Hotline Miami 2

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number:  The game banned in Australia is a great sequel that ups the violence and controversy with a giant middle finger.

The first edition had what can be considered an almost perfect balance of twitch, action, and stealth gameplay that became one of the most original games made in the recent years. They also managed to package it with one of the most disturbingly violent stories and an extremely retro yet catchy soundtrack, with pixelated graphics. If you've never seen it, you will be surprised by how much blood and gore can be in an 8-bit style game. The sequel, Wrong Number, seems to up the ante with some more variety in the gameplay, even more over the top violence (if you can believe it), and all while maintaining that retro-noir vibe the original had. While the story is confusing through a first run and there are some glaring problems with some of the levels, this is an awesome game that should be picked up if you are a fan of the original.


Gameplay boils down to this- Make the people go dead without you adding to the red decor.

The story jumps all over the place, but is set mainly after Jacket's rampage and told through a multitude of characters. We have fans of Jacket emulating his brutal crimes for fun, a detective not above killing criminals, an actor who is on the brink of losing his mind, a writer investigating the cause of Jacket's rampage, a soldier on his last mission, and Jake who has also been taking the brainwashing calls and looks to find answers. This story is all over the place and does not give a shit as it jumps back and forth between time and characters. I may have to go back for another play through to sort out the lore it sets up, as it can be jarring for those just wanting a romp through levels.

The fans- They are kind of pieces of shit. They mean well though.

Everything that made the original great is back and better. The graphics do a strangely great job of highlighting the neon violence that is prevalent in the series. The music is still good enough that you might catch yourself listening to it after playing. They've even changed up some of the gameplay, like removing the bulk of the masks in favor of just a few with more striking features. Tony's mask, for example has fists that kill, but can't pick up weapons. Some other sections force you to play as radically different characters from one another. It's a nice thing to change up, my only gripes come from a very spacey level design that forces you to almost abandon the “no guts no glory” berserk style that was a blast in the first. While it's not out the window, certain levels force you to bait enemies and plan a little more methodically due to the large gaps in cover. Some parts of the levels have sections where shift-looking is just not enough, and you are forced to take a blind chance running into a henchman's shotgun or, heaven help you, a dog.

If you are a fan of the original, a $15 purchase is a no-brainer. Wrong Number adds more variety to the gameplay and plenty of catchy tracks that you will find yourself bobbing your head with over the top violence on the screen. If you’ve never played the first and want to take a stab with this, you would be better off just getting the original only for a gist of the story since it plays so heavy in this sequel.