Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number – Bloodbath

Hotline Miami 2

Hotline Miami 2 is closer to the last levels of the first game (Biker) than the rest of Hotline Miami (Jacket and all his masks), and thus feels like a direct continuation rather than just a new coat of paint. This opinion might seem a bit obtuse now, but I will explain later on why it is an important distinction. So, why is it a continuation rather than a new take?

Well, at first, the difficulty is brutal right off the bat. This game is aimed at people who already played Hotline Miami 1 and are familiar with the concept of its ultra-violent twitch gameplay associated with tight level design forcing the players to plan their route according to the situations.

And then, the playable characters are mostly forced, just like Biker was, and they have an equally narrow skill set. Biker had a hatchet and three knives to throw but could not pick up weapons? Tony from Hotline Miami 2 has his insta-kill fists but is unable to pick up weapons.

Hotline Miami 2

The game moved on from the freedom of choice offered in the majority of Hotline Miami 1, and forces a more controlled experience. This idea goes further, as a lot of levels are designed so tightly that the chaotic action of Hotline Miami 1 has been replaced by puzzles with barely more than one way to solve them.

Moreover, the gameplay is overall less rough around the edges, with more solid surfaces that block bullets, and most especially a seemingly slower speed, I feel more like I have to anticipate every movement rather than play on the fly and let my instincts and skills take over. More ‘slow’, less ‘flow’.

So here I come to the point that I made at the start: Hotline Miami 2 feels like a more controlled experience as a direct continuation to the Biker levels, rather than the early levels with their chaotic sandbox design that allowed for a much wider variety of approaches.

Hotline Miami 2

However, enough Hotline Miami 2 levels are not so tight and can offer variety, and a lot of missions offer a choice between different characters or weapons. So the game still does a good job at offering variety. My observation is just that the variety feels forced, rather than the sweet spot and perfect flow that I felt Hotline Miami 1 achieved.

Hotline Miami 2 is more polished that the first one. Way more polished. The levels, atmosphere, sounds/music and story lines have all been crafted with great attention to details and take the player on several journeys that make this sequel well worth playing. The game definitively feels fresh and ambitious rather than ‘more of the same’, and its controlled chaos makes the first Hotline Miami still relevant with its less polished but more chaotic and free ultra-violence.

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One Response to Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number – Bloodbath

  1. d1zo d1zo says: (1 comment.)

    I have just played this game, it’s marvelous.

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