The lights are on
You kick the door open, smashing into the goon standing behind it, without flinching you smash his head into the ground, and grab his crowbar, swinging it into two other goons' heads, their brains splattering everywhere. What I described is a pretty gruesome scenario, but its what you do in almost every mission in Hotline Miami. Hotline Miami is top down retro style 16 bit game. Not sure how to describe the gameplay, since it's not really a shooter, but there are plenty of guns in them.Each level has 2-4 set floors where you kill every person in them. Each floor is the checkpoint and you will die. A lot. One blow from a pipe and one shot from a gun kills you, and these goons don't miss. You can plan your attack, keeping quiet while taking thugs out with only melee weapons then finishing the last few with guns, or you can enter guns blazing right away. But I don't suggest that, seeing as guns alert all the enemies and you don't want 5 guys with shotguns coming at you. While the gameplay is extremely hard, it never gets frustrating. The controls do what their supposed to, with WASD controlling your movements, and the mouse controls weapon pickups and aiming. Not many other games have control schemes like this, but I became familiar with it instantly. When you die, you press one button and you're right back in the action, no loading, similar to dieing in Super Meat Boy, so dieing over and over never makes you feel like you're not progressing, as each death you learn something to either try or change.
There isn't much story in Hotline Miami, but what is there is enthralling. They don't tell you much, with some weird guys wearing animal masks talking to you every few chapters, and you encounter some other worldly things in between chapters, but I don't want to spoil anything as a lot of the things in this game will make you say "WTF?".
All in all the game is a fun time, especially for $10. Gamers with not much patience may get bored, and the campaign takes a couple hours to beat, but its a good few hours, and there is plenty of replay value in finding more masks and weapons to unlock, and getting higher scores in a chapter. I recommend this any gamer looking for something a little different with plenty of style. One thing I forgot to mention is the soundtrack. Its full of synth pop beats and 80s style electronica. Think the soundtrack from Drive with no vocals. Actually, I think comparing this whole game to the Ryan Gosling film Drive is a good comparison.
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