Hotline Miami 2
Developer: Dennaton Games
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platform: PC (reviewed on), PSVITA, PS3, PS4
Genre: Top down shooter
When Hotline Miami was released in 2012, Dennaton Games brought to us an exceptionally well made game. Fast paced, frustrating and incredibly brutal, Hotline Miami was one of those games that just nailed it in providing gamers that sense of rewarding challenge.
With the much anticipated follow-up, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is no exception. Providing us with more of the same Hotline Miami that we all know and love, this is a sequel that fans must simply play.
This time around the story is focused on several key individuals. Presented in series of different time lapses set in the early 90’s and late 80’s, the story jumps back and forward as you play a variety of interesting characters. From a detective, to an author, to a Russian gang member (and so on…), each side story contributes to some portion to the Hotline Miami saga.
With that said, this pretty much explains the bulk of the gameplay as well. With different characters, you can now expect there to be a mix in the gameplay styles in comparison to the first. In some missions, you might be forced to use guns, whilst others might even remove the ability to use weapons all together. But if you’ve played Hotline Miami 1, the gameplay is still more of the same. In every level you run in, you hack and slash your way through a series of tight corridors/rooms, whilst narrowing avoiding dying yourself.
Like its predecessor, the game is also very hard, and players can expect to die an awful lot. But like the previous, dying makes up the bulk to games enjoyment; encouraging players to utilize their characters specialty and to be ever so cautious of their deadly surroundings. This and perfect timing is essential in progressing Hotline Miami 2. Weapons can vary from a variety of different melee items (such as broken bottles, pistols, chainsaws, and axes) and a collection of guns. Guns of course generate a lot of noise though, so its always ideal to use your ammo sparingly and to use the noise to your advantage whenever possible.
Levels have also had a slight improvement. Some levels are slightly more open then the first, and enemy placements have made so that danger can lurk even if you can’t see the enemy. With that though, this of course isn’t so much of problem with the aid of a new lock-on system. With that, players can lock on to targets that appear off screen and easily take them out. Whilst this may come across as something that might’ve hindered the games difficultly, with or without it fans and newcomers can still otherwise expect to die an awful lot.
It can’t go without mention of course the music of this. Just like the first the game, Hotline Miami 2 comes pack with an incredibly awesome soundtrack. With over 50 tracks listed, artists such as Perturbator, M|O|O|N and Jasper Byrne make their return in providing a game that is just as rhythmic then it is brutal.
Graphics remain the same as the first as well. Everything about the game has got that unique minimalistic pixel-art aesthetic, harking back to an era of classic arcade gaming. The game also draws inspiration from old VHS machines, so its very much stylized as well with some neat effects.
Providing us with more of the same game we all know and love, you can’t argue that Dennaton Games doesn’t know how to make a sequel. With a fleshed out narrative jam packed with one brilliant soundtrack, this is the sequel that fans have long been waiting.