Dennaton Games has cut a controversial sexual assault scene from the Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number demo while the studio tries to rework and improve the scene, developer Dennis Wedin told Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
The scene in question plays out at the end of the demo, and involves the player-character seemingly forcing himself on a woman and preparing to rape her. Just before he does, the sequence is revealed to be part of a film scene.
“We didn’t add the scene just to be controversial,” Wedin told Rock, Paper, Shotgun. “There is a meaning to these two characters. There’s a lot more to them than just this scene.
“We removed it for the demo. We’re going to work with it, see if we can fix it. You get a bigger picture when you play the whole game, which is lost in the demo, of course.”
According to Wedin, Dennaton will be weighing tester feedback to decide whether to include the scene in the final, full version of Hotline Miami 2.
“Our scene made [people] feel this way, so we have to think about why and if there’s something we can do to make it better,” Wedin said.
Which, personally, I think is admirable and important. I agree with Wedin in that it’s difficult to pass judgment on something so knee-jerk when it’s pulled out of context in a demo, or not given the room and time to be fleshed out as it would be in the full game. At the same time, violence toward women and the portrayal of rape is a tight line to walk, and one perhaps better avoided if unable to effectively communicate and convey the message you’re trying to send without misinterpretation.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number launches on Windows PC, OS X, Linux, Playstation 4, and PlayStation Vita sometime 2014.