Monday, June 24, 2013

Flagging enthusiasm about Hotline Miami

At first Hotline Miami gripped me. This is not surprising as it is one of those rare indie classics that receive universal praise and mega sales.

As many others have pointed out the gameplay is superb. You must kill all your enemies without getting hit once. You will get hit over and over and have to reload many times but the rapid pace of the game means you don't care. It is a perfect addictive blend of quick fire tactics and precise control.

The atmosphere is even better than superb. Ugly blurry graphics and a sublimely dissonant soundtrack really nail the retro 1980's drug fuelled gangster vibe for me.

Surprisingly the thing which increasingly disappointed me was the story. At first I didn't expect the game to have a story at all or perhaps to have a very wierd one. As I play through the game however it is slowly becoming clear that there is a fairly mundane story hidden behind the frantic killing. Knowing that I wouldn't have the patience to hunt down all the story clues through multiple play throughs I googled it. Sadly the story is pretty silly and in no way a fitting reward for all the effort retired to unlock it. Worse still the story affects the gameplay in an undesirable way. Some of the games later levels are actually easier than early levels which is a disappointment.


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