mob by a neo-nationalist organization known as 50 Blessings. After the previous game's ending, Jacket was captured by the authorities and put on trial, and his exploits have achieved national infamy.
The game features multiple points of view that take place at different points in time. The main characters revealed thus far are:
- The Pig Butcher: A fictionalized version of Jacket in the slasher/exploitation film "Midnight Animal," portrayed by a famed actor named Martin Brown who is in the throes of a mental breakdown.
- The Fans: A gang of murderous vigilantes who view Jacket as a hero and try to emulate him. Playable fans include Tony (Tiger Mask), Mark (Bear Mask), siblings Alex and Ash (Swan Masks), and Corey (Zebra Mask). Notably, Alex and Corey represent the first playable female characters in the series.
- The Detective: A police detective named Manny Pardo who is investigating Jacket's murders. He is close friends with The Writer.
- Jake: A large man with a choice of snake masks. He is an unwitting member of 50 Blessings, like Jacket, though he views his mysterious employers with contempt and desires to find the truth. He is found dead in the original game, and his story in Wrong Number serves as a prequel.
- The Henchman: A Russian mobster with no masks, similar to The Detective and The Writer. His segments start in the past, presumably during the events of the first game. Seems to be held in high regards by the Russian Mob Boss, but wants to get out of the game.
- The Writer: A journalist named Evan investigating the story behind Jacket's murders alongside The Detective. Contrary to the other characters, The Writer doesn't seem to outright kill people; many of his attacks are nonlethal unless the player performs a 'finisher' on a downed enemy. Repeated violence causes his vision to turn red and his attacks to become deadly. Normally, however, The Writer will unload any firearm he picks up and will aim to disable his opponents, usually by beating them with blunt objects.
- The Soldier: A soldier with an unknown name, leaked in a screenshot. He wears glasses, and sports a beard. He is also the character pictured on the cover of the game.
ControversyThe demo shown at Rezzed and the 2013 Penny Arcade Expo featured gameplay in the tutorial that had players appear to attempt to sexually assault a woman as the Pig Butcher. The player character lowered his pants and straddled the woman before the scene is interrupted by the director of Midnight Animal, revealing the whole sequence to be fake.
Video game journalists, including Cara Ellison of PC Gamer, spoke out against the usage of sexual assault imagery. In response, Dennis Wedin stated that Dennaton cut the scene from the demo, and that they were reconsidering putting the scene into the final game. Wedin also stated that they cut the scene short to show that that type of violence is not what the Hotline Miami series is about.
On January 15, 2015 it was reported that because of the implied rape scene, the game had been refused classification in Australia, which prohibits sale within the country, effectively preventing its wide release there. In an official statement from Devolver Digital and Dennaton Games the creators mentioned that they have added a cut and uncut option for the slasher-flick level. Dennaton also reconfirmed that the context of the scene is important and that they were "concerned and disappointed" by the actions of the Classification Board, stating it stretched the facts in its judgement of the game. The statement concluded with Dennaton confirming that they will not challenge the ruling. Developer Dennaton Games have since suggested that people in Australia interested in the game should pirate it if they are unable to purchase a retail copy.