Hotline Miami Review
Hotline Miami is an intoxicating celebration of violence that will have you pounding the restart button for more.
One thing is guaranteed: you will die a lot. Thankfully a single button press gets you back into the action quickly, and a checkpoint system ensures you're not starting from the very beginning of a level once you've killed everyone on a floor and have progressed to the next. This encourages you to trust your instincts and play fast, rather than approach each floor methodically. Hotline Miami feels like Super Meat Boy in this respect. You frequently play one floor 20 or 30 times before you finally reach a checkpoint, but it rarely feels cruel. When you die, it's due to your own poor execution, and the run-and-gun action is so downright entertaining that replaying sections is enjoyable.
The few times Hotline Miami does get it wrong, though, are deeply frustrating. For instance, one floor starts with a few lines of dialogue that you must click through. This means that every time you restart the floor, you're forced to click through the same four lines of dialogue before getting to the action. Issues also arise in boss fights where you can't just shoot the boss dead like other enemies. Instead, you die and then respawn back to the start of the fight with little clue as to how to defeat the boss. And once you figure out some of the convoluted attack patterns through trial and error, you feel relief rather than satisfaction.
However, even the roughest parts of Hotline Miami are softened by its outstanding soundtrack and entrancing visuals. The music is a mixture of down-tempo psychedelic grooves and fast-paced electro that feels right at home with the intense visuals. The levels sway and pulsate as your character moves around the environment. Scan lines sweep across the screen while the background flashes matte colours with every kill. Death animations are absolutely brutal, with your character clubbing skulls and bisecting torsos with ease. By the end of each level, the floor is flooded with the blood and detached limbs of your victims.
The entire experience feels like a psychotic cocaine-fueled rampage, an homage to slasher movies and the drug culture of the '80s. And like most cocaine-fueled rampages, it's short-lived but memorable; you can complete Hotline Miami in two to three hours. Each level gives you a point tally and grade, so aiming for a top score is a great excuse to replay levels. You can also have fun returning to older chapters with your newly unlocked masks and their resulting perks.
It's a shame that Hotline Miami suffers from infrequent crashes, but neither these, nor the vague and unsatisfying ending, should stop you from enjoying this wonderful barrage of the senses. Hotline Miami is a discotheque of death that's very hard to walk away from, and a fantastic twitch shooter with a confident sense of style. Many games attempt to use story to explain away the massacre of outrageous numbers of victims. Hotline Miami bathes in the thrill of murder, and cares little about justifying its actions.
Great game...I JUST LOVE IT...! and the soundtrack gives me goosebumps allover totally amazing! the gameplay is mind wrenching and heart pounding and insanely entertaining!
I love the hydrogen song.. one in level 11 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0ILqWcd214
Picked it up for 5 on steam, and it's definitely worth that but not much more. Really short, but good while it lasts.
Theses retro games are getting bad and lazy on graphics give us 16 bit graphics at least. I mean we could have 32 bit symphony of night quality graphics and its still a retro game given all games now are 3d. Also the game needs to be long if the graphics are from days of nintendo the least you can give us is a long game.
@abcdefgabcdefgz Dude, the game was made by literally two people, and you pay five dollars for it. What the fuck do you want from them?
I wasn't interested in this game at first but I'm glad I played it, it's really great. And what a soundtrack. Everything about it reminds me of the movie Drive, which is more than awesome.
But also, I'll admit the way the reviewer glamourized the violence was kinda creepy.
got it from steam-deal worth it every single cent, but im hoping they'll release Level-Editor and mod stuff, and someone may convert this game to a full-gunfight-action ot stealth-base assassination game.
I'M LOVING THIS GAME!!! Buy this game it's fun as hell!
Check out my Hotline Miami vid!
Fantastic game, most fun I've had in a while. Simple, stylish, fast, and fun. The soundtrack will surely go down as one of the best of all time. Also I disagree with the "frustrating boss battles" aspect of the review. I beat all the bosses in far less tries than most of the floors.
Played it,LOVED it,story was cool,Bloody as hell satisfied my GORY tastes and they should put a zombie mod in it!+being able to reload!if they add RPG aspects like leveling up and having a work shop of weapons like the weapons you open you actually choose one of them to begin the stage with!also being able to choose your path as a good guy or bad guy with different endings depending on your actions rather than finding the secrets...would make the squeal get a 10!
@piedude67 It was patched in later. I'm playing with an Xbox 360 controller and I must say I vastly prefer it. It's easier to move with the stick, it's quicker to look at the next rooms with LB, and way better to lock targets with R3. The downside is general targeting, which is obviously more precise with the mouse as opposed to the right stick. But better lock-on compensates for that.
@commuter1991 Little shuriken thingies fall down after you kill the girl, throw one, duck behind cover until he reloads, and then throw the next one.
The best Indie game I've ever had the pleasure of playing. I'm glad I decided to pick it up on the steam sale
Not worth the score. I bought it and it is a solid game but cmon an 8.5 for this? it's very repetitive and not as challenging as these reviewers claim. Maybe a 7-7.5
@Merciless704 That is outdated info - they added Xbox 360 controller support some time ago. Althrough I have't tested it yet, mouse+keyboard feels good enough for me.
"Outstanding soundtrack" is an understatement. This may be the best soundtrack in the history of videogames weather it be early 90s Megaman or more recent stuff, it just blows everything way. Worth the price for the soundtrack alone. It's that good, no joke.
@k3ck i agree... incredible soundtrack. its like owning and cd you like and having a great game to play it to.
@Yams1980 Actually the graphics aren't like that on purpose, they are like that because the designers have no money, no budget. The charm is actually in the old school graphics, and the brutality of the violence. Indie designers can't compete with AAA companies with unlimited resources and personnel, so they have to fulfill their desires by making games that do something the big developers don't want to do. Look at the success of Minecraft...
@eddieham13 @iHarlequin @00J @Yams1980 I'm with you on this. I do believe Hotline Miami has graphics like this on purpose, it has nothing to do with being capable of doing better or not. Few games are more beautiful than Braid and it was mostly done by one guy. Dust: An Elysian Tail is also great. This isn't an excuse anymore. You can't compete with AAA *realistic* graphics, sure, but there are tons of other ways to make really good visuals. Realism is only one of a thousand possibilities.
@iHarlequin @eddieham13 @00J @Yams1980 Actually I was referring to the fact that he says small companies/indie can't do good graphics, and he used Minecraft as an example of this. I know his point was that it doesn't make it any more or less successful but I was adding that these small companies or indie can do good graphics and I gave the example of Natural Selection 2.I read just fine, you just misconstrued my point.
@Yams1980 You look like crap.
@Yams1980 The graphics are like that on purpose. The game is creating a theme using old-school sprite models with a vintage-esque soundtrack. This game relies on learning where is what and the skill of doing it quickly. It's a fair score. It's frickin hard too.
I personally thought the same thing when first seeing the review. it's worth ten bucks if you're looking for a quick, simplistic, brutal thrill.
Ha. while Tom is writting an article about nonsense justification for the shootout and killing, danny is celebrating the nonsense violence with this game. I wonder what gamespot thinks about non explanatory violence in general after all. As a gamer, i play what is fun and good. If this one is the one, so be it.
What struck me most about this is that it's the only 2D game I know of where bullets travel as quickly as real bullets. You can't dodge them, ever. It's all about reaction time and surprise, and a split second's hesitation will kill you.
In that respect, it's more realistic than any other top-down shooter.
@Granpire Well I dodged some bullets for real... :) level 10
@Granpire i believe keeping graphics simple could be a great way to increase realism in a lot of genres that focus too much time into unnecessary and detrimental features and aspects of games. one day games like this will embarrass the big budget developers.
@Granpire I'm pretty sure there are a lot of 2D games that have done that... a lot actually. But it's still a nice feature none the less.