Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Review

Title screen of the game

It’s amazing how resilient the idea behind Hotline Miami turned out to be. It seemed like everyone had grown tired of brutal virtual killings back in 2012, but as soon as the sequel came out, history repeated itself. Unmotivated violence in the setting of the acid-washed nineties is back in style.

And as strange as it may sound, we’re damn glad about it.

Just like its predecessor, the second part is entirely dedicated to one goal – clearing levels of enemies. In fact, it’s still the same simulator of a bloody slaughter, where the player constantly brings death to dozens of opponents in dozens of different ways, trying not to get hit by a stray bullet. In short, it’s practically the same as before, just on a much larger scale and more challenging.

Alex Ash: A character from the game

First of all, the size of the locations that replaced the small rooms of the original game catches the eye. Acting increasingly takes place in unfamiliar spacious conditions, resulting in new difficulties: it is impossible to overlook the entire level with a glance, and blindly moving forward is not the best idea, considering the increased number of enemies. There is nowhere to escape, you become cautious and more than ever rely on the camera movement key, because thoughtless rushing is costly.

Unfortunately, this somewhat contradicts the accents of three years ago. The frenetic dynamics of “Hotline” on such a scale slows down due to its inefficiency – rushing into a crowd of thugs, where anyone can instantly undo all your progress, becomes simply disadvantageous, unlike thoughtful movement through corridors and methodical elimination of patrols. You start to fear the enemies somewhere there, behind the screen, any liberties in behavior are naturally cut off – not that what is happening resembles a top-down tactical shooter, but the previous impunity is definitely lacking.

3Deliberately ugly faces in katsen, by the way, did not disappear either

Deliberately ugly faces in the scenes, by the way, also haven’t disappeared anywhere.

And the inhabitants of the famous levels have also become more skilled. Side by side with ordinary enemies, there are almost always some special varieties of them, which in the first part were only encountered in very special cases. Some skillfully dodge attacks, others withstand a shotgun blast to the face without consequences, and the third group only die from it. Numerous combinations greatly diversify the traditional meat grinder and force you to constantly juggle weapons and techniques – this is an undeniable plus for the interest of what is happening.

Restart: A gameplay scene

But, again, not everything is so simple. With the widespread use of non-standard individuals, a sense of linearity has emerged: some stages have turned into well-disguised puzzles with one or two correct paths. Roughly speaking, it happens that the sequence of cutting down the invading thugs is already predetermined, and you are left only to carry out what the authors have conceived. Not exactly a dream meat grinder, to be honest – especially with the limitations imposed by the plot.

Yeah. Wrong Number, contrary to the ancestor’s commandments, insists on the underlying motive of the whole action a little more than it should, and does not neglect the opportunity to decide for us who we will play as. As a result, there is no more collecting masks from the first part and variability of passage. Instead, the narrative constantly switches from one hero to another and forces us to accept the already established “effects”. To be fair, it is worth saying that the styles of the characters are very different: here is a stocky psychopath with two MP5s, and a journalist who prefers non-lethal blows, and a soldier who doesn’t recognize anything other than his rifle. Alex and Ash deserve special sympathy – a deadly duo consisting of two protagonists, wielding a chainsaw and firearms.

The perfect use of shooting with two hands in action

The ideal application of shooting with both hands in practice.

Nevertheless, everything works great as a whole. The aforementioned transformations hardly affected the gaming experience, so spraying bloody fountains and smashing other people’s heads against walls is still incredibly fun – even new obstacles only encourage the completion of the set task, without repelling, like in some Dark Souls.

Police-themed scene

Hotline Miami 2 has everything that fans love about the original: brutal violence, unique stylistics, catchy electronic music on the soundtrack, and the same challenging gameplay. And even though the difficulty level this time slightly affected the overall pace of the action, and attempts to introduce something new to the concept turned out to be questionable, it didn’t affect the game’s addictiveness. After all, you still enjoy inflicting pain on other people, don’t you?

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
PC, PS3, PS4
Devolver Digital
Dennaton Games
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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