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Sorry, Australia, but it looks like you might not be able to play Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number when it releases later this year, as the game has been denied a rating by the Classification Board. According to the developers, though, this decision was unfounded.
According to a recent post on Player Attack, an implied rape scene pushed the Australian Classification Board over the line when it comes to Devolver Digital’s Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, which basically means that the game won’t be coming out in the country.
Reaching out to the Classification Board, Player Attack received a statement describing the scene in question from Wrong Number, as well as a statement that this single scene did not comprise all of the questionable content spread across the notoriously violent game.
According to the report, one scene features the player killing a bunch of dudes, spraying the room with crimson, before standing over a female character that he has just knocked to the ground, “thrusting.” This scene of implied rape is enough to get the red flag in Australia, which does not allow for any scenes of sexual violence in video games. It’s my understanding that similar rules do not apply for movies, television, books, comics or music, but I guess that’s neither here nor there.
Anyone who has played the original Hotline Miami knows that the game is gratuitously violent, featuring a pixelated hitman going around and murdering baddies in especially violent ways. In the first game, however, the protagonist goes out of his way to protect the innocent and picks up jobs taking out mafia types, so this type of behavior doesn’t seem to fit. As you’ll see in a moment, there a very good reason for that.
As for Devolver Digital, the publisher is in contact with the Classification Board, hoping to clear things up.
“We also want to make clear that players are given an choice at the start of the game as to whether they wish to avoid content that alludes to sexual violence,” reads a statement on the Devolver blog. “The sequence in question is presented below in context, both after choosing the uncut version of the game and after choosing to avoid content that alludes to sexual violence.”
Devolver goes on to protest the Board’s portrayal of the scene in Hotline Miami 2, which can be seen below.
So, no thrusting, as it turns out, and now that you have a bit of context, maybe you can grasp why Devolver is upset with this ruling. Or not. That’s your call.