User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 172 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 172

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  1. Jan 27, 2014
    4
    This game is so frustrating and empty. It's beyond me that it got such a high score.

    - To begin with, Hotline Miami has no customization beyond ''masks'' that give special abilities, no cinematics and no story whatsoever. I know it's not a 60$ game but it looks cooler than it is.

    - Devoid of a godmode, the game requires to start over a zillion times. It sucks. There is no
    justification to this.

    - Excluding the restart annoyance, the game is very short.

    Really beyond cool sounds and soundtrack, you will not find much in this one.
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  2. Jan 1, 2014
    9
    Brilliant music, one of the most screwed up storylines I've ever experienced and fast, frenetic frantically violent gameplay makes for an absolute winner of a game in which you will die... millions of times but still come back for more.
  3. Dec 21, 2013
    7
    A brutal game that pays homage to the gory 80's action flicks and retro games of old. The game nails style, sporting old-school graphics and soundtrack that really help suck you into the game. It's story is also great, if a little too vague, and leaves you with a sense of mystery about the events of the experience. I found myself asking if the character had just gone insane, or if it was all just one cocaine fueled nightmare. The story might not give you all the answers, but it definitely keeps you guessing in a good way. Where the game stumbles the most for me is in it's gameplay.

    This is a challenging game, just not always fairly. Enemies can kill you in one hit so you really have to come up with a good strategy if you want to get through these levels. The problem with this is that death can just feel random at times. You might be able to get the drop on an enemy one second, only to have them gain foresight next time and blow you away before you can even get close. I have had enemies ignore loud gunshots, yet somehow manage t hear me open a door from halfway across the map and swarm me. It's moments like these that just make it seem like death can be unfair, but unlimited lives make up for most of the frustration.

    Another area where the game stumbles is with it's controls. It's got a twin stick shooter set-up, but aiming with the analog stick feels stiff and awkward making it almost impossible to pull off a quick shot when you need to without the lock on system. Unfortunately the lock-on system also has it's own issues. It doesn't always lock on to the target you want it to, and I've had times where it would change targets on me for no reason. Issues like these can add many deaths to a game that will already kill you if you're not on your toes. Naturally these issues, as well as the light hit detection issues, lead to a lot of deaths that just don't feel fair.

    So these issues do bring down the experience, but they don't ruin it. When everything is working the way it should the game can be an absolute blast. Bashing an enemies brains in and completing a level is extremely rewarding and there are plenty of reasons to replay levels for new unlockables and high-scores. Overall this is a flawed game that can still provide a heck of a lot of fun if you're willing to put up with it's issues. It can be a frustrating experience, but there are enough good things here that I fell that I can still recommend it to those who are looking for something different and don't mind the games extreme brutality.
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  4. Dec 17, 2013
    0
    Being killed after one hit just doesn't work in a game as inprecise as this. I do not recommend this to anyone because you will die at the first try..
  5. Nov 11, 2013
    4
    While the game's graphic, and frankly over the top violence can be quite fun, it has several major flaws. First, the ai has eyes in the back of their heads and reflexes humans could only dream of making game play just a ton of trial and error. Second, hit detection is not one of this games strong points and can create a variety of frustrating circumstances. Third, the developers seem to have equated challenging to nigh impossible. Fourth, the horribly retarded floating everything will give you nausea very quickly destroying any fun that might have been had from trial and error. Expand
  6. Nov 10, 2013
    10
    This game is great. It's 80's themed style and music go perfectly with it's over-the-top bloody violence. I have been playing for weeks and am incredibly addicted. I highly recommend this game. It is definitely difficult, but that's what makes it so special. It holds a special place in my heart.
  7. Nov 5, 2013
    9
    Hotline Miami is brutal, hard and beautiful. It has an astounding soundtrack and an amazing story. But, despite all those qualities, the game is not perfect
  8. Oct 28, 2013
    10
    Its about time we got an uber-violent top down game. Good lord this game kicks your behind. The soundtrack is so good, and the quick restart when you die makes the challenge worth replaying over and over. The first coupe levels are well balanced and help the user get better at the game. But by chapter eight the difficulty level skyrockets. I still haven't beaten it, but I will at some point. I love indie games but this is the first one I've truly felt compelled to complete and play for hours and hours. Its good to play with friends too. I wish there was a co-op or vs. multiplayer. Can you image a 3v3 version of this game? That would go hard. I think this is free on PS Plus right now. Gain it. 10/10 Expand
  9. Oct 24, 2013
    6
    Addictive gameplay and extreme blood, but the graphics sucks, I see indie games with incredible graphics (journey, limbo). The difficult is very hard, you die many times and the story is a big piece of
  10. Oct 23, 2013
    2
    This game is really bad and I do not recommend it to anybody. I am not sure why there are so many positive reviews on it and I am actually surprised that it has as high of a rating that it does.

    The controls are difficult but not hard just really annoying trying to remember what they do considering that the do multiple things a one time depend on what you are holding. I gave it a 2
    because it kept me occupied up to chapter three but there is virtualy NO plot and you can't do ANYTHING in the levels not even your own house!

    All you do is: Go to car to fast travel to level, kill X number of bad guys; level is completed, back to car to fast travel to a random shop where the clerk is the EXACT same guyin all shops who ALWAYS knows what you want and all you can take is the one thing he already has for you and then you go back to car to fast travel back to your house and the whole thing starts all over again in that order.

    I am really, really surprised that there is a second one an I will not waste a second even checking that one out.

    Don't waste your time with this one!!!
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  11. Oct 16, 2013
    8
    The reason I like Hotline Miami so much is how the game, despite its uber-challenging gameplay, wacko convoluted story and super simple graphics, really makes me, the player, feel like the main character. I can't play Hotline more than an hour or so at a time because I eyes start to hurt, my heart starts pumping really fast and I swear I start hearing and seeing things. The game really makes you feel like a homicidal lunatic, which is pretty cool if you ask me. Gameplay is that good kind of frustrating in that you'll die a billion times and smack your fist against the wall in anger a lot after a guard dog eats your neck, but you just grit your teeth, thank the lord for quick respawn times, and try again. It gets a bit too trial-and-error sometimes because I sometimes feel like my successes are total flukes, but regardless of how you do it, the feeling of finishing a stage is truly rewarding. Soundtrack is great and the art style is fitting. Story is complete drivel, but it helps you feel like a coked-out mental patient, so I'll give it a pass. Overall, I'd say definitely not perfect but super fun, in an ever-so-disturbing way. Expand
  12. Oct 6, 2013
    9
    I love this game, at times it can be horrifyingly scary others it can be a fast paced action packed kill fest, but either way you'll still enjoy it. Just don't play it if you get sick at the sight of squished squirrel on the road.
  13. Sep 5, 2013
    8
    Fast, fun, simple and addictive with clever retro 80's design work and great soundtracks to accompany it. Proof that simple graphics and simple intuitive gameplay work well.
  14. Aug 20, 2013
    8
    Despite its simple 2D graphics and early GTA style overhead perspective Hotline Miami is certainly one of the most violent titles I can recall playing. Underneath however is very extremely entertaining video game, albeit a difficult one that may be a little too challenging for some.

    The game itself is split into chapters, almost all of which involve infiltrating a different building and
    killing everyone inside. When described like that it doesn't sound like much but in reality it plays like a fast paced puzzle game as you plan your way around each level attempting not to leave yourself open to attack, something you'll definitely want to avoid as your enemies will never miss their shot and will kill you with one hit.

    Extra depth is added to proceedings in two main ways. Firstly the player is allowed to choose a mask at the start of each chapter that provides a 'special ability', such as starting each level with a knife or having guard dogs not attack. More of these masks are unlocked as the game progresses allowing for levels to be completed in different ways. Players can also switch between melee weapons and guns as they proceed. Guns allow you to kill enemies from further away but (unless you have the specific mask that silences guns) the shot will give away your position, often resulting in a flood of bad guys heading your way.

    Add to this an intriguing, if rather vague storyline, and Hotline Miami certainly provides great value for money in its five to six hour (depending on how often you die) running time.
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  15. Aug 18, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game. Oh, God, this game. I have spent hours upon hours playing this game, it is superb and i love it. It may even be my favorite indie game of the year! First, presentation. Hotline Miami is set in 1989, it wanted to look like something you would see in the 90's, and it totally got it right. The flickering and the colour scheme fits the mood so well, and even for a pixely game, it is just beautiful. It's a pretty gory game, which doesn't usually bother me, but this game is just brutal. Every hit you make feels real and consequential, it fits the character so well, you really do get a deep and visceral impact from it. Brilliant. I really did like the way Hotline Miami controlled, it felt rigid, but still fluid and usable. The premise of this game is murder. Cold-hearted murder. Not like what you see in war games, where they kill without remorse, Jacket really feels his actions throughout each level, and so does the player. This game is definitely not for the weak of heart or stomach. The mask theme is genius. Who are you? Why do you do this? What kind of monster lies beneath this mask? A normal man with no other choice. The masks give you different abilities, which you can unlock in the game the more you play. I think that is a great implementation of symbolism. The game gets more and more surreal the further into the story you get, and the more surreal it gets, the more immersive the story is and the more you want to play. You want to know what happens next, what kind of mayhem awaits you on the next floor? This game's story is just amazing. It's dark, terrifying and breathtaking. Every new level gets tougher and darker. Every kill you make has an impact on you, whether it was a shot from a distance, or hands-on murder. This game is brilliant, and i loved every second of it. Amazing. Expand
  16. Aug 12, 2013
    9
    Cool game! Worth the 10$ this game is pretty hard but its cool to me a game that's so retro is this fun. Story is pretty corny but no matter this game is about strategy and not dying!! Well worth the measly 500 mb on your hard drive and the PS3 version includes the Vita version which is cool. Oh yeah and the music is pretty sick and fits the vibe very well. If you like to play small games between your big games this is definetely for you. Expand
  17. Aug 8, 2013
    10
    One of the most unique games I have ever played. A compelling understory topped with 80's retro and miami vice-inspired setpieces create a truly memorable experience. The great soundtrack combined with digitalized blood and guns make it one of the best games of the year
  18. Aug 6, 2013
    10
    I created an account to praise this game and to point out what an Idiot Chaeote is. An adolescent could figure out the control scheme. That being said, Hotline Miami is a very special game. When you massacre your way through a level, it makes you feel like a badass. This masterpiece proves that gameplay and story has the ability to carry the gamer from front to back. Don't get me wrong, the retro style graphics were a lot of fun. I have played through this game several times and keep coming back. I'm not the type to replay a game once I get to the end, even if there are multiple incentives, but Hotline Miami brings me back weekly. Get this game. Expand
  19. Aug 2, 2013
    0
    Ok, I watched videos of this game thinkling "huh, that looks cool", finally got my hands on it.

    And, the game is completely unapproachable without third -party help. The "tutorial" in short, gives you BASIC button assignments to do actions, some of which overlap, which means they need more explanation so you don't do the wrong thing at the wrong time.

    Then it displays all this
    information in a stupid "trippy" floating font style, that takes you 3 times to go over just so you can read the damn thing.

    I have no idea how the gameplay is, because I couldn't understand it enough to even start attempting the first level, and my eyes were hurting because nothing on screen (the TEXT) could stand still for 2 seconds).

    I'm sure people like this game, that's obvious, but, holy crap... I can't even start the thing without getting a headache.
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  20. Jul 29, 2013
    8
    A great cheap retro like game

    Story: For a game that is about £7 on the playstation store there is an incredible amount of detail in this games story. The main plot involves you playing as a psychopath who keeps receiving phone calls instructing him to kill people. It may seem dead simple but there is a lot more to it than that and it will make you want to see through this game till the
    very end.

    Gameplay: This is a challenging trial and error game but it is also fair in the sense that any deaths are caused by a mistake that you've made. The game never feels cheap because of this and the gameplay is addicting. Every room has you planning your attack on your victims making this seem like a puzzle game which is rare for a game this violent. All of the planning keeps you on your toes as you are constantly switching between weapons trying to figure out which one is going to help you the most. Most weapons have something different about them (eg. some melee weapons are slower to hit people with and guns will most likely make too much noise). All weapons are 1 hit kills adding more tension to the gameplay as you try and stay one step ahead of the sometimes unpredictable AI. Beating a level feels very rewarding and you feel like a badass every time you kill the last guy in the room. The only parts were the difficulty jumps up are certain boss encounters which do require a lot of movement but once again it is really just coming down to whether you have the best game plan to beat the level.You have the option of wearing different masks in every level and can add perks to you such as starting with a silenced uzi or being harder to notice for enemies it adds a great deal of strategy to the game and makes you want to play it dozens of times to try out new masks while searching for the rest of them in each level. There is also a puzzle in the game that requires you looking for letters combine them in the pause menu which adds more replay-ability to an already addicting game.

    Graphics: The graphics are much like the NES giving the game a retro feel but it is surprisingly gory for a game with these kind of graphics. Heads explode, peoples skulls are bashed, a pool of blood quickly drips out of a stab wound and much more it is a surprise but it fits with the games message throughout.

    This game is incredibly addicting the only problem is it's short length but with the different masks and the hidden puzzle as well as bonus challenges there is plenty to do in the game and it is well worth the £7 price tag. A special shout out to the amazing soundtrack too which helps to immerse you into the game world and just like the game itself is incredibly addicting to listen to.
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  21. Jul 28, 2013
    9
    This game is worth buying for the soundtrack alone. The fact that the game itself is awesome is merely gravy. The controls take getting used to, but once you are in the zone you will feel like more of a bad ass than any game in a while.
  22. Jul 27, 2013
    9
    A truly fantastic game. I can't imagine it's for everyone, with its over the top gore and retro aesthetic/game play, but if you're up for that, then give this game a go. It features one of the best soundtracks in gaming history with tracks from Perturbator, M O O N and Sun Araw, giving it an excellent 80s vibe as you explore and shoot/slice/clobber through the mysterious world of Hotline Miami.
    The story; while not entirely apparent, seems to purposely keep players in the dark to elude to some sort of enigma that keeps the entire game shrouded in suspense. This works as a great motivator to beat Hotline Miami even if you don't care for getting high combos and scores. There aren't many games like Hotline Miami so full of interactivity yet also with such a fast pace; want to use the shotgun a guy just dropped after you smashed his head in, or a brick you found on the floor to be lobbed at three thugs in succession? You can.
    I'm not some goreaphile like some folk who obsesses over having ultra detailed blood and guts in their games, but the gore certainly does add some extra dimension to this game. It just fits the overall atmosphere and brutality of it all; thereby only enhancing the experience. If you want something very different yet adrenaline pumping, exciting and full of fast paced and unrelenting action, definitely try Hotline Miami. It's an experience you won't swiftly forget.
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  23. Jul 22, 2013
    10
    This game is great. It's 80's themed style and music go perfectly with it's over-the-top bloody violence. I have been playing for weeks and am incredibly addicted. I highly recommend this game. It is definitely difficult, but that's what makes it so special. It holds a special place in my heart.
  24. Jul 8, 2013
    9
    Such a unique and interesting game. It finally arrived on PSN in all it's neon glory and I could not be happier. If you have the cash, check out Hotline Miami especially because a sequel is on the way.
  25. Jun 28, 2013
    9
    Hotline Miami is a fantastic game. It's unique gameplay is addicting, and it's story is compelling and clever, which made me never want to stop playing. The art design of the game is really great, and the level design is fantastic in every level. It's soundtrack is nothing short of great either. My only big problem with the game were the boss fights, they were sometimes really frustrating.
  26. Jun 27, 2013
    7
    This is a really great game that focuses on gameplay, but even so: music and graphics are good too.
    If you want some a good quality "old-school fun", this is excellent for you.
  27. Oct 24, 2013
    0
    Addictive gameplay and extreme blood, but the graphics sucks, I see indie games with incredible graphics (journey, limbo). The difficult is very hard, you die many times and the story is a big piece of
Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. The ultra-violent indie hit Hotline Miami has found its way unto our PlayStation 3 an Vita and it is a drug infused combination between GTA, Metal Gear, neon lights and animal masks. Yes, you should play this. [September p.91]
  2. Sep 10, 2013
    90
    Hotline Miami is ludological entertainment at its finest. It is a game about grinding levels and that practice makes perfect. It is also a game about exploring new narratives and discussing the video game worlds fascination with violence and gore. A must play.
  3. Sep 1, 2013
    93
    Dizzyingly good soundtrack. [Oct 2013, p.73]