Generally favorable reviews- based on 759 Ratings
Oct 23, 2012Hotline Miami is just as fun as it is punishing, that is to say that it's a whole lot of both. It's a top-down fmup (think shmup but extremely brutal) with a pretty heavy tactical element to it that keeps you thinking about how to approach every situation more and more efficiently each time you die--and you'll die an awful lot. Any enemy can kill you or knock you out in one hit, so you'll be trying one idea, failing, and then refining that idea a few times until you have that glorious satisfaction of overcoming all the odds against you. The level design is pretty complex and the enemies are varied enough that the trial-and-error gameplay doesn't become stale. There is almost always a genuine challenge (apart from two absolutely ridiculous boss battles and a pretty cheap stealth segment), making the "trial" in "trial-and-error" something really, really compelling. The AI isn't great at picking up on signs that you're in their midst, but if it was, the game would probably be absolutely impossible. The campaign follows a narrative that isn't very strong, but it's definitely something interesting. It complements the stressful gameplay with some really weird hallucinations that actually make you wonder what the hell is actually going on, and then, even though it's not very complex, it ties up loose ends in a pretty fascinating way. The graphics, despite the really ugly face drawings, are stylish and give off an extremely eighties vibe, though there are no options to turn off some features like screen sway, which will probably end up hurting the game's accessibility. The real aesthetic star is the soundtrack, though. For 2012, it's one of the absolute best game soundtracks, right up there with Vessel. Because of its extreme challenge, Hotline Miami is probably not a game for most people, but it's extremely good at what it does, and despite a few caveats it's one of the best games this year.… Full Review »
Feb 3, 2013Personally, I didn't enjoy this game at all. I won't begrudge the devs the $2.50 I spent on it given the obvious care and attention that's been put into the music and aesthetic, but the gameplay style just left me cold. It really requires an absurd level of repetition to get through any part of the game in order to just learn the mechanics, and that's just not my cup of tea.
The in-game brutality is matched only by how brutally the game treats the player. If that sort of gaming masochism is your thing, then have at it.
For reference sake, I think Super Meat Boys is hard too. But this is harder a LOT harder. I enjoyed SMB up to a point. This, not so much.… Full Review »