“We were really sad that some people were so affected by it, because maybe they had been through something like that of their own.” That’s Dennaton’s Dennis Wedin speaking to Rock Paper Shotgun about the controversial scene in the forthcoming “Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number,” and their plans to remove it from demos while they decide whether to make changes to the sequence.
Back in August, PC Gamer writer Cara Ellison was the first to speak up about the scene in question, where the player-controlled character, Pig Butcher, drops trou in front of a powerless woman, every indication that he’s about to rape her. The scene then pulls back to reveal this is, in fact, a film being shot within the game, the sequence nothing more than an elaborate feint.
Wedin says that the sequence stops where it does because the Dennaton team didn’t want to follow the trend of one-upsmanship in horror, which each violent act has to be more vicious than the last adding that they weren’t trying to court controversy: “”So almost doing that with the illusion of an assault but then having the game stop you, that’s us saying we’re not going to go the whole way [toward that exploitative next step].”
Explaining her own conflicted feelings about the sequence, which comes in the wake of the same kind of gruesome violence that marked the first “Hotline Miami,” Ellison at PC Gamer says:
The woman in this game was exoticised by her tokenism. No male character in this scenario was singled out for rape. It has made my safe space – where I am a powerful thug who isn’t accountable to anyone – no longer safe. I have been forced to identify with the one person the game has given no agency.
For his part, Wedin says that gamers upset about the sequence are missing crucial context, offering that “There is a meaning to these two characters. There’s a lot more to them than just this scene.” Still, Dennaton is taking the scene under internal review as well as through playtests in advance of its release on the PS4 and PS Vita.
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