It’s been quite awhile, but I’ve begun to realize that I’d like to keep posting at least bi-weekly because I’d like to get more people to visit. So today’s review is for Hotline Miami, the most violent, gory, trippy game I have ever played. And holy crap it’s truly the definition of a great game.
DISPLAY AND MARKETING:
Ok, looking at the screenshots you might be incredibly (beyond) on-edge about getting this game, and no one would blame you. The screenshots show what looks more like a bad LSD trip gone wrong. And though a couple times the game certainly seems to favor that route, for the most part, it’s good old hack-and-slash and a lot more fun than it appears. Truly, the key to enjoying it is to playing it yourself. Otherwise, you’ll probably question the appeal of such an original yet incredibly disturbing game.
Simply mentioning anything about the plot besides that you play as a character in 1983 Miami who keeps receiving mysterious voicemails on his phone, and is then instructed by the speakers to don an animal mask slaughtering all in his path is something of a spoiler already. The story is seriously that complex and will pull some intense plot twists. But what I love the most about the narrative is that you will have to stretch your mind to figure out the plot, and even then you’ll still be asking questions for a very long time. There’s no need to scour for collectibles that will make the story more understandable, and that’s truly unique. When developers attempt to tell games with very little story, they tend to put a LOT of hidden parchments or other trinkets to tell the story. Take Dark Souls for example. So little is known about this depressing world, and to learn more as a player, you have to learn how to plan out scouring every nook and cranny. And sometimes that isn’t bad, yet other times it’s a sign that the writer really has no clue what he’s writing himself, so he puts books in the world that won’t explain the plot either but convince any average player that this makes sense. I could go on about this for quite awhile (Hint: I will in a later post) but what I’m trying to convey is that there is no doubt in my head that the writer knows how to tell a story that’s confusing, but not impossible to grasp. And I love it.
Singlehandedly the ultimate highlight of the game. Playing from a topdown perspective with graphics harkening back to older days makes anyone playing the game feel as if it belonged with the classics on an SNES. But what makes the game different are the multiple ways you can approach it. Stealthy and silent? Plant your knife in a nearby guard’s head, pick up his weapon and throw it at the guard across the hall, then bludgeoning him with your weapon of choice, leaving just enough time to pick up a silenced pistol to take out the last enemy to notice you. Feeling as if you’re searching for a more head-on approach? Knock down an enemy behind a door, use a shotgun to blow the other enemies out of the way, and in turn attract the attention of other soon-to-be corpses, and slowly pick each one off one by one with a samurai sword, machete, fire axe, ect. The variation in the gameplay is always worth a slight grin if nothing else. Even if you’re disgusted by the gameplay, come for a soundtrack that oozes Daft Punk and makes the game twice as fun. It’s incredible how difficult the game can be, yet due to it’s addictive properties, I immediately restarted each time I died, refusing to quit until I found a strategy that worked.
Simply because there’s so many ways to attack, and for the sake of the one collectible in the game, I was 100% willing to jump right back into the game after I beat it. With different masks granting different advantages like lethal doors or the ability to start with a drill, it’s incredibly entertaining to see how each one mixes up the formula. Though the “puzzle” (one collectible in the game) was a bit of a letdown, I still couldn’t help but feel as if I had truly accomplished something special; the achievements are also a nice incentive.
Though the game is fairly short, and could certainly benefit from an extra one or two incentives to replay, $10.00 is an incredibly affordable amount for the amount of originality Hotline Miami brings to the table. And for once, I was able to really smile while playing a videogame again.
This game easily benefits from a 9.5/10