Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is the second and final game in the Hotline Miami series, bringing us a definitive ending the the ultra violent retro-styled rogue-like. And it was good.
Hotline Miami 2 takes everything great about the first and expands on it greatly while making sure that it’s its own game. It’s a game that is honest with what itself, with intense violence, a wonderfully bewildering story, and plenty of horrific breakings of the fourth wall where we get to reconvene with Richard from the previous game. Just like its predecessor it continues on with the frenetic high action brutally difficult combat with plenty of flair between different ‘masks’ or in this game’s case: characters. It Wrong Number you will die, and you will die again. And again. And again. And it is exhilarating every step of the way.
Continuing off of the first game, where you went through level after level slaughtering an army of Russian gangsters as Jacket and then Biker, Wrong Number picks up on a whole new tone. The title screen is somber and lacks the drug haze that the original seemed to be going for, the first mission following closely behind in the new change. After playing one of the new characters and committing a vulgar act, we learn of the fate of Jacket. Jacket is now something of a vigilante hero and is on trial for his crimes while in his place appear a copycat killer, a group of fans, a man looking to write a book on the events, the late Russian mob boss’s son, and a movie star. Masks are a thing of the past and now we get to play different characters when doing missions for the fans, while the other characters generally have a small variety in which they can approach missions.
It’s easy to get lost in this game, it’s heart pumping soundtrack making every attempt to get that score multiplier just a little bit higher with every death all the more thrilling. The non-linear story where we’re left to the morals of this drug and nightmare fueled world where anyone and everyone can die, all while being subject to the sadistic game devs, only adds to the glorious spectacle that Hotline Miami 2 produces.
Wrong Number does however bring along all of the first’s problems, going as far as to exacerbate them in certain areas. It’s incredibly easy to lose track of weapons and pick up the wrong tool which can be incredibly frustrating as it breaks combos and kills players, especially with new enemies that demand specific weapons to be used against them. In addition to that is being killed by enemies off screen, which only becomes a larger problem in Wrong Number where levels are much larger and more open making this a much more frequent occurrence. There’s also the occasional bug with enemies hitting you through corners around doors or dogs getting stuck in a walk path and beginning to spin in place, which can completely throw off a run.
Wrong Number is a celebration of video game violence and both an incredibly challenging and fun game that deserves to be checked out by fans of all gaming genres. It’s exactly what a sequel should strive to be.
- The story
- The awesome soundtrack
- New gameplay elements
- Buggy at times
- Lack of interface
- Lack of masks