Hotline Miami is a bloodbath from beginning to end. The only thing that matters is the type of weapon you want to use to finish the job. This game is an action-packed thrill ride where you play a murderer for hire.
Your killing spree takes place in Miami during the late nineteen-eighties. There is no rhyme or reason for killing your victims; your only directions are the phone calls you receive and the messages left on your answering machine. But It doesn’t really matter; killing is what you do best and you plan on exercising that skill.
The chapters (missions) are story driven and broken down into days. The game’s direction is not very clear at first, but the story unfolds and explains everything as you play. Hotline Miami’s story is interesting to say the very least. Each day starts off in your apartment; you have to drive to each location to begin a mission. After you have completed a mission, you can visit different locations in the world and interact with other characters.
This really adds to the game’s atmosphere and overall realism. It feels like you’re living in the game world instead of being forced into the story. And while this is great, additional interaction would have reinforced the concept being applied here. Having the ability to drive to these locations, purchasing weapons before each mission, or even visiting bars would have enhanced the movie-like quality of the story. Hotline Miami has the potential to offer an open sandbox world if some of these ideas were applied.
Hotline Miami has twenty missions that are both exciting and frustrating. Unlike other top-down shooters, you don’t have a health bar or any continues. If you happen to get shot, you die. There’s no way to dodge or bunny hop your way through it. This is hardcore action at its finest.
The game uses halfway checkpoints to save your progress. If you happen to die without reaching one of these checkpoints, you will be forced to start the mission from the beginning. Once you have reached a checkpoint (which is normally a set of stairs that leads to a different section of the map), you can continue from that point onward.
There are many ways to kill your enemies. You can use melee weapons or hand-to-hand combat to eliminate your enemies quickly and quietly. Using a firearm will alert multiple enemies to your location. There are times when you will have to use a firearm, so this cannot always be helped. You will have to think fast to survive these situations.
There is a total of thirty-five different weapons to bludgeon, stab, shoot and dismember your enemies with. There are assault rifles, axes, bats, katanas, hand guns and submachine guns to name a few. You name it and you’ll be able to find it in Hotline Miami.
One feature that really stands out is how the game is never the same. Restarting a mission from the beginning will change the behavior of your enemies, their patterns, and even the weapons that can be found during the mission. This makes the game very challenging when trying to complete a mission.
Hotline Miami comes with plenty of achievements and unlockables for Steam users. There are twenty-five different masks that can be unlocked to change your identity. These unlockables can be acquired by racking up a high score. The better you perform, the better your score will be. It’s all based on killing silently, increasing your kill combos, and using the environment to your advantage.
Hotline Miami is a top-down shooter like the original Grand Theft Auto. Bright and funky colors make up the environments and they fit in well with the nineteen-eighties theme. The art style reminds me of gaming from way back when console and computer technology was still evolving.
Hotline Miami has an old school charm that is very addictive. Even the techno sound track will have you grooving along as you murder your victims. Hotline Miami captures that retro appeal that no 3D game could ever accomplish. Its simplistic nature proves that it doesn’t have to be 3D to be a good game.
James ‘Daripp3’r’ Pittaro
Developer: Dennaton Games
Publisher: Devolver Digital
|Great retro atmosphere that you don’t find very often.|
|A fantastic techno soundtrack.|
|Incredible run-and-gun gameplay.|
|Hotline Miami revives a genre that has long been forgotten.|