It's difficult to accept that Hotline Miami - the sound of the future - was three long years ago. It's more difficult still to accept that there might not have been anything which put quite such a fire under me since. This foul-mouthed 'guide' is one of my favourite things I've ever published here, and I'd love to know how to commune again with the part of me which made it. I can't see Hotline Miami 2 [official site] doing it, because despite controversial content the surprise factor probably isn't going to be there. I'm sure it will be an interesting evolution of HLM's rhythmic brutality, but can it manage OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS again?
Anyway, there's a free prequel comic out on Steam. I probably should said that to start with instead of picking fluff from my navel.
There are two of a planned five issues up there, and they're... fine, I guess. The art's pleasantly unpleasant, as it should be, but something's off about the language, it's kind of flat and stacatto, like it's been run through a translator. I'm loathe to make that a criticism, given so much of HLM is wilfully disorienting. I would say that it seems unlikely I'd be saying anything about this comic if it wasn't related to HLM, however.
It's setting up some of the factions who'll drive Hotline Miami 2's plot, which in turn gives more meaning to the first game's chilling animal masks.
To be honest, while this is a nice and different sort of promotional freebie to get, I'm more interested in the means of delivery than the comics themselves. The reader application is barebones (keyboard navigation and zoom options, please) but the idea of digital comics on Steam suddenly seems appealing. Comixology's great on tablet but the desktop execution isn't great, plus of course I am very lazy and quite like the idea of having all my digital stuff clustered in one place, if there's a way to do it without going monopoly crazy.
Right now this is just HLM2's own thing, though, made by a company called Dayjob Studio. You can download it here (requires Steam), and there'll be three more issues ahead of Hotline Miami 2's launch. The date for that isn't confirmed as yet, but suspicion has it that it'll be March 10th due to some tweet-o-ARG shenanigans.