Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Dennaton gives us more of everything in Hotline Miami 2, but wants to tell its story more than it wants to let us play with its treasures.

Key events

Hotline Miami 2 gets Windows XP support

Via an unofficial patch.

Hotline Miami 2 launched last week to critical acclaim, but a fair number of folks were disappointed to realise that the game wouldn't run on Windows XP, despite the system requirements saying otherwise prior to launch. This was unfortunate for those who pre-ordered the game.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number review

It starts with an unskippable movie intro. This is the first sign that Hotline Miami 2 is certainly bigger and longer, but not always better and stronger. It's a step towards something more traditional - this is a big name game now. It also means a step away from the delirious, radical air of Hotline Miami's ferocious debut, which now seems minimalist in comparison. Thankfully, Hotline Miami 2 maintains the wild spirit that made Hotline Miami so magical, but the gameplay is shackled to the story in a way that constrains choice, making the sequel a series of jumbled, brilliant fragments rather than a glorious, shining whole.

It may sound like a damning statement, or the indignant snub of a ludo-supremacist, but the story dominates Hotline Miami 2's flow in a detrimental manner. Don't get me wrong - the gameplay is consistently brilliant, and the extended cast expands Hotline Miami's horizons in fabulous ways. There's much to master, and plenty of shlock savagery to wade through. There are plenty of neat locales and plenty of moments of greatness. The problem is in how they're doled out.

Hotline Miami 2 uses a non-linear narrative to tell its stories. It runs like Pulp Fiction set in a straight-to-video VHS collection - and VHS seems to be a central love for Dennaton. Each level is represented by a tape, and a visible fondness for VHS tracking artifacts, interference, noise and static crops up regularly. It's also worth noting that the pause menu is a thing of skeuomorphic beauty, and may be my favourite pause menu of all time.

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Gamer Network launches crowdfunded collector's editions of cult games

Gamer Network launches crowdfunded collector's editions of cult games

Hotline Miami! Papers, Please! Hotline Miami 2!

Eurogamer owner Gamer Network has launched crowdfunded collector's editions of cult video games.

Gamer's Editions are premium collector's editions of previously digital releases, produced with their developers and special edition specialist Idea Planet.

Two Gamer's Editions have been announced: one for a Hotline Miami and Hotline Miami 2 double-pack, and another for Lucas Pope's dystopian document game Papers, Please. They will be made to order in one-off production runs fuelled by a crowdfunded pre-order system. Production begins only when there are enough orders to cover manufacturing costs.

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Hotline Miami 2 teases March release date via creepy answering machine

Hotline Miami 2 teases March release date via creepy answering machine

UPDATE: Release date confirmed. Payday 2 bonus content detailed.

UPDATE 26/02/2015 1.06am: Payday 2 publisher Starbreeze detailed the bonus content one gets in its multiplayer first-person shooter upon ordering Hotline Miami 2 on Steam.

Those who purchase Hotline Miami 2's standard edition will receive the Hotline Miami Mask Pack which includes six masks.

Purchasing the Hotline Miami 2: Special Edition grants players the Character Jacket Pack. This includes the above along with the "Jacket" protagonist of the first Hotline Miami, an additional mask called “Richard Returns", a "Sociopath perk deck" and two new weapons: the "Carpenter's Delight hammer" and Jacket's submachine gun with its accompanying weapon modifications.

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Hotline Miami 2 banned in Australia

UPDATE: Dev says "just pirate it".

UPDATE #2 16/1/15 8.45am: Hotline Miami 2 designer Jonatan Söderström has said that Australian gamers should simply pirate the game if it does remain unavailable to buy.

Hotline Miami action figures are selling like gangbusters on Kickstarter

From the company behind the Don't Starve plushies.

Last year toy company ESC-Toy launched a Kickstarter campaign to make plushies based on Don't Starve's adorable monster Chester. That campaign made more than 10 times its $15K goal. Now, ESC-Toy has teamed up with Hotline Miami developer Dennaton Games and publisher Devolver Digital to make a 1/6 scale 12 inch replicas of the first game's animal mask wearing protagonist, Jacket.

VideoVideo: Dialling into Hotline Miami 2's Wrong Number

Exclusive footage of the latest demo.

The last time we bought you a Hotline Miami 2 preview, it was fronted by a talking chicken. There's none of that weirdness this time round - and I will not have you calling the lovely Ian Higton a chicken, thank you very much - and instead just a straight look at what's new for this year's sequel.

Hotline Miami 2 trailer is gory-ous

Hotline Miami 2 trailer is gory-ous

Love is... dual-wielding machine guns.

Walking down a hallway with twin machine guns, one firing one way, one firing the other way, sure looks like a lot of bloody fun. So does bundling into people with a kind of forward roll/flip. Judging by this new trailer, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is shaping up well.

Other points of note include straddling enemies and then mangling their soft flesh with a chainsaw, or battering their head to a mush with a sledgehammer. Every bit as fast and disgusting as we'd hoped.

Hotline Miami 2 is coming to PC and Mac as well as PS4, PS3 and Vita - as a Cross Buy game, no less. A Q3 release was mentioned at the start of the year for the PC and Mac versions.

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VideoHotline Miami 2 looks hot, is weird

Here's some fresh gameplay footage brought to you by a talking chicken.

Hotline Miami! The best game loosely inspired by a Ryan Gosling film, at least until Quantic Dream gets round to doing the adaptation of The Notebook they're destined for. And it's getting a sequel! Hotline Miami 2 is a more downbeat companion piece to Dennaton's original, and it's going to mark the end of a series that's burnt blindingly bright over two short instalments.

The party's over: Hotline Miami 2 preview

FeatureThe party's over: Hotline Miami 2 preview

How Dennaton Games comes down from the hallucinogenic drug-fueled rage.

If Hotline Miami is like the electric throbbing nighttime cruise that opens Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, then Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number will be the melancholy, silhouetted knife fight montage that closes it. The first game from eccentric Swedish developer Jonatan Söderström and Dennis Wedin at Dennaton Games was an exploration of neon rage whereas Wrong Number will be fuelled by an extra layer of sadness.

"We want to work with other emotions than just being disturbed or feeling awesome," says Dennaton Game's Dennis Wedin as he shows me the sequel in a nondescript trailer parked across from the Los Angeles Convention Center for E3. "We want to add a bit of sadness to the game, because this is the finale - this is the end for Hotline Miami."

"We want to work with that emotion: that all things end. How do you cope with that? It's also [the end] for the characters within the game. They will meet the end. Either of their lives, or their dreams, or their mission. We want to tell different stories about how you cope with that feeling."

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