Hotline Miami 2 Review Roundup
Bloodstained sequel draws widespread acclaim, though not without caveats.
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Hotline Miami 2, the distinct and debauched top-down shooter developed by Dennaton Games, has won praise from many critics as the game begins to release across platforms.
However, the response has not been unanimously positive, with some drawbacks cited in several reviews.
GameSpot's Hotline Miami 2 review was one of the most favorable, with critic Danny O'Dwyer describing it as demonstrating "marked improvements on an already tremendous formula." The video review can be watched above.
The nonlinearity of its narrative appears to have won favour from other reviewers, such as Polygon's Griffin McElroy, who described the game as "a bold deviation from its predecessor in a lot of ways, some of which work, some of which don't, but it’s also a departure from the storytelling conventions by which almost all games swear. It's not as smooth or streamlined as the original, but those very changes make it one of the most fascinating games I've ever played."
Other reviewers, such as VideoGamer's Steve Burns, was not as satisfied with the sequel's departure from the original's template, summarizing: "Hotline Miami was nasty, brutish, and short. Hotline Miami 2, sadly, is not."
- Game: Hotline Miami 2
- Developer: Dennaton Games
- Platforms: PS4, PS3, PS Vita, PC
- Release Date: March 10
- Price: $15
GameSpot -- 9/10
"In almost every way, Hotline Miami 2 is a marked improvement on an already tremendous formula. This is a game that had me pumping my fists and laughing with joy throughout my time with it, and I was left despondent by the time it drew to a close. A gutsy, refined game that isn't scared to force you into corners and watch you battle out of them, as well as an audiovisual joy that marries graphics, music, and gameplay so well that even the pause screen is a work of art." - Danny O'Dwyer [FULL REVIEW]
Eurogamer -- Recommended
"Hotline Miami 2 leaves me conflicted. There's lots to love here, but the structure makes it difficult to explore and exploit. It's still an absolute riot to play, and the urge to press on remains compulsive, despite the narrative hi-jinx. Its failings are never enough to truly spoil things - Hotline Miami 2 is definitely to be recommended. It's the sequel that everyone expected, perhaps. But I'm not sure it's the sequel the original truly deserved." - Tony Coles [FULL REVIEW]
VideoGamer -- 7
"Even Wrong Number's story, its strongest element, is prone to serious error... Ultimately, Hotline Miami 2 improves upon its predecessor in a way that is pleasing, but non-essential. And to get there, it undercut the one thing that made the original great. Hotline Miami was nasty, brutish, and short. Hotline Miami 2, sadly, is not." - Steve Burns [FULL REVIEW]
IGN -- 8.8
"Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is a great game and a worthy sequel. It's more confident in its style, storytelling ability, and level design than the first game. It has enough depth to stand on its own, but also manages to nail a balanced variety of new and old Hotline Miami goodness for fans who want both." - Chloi Rad [FULL REVIEW]
Game Informer -- 8.5
"Though it is not for the faint of heart, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number provides thrills at the occasional and momentary cost of your sanity. Though you'll likely find yourself screaming at your screen on a regular basis, you're equally as likely to find yourself eagerly loading the next level." - Brian Shea [FULL REVIEW]
Rock Paper Shotgun -- No Score
"Dennaton have said this is the final Hotline Miami game and it's heartening to see that it's the design that has been squeezed dry rather than the style or setting. Throughout the game, every weird quirk and rule that drives the action falls under scrutiny, and when you walk away, you'll have a better understanding of the intricate work that goes into the split-second timing and inch-perfect positioning. Each level is an exquisite machine designed to reveal and betray the game's cruelties and compromises. With rare exceptions, they succeed handsomely and with style to spare." - Adam Smith [FULL REVIEW]
Polygon -- 8.5
"Hotline Miami 2 may look like its predecessor, but it's a completely different beast. The original was a drug; a pulsating, hypnotic thing. Hotline Miami 2 consciously makes it slightly harder to get lost in that flow, but trades that trance for a story that I'm still rapturously unpacking. It gives you the tools and freedom you need to execute unbelievable killing combos, and then gives you ample time to consider the consequences." - Griffin McElroy [FULL REVIEW]
The Sixth Axis -- 7
"Wrong Number tries to do too much too quickly, and its multiple character paths don't work as well as hoped. Add in the fact there are fewer masks and it feels like a major part of the game has been stripped out. Overall it doesn't quite reach the same heights as its streamlined, bizarre predecessor." - Aran Suddi [FULL REVIEW]
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