Game Review: Hotline Miami


Hotline Miami drops you into an alternate history version of Miami in 1989. For the majority of the game you control an unnamed protagonist dubbed "Jacket" by fans. Jacket receives messages on his answering machine from a group known as 50 Blessings that tell him where to go. And what do you do when you get there? Don an animal mask of your choosing and systematically slaughter everyone inside the building. A lot of story elements are kept intentionally vague and after playing you are left with debate as to what is real and what isn't.

The level of ambiguity in the narrative serves the game extremely well. It is a relatively short game and you pick up most of the story from voices on your answering machine, brief dialog between missions, and environmental cues. The game controls are simple, intuitive, and are quite reliable in the frantic situations that you often find yourself in. Jacket uses a variety of weapons to murder everyone in his path; you will find plenty of guns, melee weapons, and thrown weapons to satisfy your bloodlust. Speaking of blood, there is a lot of it. A LOT. Sure it is low-rez pixilated blood, but that doesn't take away from how gruesome the game is.
Hotline Miami also features one of the best, most fitting soundtracks in recent memory. The choice of music lulls you into a trance as you die, over and over... and over again in an attempt to cut the perfect bloody path through each building. When a level is complete, and the last bits of pixel entrails are strewn on the floor, an eerie quiet falls. The ambient sound as you backtrack through a maze of bodies and gore back to your car is an outstandingly effective audio choice. After the frenzied chaos in each chapter, heightened by the music, the game forces you to walk back through all of your violence through white noise that is more unsettling than pure silence. This fits in perfectly with the almost philosophical themes about the nature of violence weaved into the story.

The game is exceptionally challenging and you will die... frequently. I played on Steam and there is an achievement for dying 1,000 times. I unlocked this before finishing the game once. However, the amazing part about this game is that it doesn't feel like a punishment. You get a checkpoint at each new floor of a building and the lack of load times coupled with the game's breakneck pace allow death to be used as a form of experimentation as opposed to punishment. Unlocking new weapons and masks, as well as hidden secret codes are great incentives to try and get high scores as well as replay levels repeatedly.

I don't think games need scores in order to be reviewed so I will just say if this sounds at all like something you would like, buy it. Support the two guys at Dennaton Games who made this addicting, blood soaked romp through Miami possible. Now excuse me while I go back and try to get an A+ on every chapter.


- Brick

Have steam? Join the official DeadLung group with the link at the bottom of the page!




fbook twit steam instagram
© 2013-2019 All Rights Reserved.