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Hotline Miami 2

is a top-down shooter action video game developed by Dennaton Games and Abstraction Games, and published by Devolver Digital. read more

Genres ActionShooter
Themes Crime
Status: Released
Release: 10-Mar-2015

is a top-down shooter action video game developed by Dennaton Games and Abstraction Games, and published by Devolver Digital.

It is both the sequel and prequel to Hotline Miami, taking place before and after the events of Hotline Miami, as it focuses on the backstory and aftermath of the previous protagonist, Jacket, slaying parts of the Russian mafia at the behest of anonymous voices leaving mysterious messages on his answering machine. The game was first released worldwide for Microsoft WindowsOS XLinux on March 10, 2015. The game then saw its release for PlayStation 3PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on March 10, 2015 in North America, on March 11, 2015 in Europe, and on June 25, 2015 in Japan. An Android port is since in development.

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Gameplay of Wrong Number is mostly identical to that of its predecessor, but Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number features a new hard mode, unlocked after completing the Normal story. In Hard mode, enemies are more difficult to take down and some abilities are taken away from the player, such as "enemy-locking".

Thirteen characters are playable as opposed to just Jacket and Biker in the first game; each with their own interpretations as the story unfolds. The masks mechanic is again featured with some older masks making a return, while new masks offer new abilities and play styles. Each character has 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, Tony's fists kill all regular enemies in one blow and knock down heavy enemies for quick ground kills, and Alex and Ash use a chainsaw and a gun respectively, but are controlled by the player simultaneously. A different character or group of characters is available at the start of each level, each chapter telling part of the story from that character's perspective.

A level editor has been announced, but will be added later after the game's release, which will let users create original stories through dialogue crafting. The editor was originally planned for a spring 2015 release, but has since been postponed. According to Dennaton's official blog, a beta version of the level editor will be available from December 10 until early January, with the final version being released shortly thereafter. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number 's level design features much larger levels and longer distances resulting in a different type of gameplay compared to the first game.

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Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number takes place in a heavily anachronic order before and after the events of the original, focusing more on the latter between October and December 1991. During the events of Hotline Miami, the player's character, "Jacket," is unwittingly manipulated into killing off the leadership of the Russian Mob by 50 Blessings, a neo-nationalist terror cell that masquerades as a peaceful activist group. The persona of "Richard", a mysterious figure in a rooster mask that occasionally appeared to Jacket in the original game, appears at different points to the game's playable characters. The player controls these individuals in a series of intersecting plotlines exploring both the background and the aftermath of Jacket's rampage.

After his rampage, Jacket has been arrested and brought to trial. He has gained national notoriety; the game's tutorial level takes place in a slasher film adaptation depicting him as "The Pig Butcher." The film's star, Martin Brown, is a sociopath who relishes being able to act out his violent fantasies during filming. Martin dies early in the game when accidentally shot with real ammunition on set during the shooting of the film's final scene. A journalist, Evan Wright, is writing a book about Jacket's spree and trying to learn more about the people behind it. Evan is given leads from Manny Pardo, a psychotic police officer who uses his position to go on killing sprees during stakeout operations.

"The Fans," five thrill-seeking killers who are emulating Jacket's spree, carry out a string of murders against other criminals. Eventually they kill a former henchman of the Russian Mafia, now run by the original boss' son, and when "the Son" attempts to reconnect with said henchman the Fans follow his call to attack his new hideout. The Fans are all killed during this attack; their last survivor, Tony, is personally killed by Pardo to deny him his "fifteen minutes of fame."

The story of "The Soldier," the convenience store owner from the previous game, shows him fighting a losing war against Russia in Hawaii alongside Jacket prior to the first game's events. The Soldier saves Jacket's life during one of their last missions, but later dies during a nuclear attack on San Francisco, revealing his appearances in the previous game are hallucinations. The game also follows two other 50 Blessings agents from the original game, Jake and Richter. Jake realizes the officially-peaceful 50 Blessings organization is giving him his orders when he meets with one of their representatives, and praises them. If he avoids the fate depicted in the original game, being captured and murdered by the Russian Mafia during a mission, 50 Blessings will kill him anyway to silence him. Richter, the agent who killed Jacket's girlfriend, is revealed to be reluctant to work with 50 Blessings until they threaten his ailing mother. Like Jacket, Richter is captured and imprisoned, but manages to escape.

Richter tells his story to Evan in exchange for plane tickets for his mother to come to Hawaii. Evan's marriage and finances, however, are under pressure as he spends more time working on his book, and the player must choose whether he abandons the book or his family.

The final act of the game is centered on the Son, who is trying to reclaim his father's empire from Colombian gangsters who filled the power vacuum the old boss' death left. Pardo also appears, having a nightmare showing himself to be the "Miami Mutilator", a serial killer he has supposedly been hunting, before being killed by his fellow officers. Fearful of his colleagues catching on to his crimes, Pardo boards himself up in his house. After the Son eliminates the Colombians, he invites his old henchman to visit their new hideout, inadvertently giving away his location to the Fans and triggering the attack depicted earlier. Under the hallucinatory influence of his own designer drugs he goes on a rampage, killing the superhuman monsters he sees the Fans as, then walking off the hideout's roof on a rainbow bridge to his apparent death.

An epilogue shows Richter, reunited with his mother, hearing on the news that the American and Soviet presidents were both assassinated in an attempted coup d'état, with the prime suspect being an American general. The Soviet Union declares this an act of war, and all the surviving characters are killed in nuclear strikes, ending with the imprisoned Jacket.

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Development and release

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number was originally made in Game Maker 7, but was ported by Abstraction Games to their very own engines GameBaker and SilverWare in combination, to gain maximum experience and compatibility with platforms other than Microsoft Windows. It is the final game of the series. In Japan, the localized editions of Hotline Miami and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita were bundled together and released as Hotline Miami: Collected Edition on June 25, 2015.

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Critical reception

Upon release, the game received generally positive reviews from critics. It received an aggregated score of 74.90% on GameRankings based on 39 reviews and 74/100 on Metacritic based on 56 reviews for the PC version. Danny O'Dwyer from GameSpot gave the game a 9/10, praising its techno and intense soundtrack, entertaining, engaging and challenging gameplay, well-designed controls, striking and vibrant visuals, improved enemy placement, lengthy story, as well as the huge variety of characters, levels and locations. He also praised the game for allowing players to use multiple approaches towards a single objective. However, he criticized the lack of weapon customization. He summarized the game by saying that "This is a confident follow-up which improves upon the original in almost every way. This is a tremendously stylish game which entertains throughout, and delights in forcing you out of your comfort zone.

Chris Carter from Destructoid also awarded the game a 9/10, praising the open-ended gameplay, engrossing story, accessible interface and level-creator, as well as the game for allowing players to utilize creativity and strategy in every level. However, he criticized the poor AI. He summarized the game by saying that "Hotline Miami 2 may not be as "profound" as its predecessor, but it's still a bloody good time." Chloi Rad from IGN gave the game a 8.8/10, praising its high replay value, engaging story, sizable maps, rich characters' backstory, character-specific abilities, the improved lock-on system as well as the level-design, which demands players a new and more cautious approach towards dangers. However, she criticized the occasionally frustrating levels. She summarized the review by saying that "Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is a great game and a worthy sequel. It’s more confident in its style, storytelling ability, and level design than the first game." Alex Carlson from Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 4.5/5, praising its seedy and visceral art design and its improvement on its predecessors gameplay, but criticized its adherence to the established formula. He summed up the review saying "Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is purposely discomforting and hypnotically visceral. It’s one of the best games released so far this year."

Steven Burns from gave the game a 7/10, while praising the narrative as well as the brutal violence featured in the game, which he stated "has tread a fine, sophisticated line between titillation, power, and reflection, an integral part of both narrative and mechanics.", he criticized the over-sized maps, as well as the game for being overly difficult, frustrating as enemy attack players where they can't be seen from the camera angle. and restrictive as the game enforced players to play a certain way very often. Chris Thursten from PC Gamer gave the game a 57/100, criticizing the meaningless characters, alienating rape scene, rigid playstyle restriction, inconsistent AI, frustrating and unavoidable death as well as technical issues. Yet he still praised the soundtrack, where the "experience is enormously enhanced by their work". He summarized the review by saying that "Restrictive design decisions sap the energy from a series that revels in it, and technical issues deal the killing blow."

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Rape depiction controversy

The demo shown at Rezzed and the 2013 Penny Arcade Expo featured gameplay in the tutorial that had players appear to attempt to assault a woman sexually 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 a film shoot.

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.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, which isreleased under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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