Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is a twitch shooter created by Dennaton games and published by Devolver Digital. It is a skill based game in which you will look for the positions of your enemies, die, learn from your mistakes, and repeat the process until you have mastered the level. The game then grades you on how well you did, usually quite poorly unless you are very good at these kinds of games.
The game has a very unique aesthetic. The colors are vibrant and attractive, up to the point where your character starts strewing blood and limbs throughout the building interiors. This game is set as a movie, and each level is a disk for the movie. As the characters come in, each one’s play style is affected by their story; for example, the reporter tries not to kill people, and is shocked when he does. The gameplay requires amazingly fast reflexes, as you only get a fraction of a second before the enemies gun you down or run up and bludgeon you to death.
The game follows at least three different storylines: the actors in the movie being shot, the vigilante killers from the previous game, and the lives of the characters within the movie. It is purposefully difficult to tell what is real and what is fantasy; a mainstay of this series of games is to confuse the player what is happening, but in a way that wants them to keep playing to find out more. Many of the characters you will play as are morally heinous villains; one of the early levels- which you find out at the end was a movie scene- has you kill all of the police in a police station. This game, much like its predecessor, often leaves me shaking a little after a game session, ad it is only partially due to the tough try-die-repeat style of gameplay. The story is a very hard one to keep going through, if you start getting interested in any of the characters. If Sin City were a game, this would be it.
Th gameplay itself is either gun play in which you count your very limited ammo capacity or stealthy melee kills, which award more points than guns. Going in guns blazing can be effective, but it will alert enemies within a fairly large radius around you, so you need to be packing enough heat for everyone. The stealthy approach is difficult because all of the enemies are very trigger happy, but it is possible- especially with certain character perks. You do not always know what a certain character’s perks are because of the story progression, but when you get to choose a mask- usually playing as a scum and villainy character- different masks will give different attributes, such as punches that kill or the ability to dodge. The gameplay is simple, but well thought out and very effective. Figuring out how to take down boss enemies and completing levels when anything can kill you is very rewarding, but difficult to do.
Overall, I heartily recommend this game, but it is not for the feint of heart. It deals with characters with serous psychological issues and is often unnecessarily gory- on purpose. It is a niche game, but a very well done one and in the same spirit as its predecessor.
Update Schedule: (Finished Product)
Screaming, Bloody Murder: 5
Hi! I am Eugene Shenderov, and I am a starting game designer. You can find my website at www.thisandthatgames.com. Send me a message if you have any questions!
Have a great day!