Game Review - Hotline Miami on PC

Written by subzerobelow on December 01, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

Hotline Miami is a special case of matching between aesthetics and indie gameplay. I find it crucial for game developers, especially in indie front to build on the advantages of their art style rather than be a chance of circumstance. You will be hard pressed to find a game that matches a vaper wave aesthetic, and even more so to find a game that does it so perfectly. Along with a killer soundtrack featuring a mixture of artists and frustrating gameplay that is challenging and random. I would highly recommend the game for a quick session of high paced adrenaline.
Gameplay: The AI is random by nature and helps with the sense of progression one has with understanding the game on a deeper level. Rather than play a few lives then progressing by memorization. You must adapt and change your play style to what is available to you. That could be the number of men in a room or what weapons you have. It makes the game feel more frustrating for sure since it's left up for a chance but in return it makes the player be more involved with the actual gameplay rather than trying to pass it for the sake of passing it. There is some chose given to the player to offset this randomness. For instance, the masks that are given at the start of the map allow for preparation and can help with the sort of play style the player likes to use. This duet of customization and randomization allows the experience to have a lot of replayability as the amount of content the game has is limited. An in-game scoreboard helps with this as well since you can sharpen your skills and try to get a perfect run to beat the best.
Narrative: A interesting but short story about one man?s insane adventure. Jacket (community name) is a silent protagonist that is lead by a series of phone calls over the course of several days to commit serial murders or else. This leads him into a bigger story then is first shown and it makes for a very interesting setup for what will be the ending of the game. The game also shows at times ridicule or disgust for the man?s actions through the visions that given which I believe give the character more depth as you go along. Because the nature of the main protagonist it uses these visions to show the inner workings for the character. I enjoyed the fact they showed the story from a different perspective at the end when they changed to a previous character in the story. This makes more sense for the story and finishes it off in a rounder way.
Graphics: Great use of vaper wave aesthetics for the game as it exaggerates the extremely graphic nature. It feels non-aggressive strangely as the aesthetic helps calm the brutality of the game. In a way, the art style makes it feel like a flash player game to me and reminds me of the old days when I played them quite a bit.
Music: Here comes agreeably the best part of the game and my personal favorite. Done by all indie artists, it gives the game the all encumbering style that I know and love. Rather than by complete chiptune in nature we get an 80?s vibe with modern aesthetics. This reflects a lot in the soundtrack of the game in some of my favorites like Hydrogen, Miami, Perturbator. The large assortment of artists gives the game more variety to work within the different scenes and moods.
Overall one of the most stylized games I have ever played and experienced, it also has a lot of value in what indies can give in their unique approach. You probably will never see something like this come out of a Triple-A publisher as it's too big of a risk to both make and advertise. The game is available on steam for $10 and comes with the option to buy the soundtrack which I highly recommend. No specs here (unless you are using a 20-year computer, but in a way that would fit this game even more) and totally worth a score of 9/10.

Gameplay Rating: 8
Story Rating: 7
Graphics & Visuals Rating: 9
Sound Rating: 9
Overall Rating: 9

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Game Information

Platform
PC
Developer(s)
Dennaton Games
Publisher(s)
Devolver Digital
Genre(s)
Action, Shooter
NA Release Date
October 23, 2012
ESRB Rating
M
MVGL User Score
8.3
Official Website
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