Hotline Miami 2 takes place around the events of the first game. This time we’ll step into the shoes of a detective, writer, a gang of vigilantes, and many more sociopaths. The story stretches across multiple dates from the past to the present. It’s mainly there for us to commit homicide in all sorts of diverse locales.
[section label=”Likes” anchor=”What we liked”]
Amazing Soundtrack – Hotline Miami had a fantastic soundtrack, but Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has a phenomenal tone. It ranges from furious electronic bass-lines to haunting mystical melodies that guide the murderous actions on the screen.
Varied gameplay – Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number doesn’t simply create more levels in the vein of its predecessor. Hotline Miami constantly forces us to switch our playstyle by flipping through various character types. For example, the writer can only use non-lethal force and can disarm weapons. The greatest change is the Alex and Ash which allows us to control two characters at the same time. One fires off a pistol while the other does his best Leatherface impression.
Wrong Number consistently keeps us off-guard by putting us into the shoes of different characters. This time you’ll have to learn how to use each characters special attributes effectively to complete each level.
[section label=”Average” anchor=”Average”]
The Story – The story in the first Hotline Miami was mysterious enough that I could ignore the randomness and slaughter with reckless abandon. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number creates a complex multi-faceted storyline that follows the murder of the masked killer from the first game. With the addition of tons of dialogue and characters, it’s harder to ignore the fact that nothing really ties together neatly.
A lot of shock value narrative leads the way of a story of multiple characters. Unfortunately, this leads the narrative into weird and confusing territory. The undercover cop often gets into situations where he’s killing entire warehouses of villains. On the other hand the writer appears in an area to punch out random villains without explanation. Right after you’ll shift to a different killer that has nothing to do with the main storyline and you probably won’t care.
[section label=”Disliked” anchor=”Disliked”]
Camera and AI – I didn’t have as much of a concern with the camera in the original game, but it’s absolutely awful in Hotline Miami. That’s mostly because of the unforgiving artificial intelligence that knows everything you do. You can step out and the computer will fire from unknown positions that your camera couldn’t stretch to. If you attempt to try to sneak up behind them, they will spin around and immediately slaughter you. It’s incredibly disproportionate in the later levels and can often make completing levels a chore.
Technical issues – I played Hotline Miami on PC, PSVita, and PS4 without ever seeing a single bug issue. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number unfortunately is full of often game breaking issues. I stumbled on a few crash bugs, walked out of the map, consistently hit me through walls, or suddenly gain invulnerability from a door glitch. There were other bug issues that impeded my movement as well, and all these technical problems can ruin a run.
It all falls down – Later levels in Hotline Miami 2 are tailored to a more linear experience. Which is weird in a game that’s based off various approaches to combat. The game will give you a straightforward entrance in a room full of bad guys that start off with a ridiculous advantage. You don’t have time to plot and understand, it’s just a battle of constant deaths until you figure out the routine.
[section label=”Conclusion” anchor=”Conclusion”]
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number starts off by giving us more of what we loved about the first game with bigger levels, an awesome soundtrack, and varied dynamics. It then descends into haphazardly created levels that force unfair deaths on our unsuspecting killers. I recommend that you Wait for a Sale until the bug issues have been cleared up, but mostly because the levels beyond Act 4 tip the scales from fun to frustrating.