Well, I think it’s safe to say this Indie Game Reviewer has a new favourite Indie Game.
Before I begin losing my mind by trying to condense everything I loved about this game into a couple hundred words, let me set the scene a little for you. Hotline Miami is an uber-violent, top-down beat ‘em up game that’s highly stylistic and somewhat difficult. It follows the story of un-named protagonists as they work their way through the narratives and meta-narratives constructed by Dennaton Games, in which they receive calls to go on “dates”, with said dates ending in the protagonists murdering everyone in the vicinity of said destination. Gruesome right? Yep. Insanely fun? Oh you betcha. Could I give you a better rundown of the story……we’ll get on to that in a moment.
This game executes everything that it needed to flawlessly. It’s fast, exhilaratingly so. It’s difficult, but more in an “ARGH! I KNOW I CAN DO THIS COME ON LET’S GO!” kinda way, instead of a “Why am I even bothering, this is horse manure”, controller throwing way. You have a plethora of weapons at your disposable to dispatch your targets, but that won’t stop each of them from screaming across the screen and taking you down with one hit as soon as they catch you in their line of sight. Your character wears animal masks that give him special powers such as punches that take enemies down instantly or make it harder for enemies to spot you, and you feel as though they really make a difference to your gameplay.
Then there’s the soundtrack. I’d say this is the standout point of the game for me (let’s pretend that I’m not in fact streaming said soundtrack as I’m writing this review………leave me alone). The pounding disco beats, the surreal atmospheric droning, the dirty rock basslines, I got goosebumps during a synth solo on the track called “Perturbator”, that’s how incredible I think it is.
What’s even better is that after only playing the game through once, I feel as though multiple playthroughs would completely change my outlook of the story. Nothing feels real during your first playthrough, like floating through a dream….a very trippy, nonsensical dream. You are fully aware of the main story occurring, and you’re glad it’s there for you to grasp onto, but deep down inside as I was playing I knew somewhere there was a message I was missing. Maybe there is, maybe the developers will stumble across this somehow and giggle to themselves at how much I’m overthinking this (and if they are reading this, hi guys! Nice of you to drop by, can I have Hotline Miami 2 now please? Great stuff thanks a lot).
Get this game. Experience this game. You will not regret it.