"Let's start with preparation," says Miss Constance, a lifestyle dominatrix with 16 years experience who's asked to be credited with that pseudonym. "This means preparing your submissive psychologically for BDSM play, whatever that may constitute. It usually involves getting to a place of deep relaxation which makes the submissive docile and receptive to instruction, both verbal and physical.
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."
The two-man developer Vlambeer knew it was on to something with its 2D dogfighting retro throwback Luftrausers. Its snappy pace and minimalist visuals seemed well suited for on-the-go gaming, but Vlambeer worried its control scheme would be compromised on mobile. Instead, the Netherlands-based developer decided it would be a perfect fit for the PlayStation Vita's widescreen and button input. So it did what any small studio would do - it worked on a pitch.
It's been said in the past that Gears Of War is the most referenced game in all of videogames journalism, thanks to its tenets of cover, carnage and meat-headed chunkiness. I've been scouring the four corners of the globe's games writing in the past year, though, and I'd wager it's been replaced. Barely an article slides through a printing press or CMS back-end without the words Dark and Souls appearing next to each other at some point during the body copy.
If you haven't seen any of the trailers for PC indie action game (or "top down f***-'em-up", as EG's own Jeffrey Matulef described it) Hotline: Miami, you're in for a treat. Go take a peek.
What you're looking at is one part puzzle to two parts twitch combat and two parts hyperviolence. Shake over ice, strain into a highball glass, and watch as a bullet enters the drink from off-camera, shredding your hand. You are dead. Restart level, try again.
Each chapter in Hotline: Miami is a building packed with bad people and attack dogs. They're carrying knives, bats and many, many guns. That is to say, the people are carrying these things, not the dogs. Though that wouldn't be totally out of place in Hotline: Miami's world.
Today, on the Eurogamer podcast number 119, we have Bramwell, we have Bertie and we have Tom Champion.