On its release, Hotline Miami stunned the world with its over the top violence, out there story telling and a lot of style. Prepare to snap your controllers in half as we return to Miami to find out if Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number live up to such the original?
Since its release in 2012, Hotline Miami has been my go-to game when nothing else catches my fancy. It’s brutal and unforgiving combat has a way of relieving my stress while being enjoyably frustrating and immensely rewarding. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number takes everything that made the original Hotline Miami great, adds in a new story of gruesome bloody murders and tries out a few new gameplay mechanics to make another highly entertaining game.
The twitch gameplay is back and as great as ever, very few games ever feel as rewarding as perfectly making your way through one of Hotline Miamis large levels without dying. This series is for those that want the hardcore challenge of Dark souls but don’t have the attention span.
Dennaton Games move towards large open environments did remove some of the fun of the first game. In these levels cheap kills do come thick and fast and being blasted repeated by a shotgunner that is outside the screen can become tedious.
Like Hotline Miami, one tiny mistake can turn the perfect run through one of the games levels into just another learn experience. I just wish more of these mistakes weren’t because of characters completely off screen.
Wrong Number uses the same fabulous style as the original Hotline Miami but moves one to a more 90’s tone. While the 16 bit style might put off some gamers, the style fits perfectly in with the weird world. While Hotline Miami’s mask system does make an appearance for some characters, it has mostly been replaced by a motley collection of playable characters, each with their own piece of the games story. Wrong Number does see a quick cameo from the first games main character, Jacket but more of the game features new characters.
While most of the playable characters feel like one another, a few really stand out, changing the feel of the story. Nicklas the Soldier’s battlefield-inspired levels do give the a special forces operative serving his country rather than the mindless slaughter perpetrated by some of the others.
Evan Wright, The Writer is a first for the series allowing for completely non lethal run throughs of his levels. A nice touch when playing as Evan are the short animations of him disabling enemy guns to take them out of play. Close combat characters like Evan offer an interesting change of pace from many of the gun heavy levels, forcing players to adapt just adds to the challenge.
The only real problem with Wrong Number is the almost supernatural ability of the AI to sense the player. At times I almost expected the four or five enemies that were suddenly running at me to pull out lightsabers and send lighting flying at me. There were also a few moments where the AI went a crazy, watch dogs would wander around in circles or guards would appear to have fits, luckily these were few and far between.
Unlike Hotline Miami, completing Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number unlocks a new hard mode that changes up the levels and enemy lay outs while also disabling the enemy lock feature. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number’s Hard mode is there for those of us that just want to be tortured that little bit more.
Like the first game, Wrong Number’s soundtrack is perfect. It’s made up of artists that I have never heard of so it is probably very cool but each track fits perfectly into the intense gameplay.
Anyone that has been keeping up to date on the game will know about the rape scene controversy. The scene isn’t the worst depiction of rape in a game but it may make some players uncomfortable. Dennaton Games do give an option to skip this scene so it is not forced upon anyone.
While most of the time I spent with Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number was fantastic, I did come across a few bugs and glitches like getting stuck inside a vehicle I shouldn’t have been able to enter but still tried. One level breaking glitch had a key item become stuck inside the world leaving me no way to progress and having to start the level again.
The PlayStation Vita version of the game works very well and the inclusion of cross save is a must in this day and age. Cross save is done automatically, unlike some other there is no need to upload your latest file, so you can pick up right where you left off when you’re out and about.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number offers gamers more of the same but at the same time changes things up enough to keep it feeling fresh. Fans of the first game should definitely get a copy but anyone that hated it should steer clear.
Now that they have finished with the Hotline Miami series I can’t wait to see what Dennaton Games have in store for us next.
This review is based on a copy of Hotline Miami 2 – Wrong Number for the Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita provided to us by the developer.