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March 4, 2014 / Jett

Hotline Miami Impressions

Hotline Miami grabbed my attention immediately with its retro art style, gritty story and phenomenal music. Having won me over on style, I wanted to get into this game in the worst way to see where it went. But then the reality of its gameplay set in.

The game features a Smash TV-like overhead perspective and shooting, though the action is far more tactical. You’ll die in one hit and enemies are quick to take you down. As such, you must approach every level with surgical precision. In one room, you may need to stab a guy with your knife. Then you take his gun and head to the next room, where there are two guys on patrol. When one guy walks in front of the door, kick it down, shoot the other guy and stomp the first guy’s head in. It’s all very thrilling in the moment, though there’s a ton of trial-and-error involved.

I found that I would die on basically every single encounter. I’d learn my lesson, eventually overcome it, then move onto the next thing. There’s a Trials HD-like quality to this action, though I found that the game’s difficulty ramped up too fast. By the third or fourth chapter, I felt like I’d hit a point where I just wasn’t willing to push any further.

I really want to like Hotline Miami, but I’m just not going to put in the work to power through it. It requires a lot of patience trial-and-error as well as a ton of patience to get through, which is something I unfortunately lack as a gamer. At some point, I think I’ll pick up the soundtrack to experience the rest of the game’s incredible tunes, but I don’t think I’ll be going back to Miami anytime soon.

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