(So we begin our normal stream of once a week content, Rejoice!)
You stand in front of a door. Inside there are bad people; Drug dealers and murderers. You slip on a mask to hide your face from your actions, enter and attack. As soon as you pass over the threshold of the building pounding techno music starts up, spurring you into a fast and violent frenzy. You break bones, bash heads, fire bullets and then its over. One final smack and the music dies down to a dull drone as you walk back to your car and take off your mask. It’s this contrast which makes hotline Miami so great. One moment you’re zipping between rooms taking out russian mobsters and the next your either bleeding out on a kitchen floor or walking back to your DeLorean covered in that days work. Both offer reflection into your next blood spattered try.
Gameplay is lightning fast. You die and kill in a single hit and you move incredibly fast which makes combat frantic. Although your body count is high, you never feel like a god, in fact you feel more like a survivor. You scramble around avoiding bullets and backpedaling away from melee enemies, jockeying for firing positions. You kill and retry and kill and retry and kill and retry and win. Every victory feels hard-won and gratifying, like you have mastered every move at your disposal. The pace is also helped along by the music, OH THE MUSIC. It’s loud, techno, gets your heart beating and pushes you to take more risks with its pounding beat.
The pixel art is brutally efficient and distinctly detailed. It depicts stains on rugs and dying men with shockingly vivid abstractions. Occasionally between spurts of action you will see “Jacket”, the protagonist (if you can call him that) do something that makes you flinch and even feel guilt. See, under the phone calls and mass mobster murders hotline Miami is questioning you and it’s asking “Do you enjoy hurting other people?” as well as “Who are you?” and my favorite “Who is calling your home phone and giving you gangsters address?”. The game’s story is cryptic and engaging. It tell’s a tale of psychotic murder, broken men and anti russian organizations fighting against a america which has been occupied by the USSR in 1985. Hotline miami is one of the first games that I would safely call insane. Go play Hotline Miami and it’s sequel then but in the meantime leave your thoughts in the comments.
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