Cheap Game Tuesday: ‘Hotline Miami’
For the second entry of our new weekly series, we’re going to get crazy.
Platform: Windows, OSX, Linus, Playstation 3 and Vita (coming soon on PS4)
Price Range: Currently free for Playstation Plus members, around $10 on Steam (available subject to region)
Review: Surprisingly this game was inspired by the movie Drive, but don’t expect to play as Ryan Gosling driving getaway vehicles. Instead it’s a retro top down brawler/shooting dosed up to the eyeballs on acid. You play as Jacket, an otherwise unidentified figure who receives mysterious phone calls instructing to him to take out various members of the mob. Each level takes you to another well protected locale to shoot, bash and slice your way through the identical enemies in order to complete your goal. On each play you choose a different mask to wear to earn a bonus effect. There are some other story elements, such as midnight conversations with corpses in animal masks, but they’re best left unexplained.
The game play is relatively simple. You walk, pick up weapons and use them. You are drastically outnumbered and, like the enemies, can take little damage. With frequent checkpoints you’ll find that you will be attempting each small stretch of the game multiple times to get it right. The rapid respawn time and patterns of enemy movement prevent this from becoming tedious. On the whole it is a fast moving game. You work through short spurts of intense violence where success is achieved through planning, timing and reflexes.
In terms of violence this game cannot be underestimated. The blood flies this and fast with weapons ranging from bats to shotguns and nail guns. If an opponent is floored (for example, by kicking open a door on them) you can pin them to the ground and smash their head open on the floor, or gouge out their eyes. It’s gruesome to say the least, and couple with the ever shifting colours and movement of the background it can leave the player feeling disorientated and, yes, a bit unhinged.
It’s not a game for the light hearted, but those who don’t mind the claret this is a unique and extremely satisfying game. Not satisfying in the Mortal Kombat-I-put-in-the-right-buttons-at-the-appointed-time-and-your-head-fell-off satisfying, but in a way were skill and foresight will be rewarded. Just…don’t play it for too long at a time.