Developer: Dennation Games
Platforms: PS3, PS VITA, PC/Mac
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the following. A game set in 1989, with the graphical lay-out and top-down shooter format you might expect from a game set in 1989. But coupled with that is an aesthetic taken wholesale from cult-classic movie Drive, except if Drive was written and directed by someone truly demented, like, say, David Lynch. Mix all that together with some truly impressive 8-bit violence and quite possibly the greatest soundtrack to any video game ever made. Now open your eyes and witness the reality that Hotline Miami.
Available to buy for cheap on the PlayStation Network, some may be put off by the old-school graphics and even older-school gameplay. You play an unnamed assailant who receives coded messages on his answering machine, all of which pretty much tell him to go to a certain place and kill a certain person or number of people. Using your bare hands, melee weapons and guns, you will be faced with some stealth-y situations, or some balls-out, heads-down, guns-blazing fire-fights. One bullet from the bad guy, you're dead. This game has its foundations firmly set in those violent coin-op arcade games you might've played three decades ago, and it's this love of a bygone era of gameplay that will determine whether you love it or hate it.
Aside from the retro visuals and gameplay, there's a truly warped story going on, dealing with murder, psychosis and a bevy of other possible mental issues. And then there's that soundtrack... Seriously, this game is worth spending the money solely for the absolutely killer songs that accompany each of the levels, and any fan of the retro-techno sounds on the Drive OST are in for a huge treat here.
Rent Or Buy: Buy
Presentation: 4 out of 5
Gameplay: 3 out of 5
Replay: 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5