‘Hotline Miami’ review
By Ryan Volkman, Contributor
Hotline Miami is a two-dimensional action video game that lets you play as an unnamed hit man who shoots his way through 22 levels full of blood-soaked mobster killing and boss battles. For those of you who are looking to remember the simpler days of video games, then this ’80s-inspired game is for you.
The game is available to download through Steam and GOG.com (formerly Good Old Games) for Windows and Mac. It begins with a phone call from an unknown client to “eliminate” Russian gangsters. Next thing you know you’re off hunting down your new targets to the tune of an ’80s soundtrack.
There are no life bars or health meters in Hotline Miami, so if you take a bullet you’re going to get killed in a very gory, messy way. Conveniently, the mobsters are also killed in a single hit. Checkpoints are relatively common, so your character instantly re-spawns after a failed attempt.
The game features simple, intuitive controls: the left mouse button is for an attack and the right mouse button is for picking weapons off the floor or throwing them away if they aren’t needed. You can even fling guns at unsuspecting enemies, rendering them unconscious.
However, there are cumbersome boss battles that slow down the game play considerably. They are like puzzles that need to be solved rather than heart-pounding action. But the rest is pure adrenaline in those levels and makes it all worth it.
Unfortunately, the game ends too soon with only 22 levels. If you were hoping for a level editor to give you more to do, there isn’t one of any kind in Hotline Miami. Instead, you can replay the same levels repeatedly to gain a higher score.
Hotline Miami has received a lot of praise since its release—including a Metacritic rating of 87/100—and it’s easy to see why: it’s just fun to play! I’d recommend this game to anyone who’s looking for a chill time with some laid-back graphics, great music, and an entertaining break from reality.