- + Same great gameplay coupled with sweet new additions
- + Soundtrack will make your ears happy
- - Difficulty spikes might put some people off
Want to look beyond the score? Read the full written review below…
Hotline Miami 2 presents a world that’s bigger, bolder and more brutal than the first game, so much so that the original looks like training wheels. With the introduction of a more robust and plentiful campaign, there’s an endless amount of content to work through. Dennaton Games have increased their scope of Hotline Miami’s world dramatically, and in doing so, have created yet another retro triumph.
Set before and after the events of the first game, you’ll interweave between different timelines and characters, learning more about the masked maniacs that go on killing sprees. With a variety of different people to control, each present their own unique fighting style. For instance, at times you’ll control an investigative reporter looking for a story, and when he runs into trouble he can’t use guns, only none-lethal items. If you manage to get through his levels without killing a single person, then you’ll receive a trophy for doing so. It flips everything on its head and, after all, there’s hardly a moment when you’re not tasked with slaughtering countless thugs.
Through the twenty seven chapters available, including its prologue and bonus scene, I immediately fell back into the series’ hypnotic styling and soundtrack. In the first game its music was an integral part of the experience, and here it’s no different; each and every level is accompanied by its own track, and they’re all mind-bending. The mixture of adrenaline inducing tunes are part of what makes this sequel so special, and I’m surprised its developers were able to excel this score beyond the first. When you’re known for creating great music, it’s a tall order to meet expectations on a sequel, but Dennaton Games have outdone themselves.
Carrying the same testing gameplay, via an endless pattern of deaths it’s up to you to learn from your mistakes and move forward. All it takes is one hit from an enemy to get killed: whether that’s through a stray bullet or one hit from their fists. As expected, masks make a return, and before you enter most levels you’ll have the chance to pick one to alter a characters play style. Each one has different consequences: whether it’s being able to punch people to death but use no weapons, or gain the ability to perform a combat roll. Regardless, the same addictive, twin-stick gameplay returns.
There aren’t any major problems I came across, however, there’s no doubt the the frantic, top-down approach won’t be for everyone. If it isn’t, then I’m sorry, but nothing quite matches the satisfaction of running through an entire level without dying. It’s fast-paced and brutal start may put people off, but Dennaton Games have managed to produce a great sequel, worthy of a place in anyone’s gaming library.
Straight from the beginning, Hotline Miami 2 picks you up and hardly ever puts you down. Through a series of addictive levels, I suggest you give in to the pumping music and fall into its trance. It’s pure, adrenaline-fuelled fun.
*Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number was provided to Start Replay by Dennaton Games