Hotline Miami 2 has been refused classification in Australia due to drug use, and an implied rape scene.
Update: Devolver released the following statement regarding the classification decision:
We are aware of the recent report published by the Australian Classification Board in regards to Hotline Miami 2 and have been in communication with them. As such, we and Dennaton Games would like to clarify a few things:
First, to clear up any possible misconceptions, the opening cinematic that was first shown in June of 2013 has not changed in any way. 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. 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.
Second, in response to the report itself, we are concerned and disappointed that a board of professionals tasked with evaluating and judging games fairly and honestly would stretch the facts to such a degree and issue a report that describes specific thrusting actions that are not simply present in the sequence in question and incorrectly portrays what was presented to them for review.
Though we have no plans to officially challenge the ruling, we stand by our developers, their creative vision for the storyline, its characters and the game and look forward to delivering Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number to fans very soon.
You can check out the scene in question right here, in both the uncut version, and the version for people who chose the option to avoid sexual violence.
Original Story: So apparently, getting the R 18+ rating in Australia changed absolutely nothing. Games are still being censored, and games are still being refused classification, effectively banning them from sale in the region. That’s the case with Hotline Miami 2, which Player Attack reporting that the Australian Classification Board found the game “too offensive” for Australians.
Officially, the classification report of the game stated that the game was refused classification as it falls under the category of games that “depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.”
Specifically, the following “implied rape” scene is one of the things that pushed the board over the edge. Be warned that this does contain spoilers for the game:
“In the sequence of game play footage titled Midnight Animal, the protagonist character bursts into what appears to be a movie set and explicitly kills 4 people, who collapse to the floor in a pool of copious blood, often accompanied by blood splatter. After stomping on the head of a fifth male character, he strikes a female character wearing red underwear. She is knocked to the floor and is viewed lying face down in a pool of copious blood. The male character is viewed with his pants halfway down, partially exposing his buttocks. He is viewed pinning the female down by the arms and lying on top of her thrusting, implicitly raping her (either rear entry or anally) while her legs are viewed kicking as she struggles beneath him. This visual depiction of implied sexual violence is emphasized by it being mid-screen, with a red backdrop pulsating and the remainder of the screen being surrounded by black.”
So there you have it, the Australian Classification Board has determined that Hotline Miami 2 is too offensive for consenting Australian adults to purchase.
We have reached out to developer Devolver to see if they will appeal the decision.