Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is a title that needs no introduction. Developed by Dennaton Games and published by Devolver Digital, we all know what to expect: A 2d top-down action game. A violent, bloody, filthy, and full of gore game. So. Much. Blood.
Hotline Miami 2
The story of this sequel is located in the before and after events we experienced in Hotline Miami. We will get to know what happens when Jacket, in the original title, goes full bananas and destroys the Russian mafia and kills everyone in the middle because of a call from an unknown number. Unfortunately, the developers promised that this would be the last title in the series.
While the game is more of the same, we play with up to 13 different characters, each with their own view and very own interpretation of the story as the title takes us through temporary lines between dreams, memories and recordings. We get to enjoy masks again, old and new with different skills like jumps / dodges and double riffles.
Some masks allow us to eliminate common enemies with a single blow but forbidding the use of firearms. Others like Alex & Ash allows us to use chainsaws and weapons at the same time. We are able also to use double rifles and go in like Rambo. And there is a particular mask that allows us to jump and dodge, but the mechanics are a little rough and out of place within the title itself.
But not everything is the same: Some characters do not wear masks – they have particular behaviors instead. For example, there is an undercover and corrupt cop who cannot use firearms at first, but as you annihilate your enemies in a sadistic and bloody way with your very own hands, the ecstasy makes him a psychopath able of using any kind of weapon in his way. This mechanic is very well implemented making us calculate our movements and carefully plan the attacks because, you know, some strategy is nice.
The core mechanics remain the same: You are usually killed with only one shot or hit, the punches usually faint the enemies and leave them vulnerable for a brief period where you can finish them, there are some fat enemies able to withstand more hits and there are dogs just like in the original title. The most glorious bit about the game is that having 13 characters means not everyone is “needed” for the main story. All different kind of twists will happen while we paint floor and walls in red. There is a specific mission where we raid an entire building with a group of psychopaths. Neat.
Unfortunately, it is a title that could have been polished a bit more before its final release. On more than one occasion we will have enemies who just stand still, or get stuck in corners and doors unable to attack or flee, ruining an experience that otherwise could have been more difficult and interesting.
The soundtrack as we had anticipated due to some leaks is impeccable. The original title gave us an excellent OST and now it has been improved. We have 49 unique songs that encourage us to clean the maps from end to end with all kinds of weapons to the rhythm of tunes like sexualizer.
The graphic section has also been improved. While still pixel art, the amount of detail and animations grew exponentially. The maps have multiple floors, each filled with objects like tables, telephones, pizzas, weapons, breakable walls, doors, windows and more. The rooms now are not limited to buildings but also sewers, jungles, buildings, streets, docks and each are altered in psychotic attacks our characters usually have.
Animations include tattooing characters, sharks in small pools, mouth to mouth resuscitation techniques, tortures and many violent finishers like executions with shotguns, chokes and more.
Hotline Miami 2 is definitely a title that points to a particular niche. Built on the same foundations as the original title: it’s violent, it’s fast, it’s bloody and on more than one occasion we will be witnessing crazy and psychotic attacks without any limit. The title doesn’t do anything to capture a wider audience, it gives what any Hotline Miami fan wants by delivering more of the same, but better. As if this were not enough, we were promised a map editor in the coming months to expand the game experience.