Hotline Miami Review
Hotline Miami has smashed it’s way in to Steam’s top selling list and a lot of gamer’s affections. Original, addictive and terrifying, Dennaton Games’ retro, twisted, action-puzzler is a force to be reckoned with.
The player takes on the role of an unnamed killer-for-hire, receiving assignments via the hotline, which take him around various questionable locations in 1980’s Miami. The action is viewed from a top-down perspective and the graphics are neon, pixelated retro grooviness. Once the gruesome instructions have been given, it’s time to get in your car, find the unlucky victims and whack them with whatever weapons of mass-dysfunction you can find. This can mean beating drug dealers senseless with a baseball-bat or lead pipe, blowing their brains out with various guns, and, my favorite so far, slicing them in two with a handy Samurai sword. There are thirty-five deadly weapons to unlock in total.
So far, so blood-soaked. Hotline Miami has a disturbing twist to it’s gameplay, though. A bizarre animal mask protects your identity from nosey bystanders and successful killing unlocks further masks, twenty-five in total, each one possessing unique abilities, or perks if you like.
The action is furiously fast, and effective completion of missions requires a mix of thoughtful stealth and gun-blazing ferocity. There are fourteen chapters and over twenty multi-level maps.
Hotline Miami is seriously addictive. You will die many, many times and replay maps over and over again. That’s all part of the fun. Upon completion of a chapter, the player is scored on various aspects of performance: killing, boldness, combos, time, flexibility and mobility, then graded for over-all hit-man effectiveness. Chapters, once completed, can be replayed to improve ratings. The better you do, the more weapons and masks are unlocked. Steam achievements and online leaderboards are available for bragging rights too.
Developer, Dennaton Games are a new, two-man company and have shown refreshing originality and class in this release. The game design possesses perfect balance between action and puzzles, whilst the sound design and soundtrack are a real joy to behold.
I like this game a lot. The fact that it’s low-cost and pixel-arty, yet just as attractive as the big-budget releases out at the moment is testament to it’s brilliance. We need more from these guys. Just buy it. Now.
Release Date: 23 Oct 2012
Developer: Dennaton Games
Publisher: Devolver Digital