Lindsay Reviews: Hotline Miami

Posted: September 23, 2013 by theelindsayclarke in Games
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m still addicted to making myself cry.
Hotline Miami is an interesting game. With a very strange, very cool vibe, a Pulp Fiction-y feel, and some tough enemies, it’s quite the experience.
So, I’ll use my Triforce of Power: plot, style and gamer-friendliness, to tell you all about this surreal little number.

First off is plot. Usually I don’t care about spoiling things, but this game’s plot is pretty well-done, so I’ll just give an overview in case you want to experience it for yourself. The protagonist you play as is, in essence, a hitman. As he goes about his crimes, the plot is revealed to the player out of order, and sometimes reality is still fairly distorted. You rescue a woman and begin a relationship with her and slowly begin to understand the protagonist’s identity, but things aren’t completely as they seem.Image

The storytelling in this game is great, and rather unexpectedly so. When I started this simple-looking top-down beat-‘em-up game, I was just expecting something rather simple: your name’s john, you’re a killer, one day X event happens that a) makes you question why you’re doing this and/or b) makes you go on a killing spree and take on challenges that put you in way over your head. What you get is a psychedelic, confusing and fascinating journey through the world of our murderous protagonist. Oh, and there are multiple endings, too. Depending on how much effort you put into playing the game, more or less will be explained to you. It’s much more awesome than I had expected to give it credit for.

And the style just adds to Hotline Miami’s awesomeness. It’s a retro-style top-down game, which fits right into the ‘80’s retro look and vibe of the game. The music’s simultaneously chilled out and haunting. The distorted storyline and surreal images, like the characters running around in masks, which look just like their heads thanks to the art style, give an almost frightening effect. The game almost makes me want to run and hide. But instead I’ll keep playing, and killing.


The gamer-friendliness? Well, it’s not exactly friendly to gamers. Since I have to do all my gaming on my bed, I can’t really talk about playing Hotline Miami with a mouse, but I have played it with an Xbox controller. It could be clunky, but I have a feeling this was on purpose, to work with the old school feel of the game. It was just barely annoying, anyway. Hotline Miami is tough, though. It’s hard to beat: often I’ll play one level then give up for the day. And they grade your performance pretty hard. But there are good rewards for success, and it’s a game one can really master and do well at, given time and patience. Sometimes objects can look like the background and be hard to recognise, but they compensate often by letting you know you can pick things up. Mostly, this game’s just tough, but it’s fun.

So Hotline Miami is pretty badass. It’s definitely worth the cost, though you might only play for half an hour a day before you feel like you’re going to grind your teeth into powder. Still, if you’re looking for a strange, surreal challenge, and you can put up with some very fake-looking carnage, it’s a game worth buying.

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