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Games : Worth a Look
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Release Date: October 23rd, 2012 Movie Release Year: 2012

Hotline Miami

Overview -

Putting it bluntly, right up front, 'Hotline Miami' is a true enigma of a game, representing simultaneously both the best of indie game design and the worst. Released in late 2012, the game became a quiet hit through digital distribution. The appeal to most was simple: laced with a hyperkinetic 16-bit inspired retro design, 'Hotline Miami' offered a stripped down, top-down view, ultra-violent beat-em-up borrowing heavily in tone and theme from a number of films and games. The result is a sometimes frustrating, but ultimately serviceable exercise in the old adage of, "if it ain't broke, don’t fix it."

Worth a Look
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
1280 x 768
Release Date:
October 23rd, 2012

Video Review


'Hotline Miami's' graphics are an intentional throwback to the 16-bit era with bright, garish colors permeating the game. In-game animations are far more detailed than the games that inspired this, and specific atmospheric effects do add a lot to the heightened, more-or-less hallucinogenic story line. There are zero issues with the frame rate and not once did any graphical hiccups hinder or hurt gameplay. Of course, compared to modern graphics, 'Hotline Miami' can’t compete, but it’s not trying to and from an aesthetic standpoint, is a retro masterpiece.

Audio Review


The aural experience of 'Hotline Miami' stems almost entirely from the game’s incredible electronic soundtrack; fans of 'Drive' will definitely feel a similar vibe here. In-game effects are inline with the retro approach to graphics and game play, although not as creatively implemented. If it weren’t for the killer score, I dare say the game would be unplayable.

There are few games I wanted to enjoy as much as 'Hotline Miami,' but alas, style trumping substance is the deciding factor in this unique indie offering. Granted, the makers weren't promising the moon, but the jilted, hokey story line, coupled with the repetitive, and sometimes infuriating gameplay wore out its welcome too quick. While I definitely don't have a problem with violence in video games, I can't shake the notion that the violence factor is a strong appeal of the game and is expected to make up for merely average gameplay. Maybe with a bit more polish in the story department, 'Hotline Miami' would have been a game worthy of coming back to, Still, with the very low price tag, it's not a game that I would recommend against just so long as those interested know what they're getting into, entertainment on a very base level.