Part of what made Hotline Miami's exhilaratingly violent gameplay such a white-knuckle, kill-'em-all thrill was the ease with which you could die: one hit, and it's time to restart. HM2 doesn't alter the feverishly challenging formula. "We don't want to meddle too much with the core of the game, because people really love it and we really love it," says Wedin. That said, there will be a Hard Mode this time around, similar to Super Meat Boy's Dark World. Score a high enough grade in a stage, and you'll unlock a brutally tough version of it that strips away your lookout and lock-on abilities from you.
It all harkens back to the old-school games that shaped Wedin's gaming sensibilities--classics like Mega Man, Ninja Gaiden, and Contra. "They punish you, and you feel like you’re the worst gamer in the world," laughs Wedin. "But as you keep playing, you learn and you get better…you get into a certain vibe with the game. Dying in a video game is part of the whole experience…you don't feel angry because you died, you just feel like 'Let's do it again, and this time I might get a little further.'"