Oh the Steam Summer Sale, how I love it. It is that magical time when we praise the great GabeN and shower him with money as we purchase copious amounts of games to pad out our library… Most of which will be forever left grayed out on our screen, coupled with an attitude of ‘I’ll play it eventually.’ During this time, I too love to stock up on a handful of games that I want to play… And than I go to the internet to pirate all the new releases to come out so that I don’t have to pay for something I may dislike (NAUGHTY TANNER)! Yes, pirating and rentals is a wonderful combination that gets me through reviewing new titles. I can already hear the NSA kicking down my door as I run magnets over my hard drive. BUT before I go to jail for the next 38 years for internet crimes for not paying $20 for a possibly shitty game, allow me to talk about the follow-up to one of the most violent games ever made, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number.
Hotline Miami was a solid game. It scored a solid 4.5 out of me and remains one of the best values in gaming today. There are hours of fun, complex strategy, and surreal story line. It was, in short, excellent. So when I heard there was going to be a sequel to the original, my response was… “What could they possibly do?” Hotline Miami is one of those games that is simultaneously amazing and terrible for a future franchise. Hotline Miami is, in essence, lightning in a bottle. The story, the art, the gameplay. It is one of those things that you just cannot replicate and do so well. Sure enough, when I got a chance to play Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number I saw the exact same game as before, just repackaged into a new story. I suppose it is a good thing, you are exactly the same as a good game. But that will not give it a pass when your story is more convoluted than the first and you bring nothing new to the table.
Offers That Level of Challenge Gamers Have Been Asking For
Just like Dark Souls, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is the game for any gamer who wants a good challenge and is not getting it from the regular video game market. It is a game that is very much trial by error. You will spend hours doing attempt after attempt at a level and slowly but surely you will get better. It is ‘pull your hair out by the roots’ difficult… But in a way you will start to love all of the abuse like some sort of weird version of video game Stockholm Syndrome.
Just like the first game, each failure builds up that success to be that much sweeter. Than of course, after you finish a level you get to see all the carnage unfold. This is a game for the hardcore gamer to test his might against the best… But once again I add, just like the first.
This may be a major nitpick on what is, by all accounts, a pretty good game. But I do find it to be a major problem in video gaming period and I simply cannot let it slide. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is simply nothing more than the first game with some new levels and a slightly more convoluted plot where you take control of five people who were inspired by the original killer, Jacket. You than go on a killing spree of various Russian Mobsters akin to Boondock Saints.
There is less intrigue and surrealism and more straight up ‘shoot the baddy’ violence you come to expect from most modern video games. Putting a shiny new ribbon onto the same old package is nice and all, but I did expect more from the sequel and it simply did not deliver.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is a good game… It is a good game for the same reason that Hotline Miami is a good game. They are both hyper violent and challenging gore fests that both indulge and challenge your love of a bloodbath.
However, when you create a sequel that is simply the same thing as the original, only with a more convoluted story, than you only give your customer bases more of the original and do not expand your horizons to anything beyond your little niche market. So, if you like Hotline Miami than you will like Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number… But if you haven’t played the first one, I suggest you check it out first. It is a much better experience.
Final Score 2.5/5
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