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PC Game Review

Hotline Miami 2
Wrong Number


Format: PC
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Dennaton Games
RRP: £11.99
Click here to buy
Age Restrictions: 18+
Release Date: 10 March 2015

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is the brutal conclusion to the Hotline Miami saga, set against a backdrop of escalating violence and retribution over spilled blood in the original game. Follow the paths of several distinct factions – each with their own questionable methods and uncertain motivations – as unforeseen consequences intersect and reality once again slips back into a brilliant haze of neon and bloodshed...

Review imageAny game which starts with an option as to whether you want to skip scenes of sexual violence either is showing great sensitivity or insensitivity, or already knows what most people will choose and is banking on a titillation factor to get you to play. Hotline Miami 2 is, unsurprisingly, a sequel to the first game, but because of its structure also acts as a prequel, as the action takes place around the original story.

Booting the game up was not an impressive experience, maybe I’m a little odd, but when you pay a significant amount of money for a gaming PC do you really want graphics which look like an 8-bit extravaganza? The game is a top down 2D actioner set in a murky world of murder and mafia and contains a normal mode and a hard mode accessible on the completion of the former.

It may have been a deliberate decision to present the game with low grade graphics. Firstly this is a very violent game and even with the degraded look it has an eighteen certificate. Secondly, what the game lacks in graphic punch it more than compensates with a punchy - no pun intended - immersive, multi-thread storyline.

Review imageThe game has multiple characters for you to play, each with their own traits and abilities, which can be further enhanced with the use of masks, which gift new abilities. Often you have to match both your character and their attributes depending on which map you’re playing. The maps are large and, as far as it goes, detailed. The level designs are of a high quality, with the colour palette ranging from vibrant to garish.

This does create one problem with the suspension of reality. Being top down the actual area that the player can see is relatively small, so when an enemy appears, he or she would have been in full sight of the game character even though we cannot see them. Why should you care? Well when you get killed by someone you would have seen in reality, but is only obscured by the game's layout, this is a little more than annoying. Backing this all up is an impressive bass techno soundtrack.

One of the big selling points of the game is its replay value. The world of Hotline Miami does not restrict the player to a single solution and decisions made in the game have differing consequences as the meandering storylines crisscross each other.

Review imageThe main character of ‘Jacket’ returns, but usually only as a supporting character, for the most part you will be playing fresh meat, so to speak. There are four main storylines involving emulators of the original killer, an investigative journalist, a murder detective and some ex-army companions. As theses stories happen around the original, if you have not played the first game you may not get the over arching reason why any of this is happening.

So, what we have is a large, sprawling game with multiple threads and various ways of playing, but if you’re not a fan of the original you may find yourself becoming quickly confused as to the aim of it all.


Charles Packer

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