Hotline Miami Preview – Crazy, Beautiful, Violent
I’ll probably get crucified for saying this, but Hotline Miami’s crazy, beautiful, violent gameplay is exactly what the PS Vita needs to survive. It’s so unique, so over-the-top crazy, and so freaking violent that even I couldn’t believe developers actually went balls out with the game’s content. Hotline Miami makes Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt look like Sesame Street in comparison.
Originally released for PC, Hotline Miami is a hyper-violent, top-down shooter that plays like a 2D (but way more inventive) version of Manhunt where you’ll be violently taking down vicious enemies in beautifully-violent choreographed ways before they get a chance to take you out.
More on Hotline Miami (plus R-Rated screenshots) after the jump.
Created by indie developers Jonatan Söderstrom and Dennis Wedin, Hotline Miami has become quite the industry darling since the PC version released in late 2012. The gameplay is violent-yet-addictive, the presentation was like nothing we’ve ever seen before, and the story… well, it’s like a LSD-induced nightmare with crazy characters, crazy situations, and an even crazier narrative. Hotline Miami is so universally loved (by the gaming community anyway) that it even got nominated for the IGF’s Grand Prize.
Set in a neon-laced, alternate-universe 1989 Miami, you’ll take control of a mysterious gunman ordered to violently murder criminals by unknown callers from his answering machine. You don’t know why you’re committing these violent acts, but for some reason you have to follow the orders. From there you’ll be able to go from room-to-room, floor-to-floor, performing creative, crazy, violent kills to whet your bloodlust. And by bloodlust, I mean your combo and scores; the more creative and coreographed your kills are, the more points you earn.
For example, if there’s a criminal standing behind a door, you may kick the door down which slams him to the ground; from there, you can stand over the guy and crack his skull open with a baseball bat. Or, if there’s more than one guy in a room, you can kick the door down, hit one guy with the butt of your rifle, then open fire on the others before they can react.
Not violent enough for you? I’ve seen one player throw his baseball bat at a guy knocking him onto some appliances. Dazed and confused, the guy sits there while the player boots him in the face, killing him instantly.
Now I’ve played the game on PC, and I gotta tell you, for a game with a distinct 8-bit look, Hotline Miami is as realistic as a game can get. Hitting a person in the head with a baseball bat cracks his skull open and even gunshots are extremely lethal; one hit from the bad guys and you’re toast. There’s a lot of trial and error involved with clearing out each room and each mission, but the payoff from a well-planned rampage (including the high score you’ll accrue) makes it worth the trouble. Think of each mission like a puzzle and you’ll get the game’s flow.
Hotline Miami is gory, heinous, and a stark representation of the violence in gaming. But that’s why it’s so damn important; it pushes boundaries that need to be pushed, just like Quentin Tarantino did when he made Reservoir Dogs or Clint Eastwood when he starred in Dirty Harry; both were violent and disturbing yet they innovated the crime/thriller genre for years to come.
Hotline Miami will have you questioning your own moral compass and your thirst for violence. Trust me, you’ll feel repulsed and may even hate yourself for playing the game; but in the end you’ll find yourself finding more creative ways to defeat each level and to earn higher score counts. Hotline Miami is sure to start new conversations regarding violence and the game industry, but perhaps those are conversations that need to be had in order for the industry to mature and society to understand the medium.
Hotline Miami is coming to PS Vita (and PS3) as a downloadable title on the PlayStation Network this spring.
Will you be purchasing Hotline Miami?