There are few games that feel like they give you a trip unlike any other. Hotline Miami is one of those games. A game that oozes 80s violence, Hotline Miami launched on PC late last year, is an ode to the cocaine fuelled action movies of old. Now it has made its way from PC to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita and the result is a game that induces symptoms just like the aforementioned drug above, from what I’ve heard anyway.
Hotline Miami Is a top-down shooter which each level covered in vivid colours and by the end of each level, mostly in one colour, red. In Hotline Miami, you kill everyone in sight, without question. You play as a character who receives voice-mails at home tasking you to go to a location and “sorting” things out. Essentially, you go a level, take in your surroundings and very carefully take out every bad guy in the level.
The game is unforgiving but incredibly fair at the same time. Every enemy game be killed with one strike or bullet with sometimes a gruesome execution is needed. The fair aspect is that you can be killed in one strike or bullet too. Everything moves incredibly fast and each chapter adds new elements like dogs and windows. It may seem minimal but adds a lot of strategy and planning and makes you rethink your plans.
Hotline Miami will require many restarts on levels as you figure out just what you must do to progress through the game. Trial an error though has never felt so entertaining as your brains are spread across the colourful carpet.
The last piece of strategy is at the beginning of each level. Before you start your rampage, you can choose a mask to wear. Not only does this make you look awesome, but it has some perks like kitting you with a knife at the start of the level or makes using a door lethal, killing an enemy on impact. It’s a small implementation that helps shape your playstyle.
It was always going to be a scary thought regarding the controls because it needs to be perfect. Thankfully controls on the PlayStation platforms are excellent with a clear nod towards the PlayStation Vita version. The loose analogue controls on PlayStation 3 keep it from feeling as precise as PlayStation Vita.
On the Vita, Hotline Miami is worth every cent. It’s easily one of the best games you can play on the platform and it’s incredibly hard to put down, retrying the same ten seconds over and over again trying to take out the newest threat. It also looks great on the Vita’s OLED screen.
Hotline Miami is a cacophony throat slitting and head smashing and its worth every single penny. One last thing to mention is the soundtrack which is one of the greatest soundtracks in a long time. Playing the same few seconds over and over again doesn’t feel dull at all and that’s partially due to the incredibly addictive soundtrack. Hotline Miami is a rush.