Hotline Miami 2: A Hotline Straight To Hell
June 23, 2015
It seems as a society we are obsessed with two things; Ultra violence and the 80’s. So logically speaking Hotline Miami 2 must be the messiah of all games. Though it does have its fair share of problems, such as bad lock-on and clipping, it can definitely be called an excellent throwback to NES style games and the eighties.
Let’s start with the bad so we can make way for the good. Bare in mind these issues are not deal breakers but just gripes, things that personally niggled me.
The lock-on is diabolical! The amount of deaths I can attribute to that damn thing failing to find a guy standing only an inch from me is unbelievable! Now for PC users, this would seem like a weird thing to mention
“The mouse is so precise why would you need the lock-on?”
Well, that’s because I was playing a PS4 port of the game; So I really needed the Lock-on feature to work but it rarely did!
My second gripe is clipping. To be honest it only happened on occasion and was more often than not, my own fault. There was however, the odd occasion I’d get stuck on a door, trying to escape after massacring a room full of baddies ‘bold as brass’! But the doors weren’t having any of it! Maybe dennaton instilled the doors with a sense of honour…I don’t know!? But what I do know is that it became damn frustrating!
Moving on! The game is amazing! Seriously go buy it! If you’re still here then it’s obvious you still have your reservations, so allow me to allay any doubts you may still have!
First off, some think the only two reasons to give this title a look is the soundtrack and the game play. While these things are incredible, so too is the story. The story of Hotline Miami 2 is an ambiguous one with nothing really being told to you outright. You literally need to piece it together; This I definitely liked. I love it when games participate players further than just pressing the correct buttons at the correct time! After the credits roll, the first thing you’ll want to do is try to piece everything together. Like all good puzzles, the clues are all there for the player’s imagination to piece together. However, if you have no further interest in why a masked man keeps killing random men in white suits…well that’s fine too! You don’t need to care, as you can just as easily enjoy the game without this elemnt.
The three main reasons for buying Hotline Miami 2 is game play, art style and soundtrack. The reason I don’t differentiate them is because they are so well interlinked that one couldn’t exist without the other. They manage to complement each other and do it very well!
The whole point of the game is to kill a set amount of people in a designated area. Pretty simple when it’s boiled down. But, it’s executed so well that I could not help but fall in love with it!
Its a stylized top down shooter (though there is plenty of fists involved) hearkening back to the first GTA while managing to come across as completely original. Plus it makes GTA look like a game about a ‘day in the life of a choir boy’…bar the sexual abuse from the pries…anyway, back on topic! The impact of blood and gore is lessened considerably by the 8-bit aesthetic, though still very brutal. Some could argue that it crosses the line! I disagree however. If the film industry can have Kill bill then surely allowances can be made for Hotline Miami 2.
The game features a wide array of weapons(18 melee weapons alone) and masks to choose from. The masks are a very interesting game play mechanic as they can entirely change the way you complete a level. There were 25 masks in the original game with an additional mask being added for the console release.
It’s fast, really really fast! Maybe the fastest game I have ever played! The swift pace serves the game well. You can die thirty times in the span of five minutes easily. Hotline Miami‘s speed makes it hard! Very hard! If you go into this game half-cocked, you’re fucked from the from go! It demands perfection from you, and you had best give it or you’ll die! As there is no health bar and no armour! Worst still, your opponents kill as fast as you, precisely one shot (or stab)!
But with most self-proclaimed ‘hard games’ there comes a major problem! Many of the greats suffer from it i.e. Dark souls, BloodBorne and so on, and that is slow re-spawn times! If you make it less than instant in a game where you know your players are going to die a lot, then you’ve failed at your job!
I don’t want to be sat looking at a loading screen for what feels like a million years, only to be be killed again within the first thirty seconds of it loading-up! This can put a lot of players off! Thankfully the re-spawns in Hotline Miami 2 are instant! You die, you re-spawn! simple!
You can’t talk about Hotline Miami 2 without mentioning the absolutely pulse-pounding, high octane, driven thrill ride that is the soundtrack! So many great artists are featured in the game soundtrack listing! Here are to name but a few: Moon, Perturbator, Jasper Byrne and many many more. My personal favourite song is “Miami Disco” by Perturbator. Each song is carefully chosen for the mission.
Along with the game play, the music manages to give you an adrenaline rush that benefits the game play. The more pumped you become, the faster your reaction time is and the further enhanced your play will be! A very clever idea, in my opinion.
Upon everything else, there is the art style! I have heard it said that the sway effect made people seasick! But I personally loved it! It has a very vibrant yet melancholic colour palette. Each colour is off-set by another and everything looks so damn good! It even has distortion effects reminiscent of the Max Payne franchise, only much less obnoxious. All of this comes together to create a very direct and focused story, ironically enough! I personally love the game and would go as far as to say that it is the best indie game I have ever played.
There really is nothing left to be said about it. It is a game truly worth your time. If you don’t seek it out after this then you’re doing yourself a disservice.
If you want a new and fresh experience of gratuitous violence, over the top characters and vibrant personality! Then the ‘Hotline‘ franchise are the games for you!
The Story -
The Gameplay -
The Experience -
The Presentation -
The Sound -
The Value For Money -
I Give This Game A
A Gamer who loves pretty much all genres of Games! (More so RPG, FPS, Survival Horror, Action Adventure etc.) Known to collect “Retro Games and Consoles” and also for being guilty of having an ever expanding back log of games. To get to know him better and see what he’s been up to, catch him online via his Gaming Accounts… You know what to do!