Slick presentation was also a hallmark of the first Hotline Miami (click for Gamertroll's review of that). Hotline Miami 2: wrong number is even slicker. You'll have never heard pumping 80's slasher film music spliced with cop action thriller and 8-bit techno ambience done quite like this. It is, for want of a better expression: seriously Badass. HM2's hugely entertaining and unique soundtrack is yet again, a revelation that immediately makes a player sit up, alert in the understanding that something special has just rolled onto the television set.
This Maxim does mean minor consequences for the delicately balanced gameplay: The new, bigger levels make the game harder, demanding longer periods of survival from the player. It's the biggest single difference to the core of the game, an area that needed little tinkering with in Gamertroll's view. After HM's frantic but short stages, the sequel's vast buildings can feel slightly like rock climbing without a rope by comparison. Gamertroll is not quite sure that's an improvement on HM's tighter levels but it certainly feels like a progression.
The real ambitious changes Dennaton have made in HM2 are unrelated to scale. The only elements they have really messed with are arguably the least important to gameplay: It's the characters and the storyline that have seen bold new strokes of innovation. Gamertroll might even suggest that it's less strokes and more a Jackson Pollock-esque random chucking of whole buckets of paint. There is a marked move to diversify the cast of protagonists and chop the game into a confusing collection of unfathomably shuffled storylines but the bottom line is that everything and nothing has changed. You still play a murderous protagonist massacring a building full of enemies in a biblical rage before the blood pumping soundtrack gives way to eerie, tinnitus framed ambience and you sullenly walk back through the blood and bodies to your vehicle. It's these bemused and solemn death marches amongst the gore, that serve to dole out more guilt on the player. It's a unique experience having your grizzly handy work held up to your face in this manner and the resultant feeling is that not only does HM illustrate levels of violence seldom seen anywhere but It also appears to take profound responsibility for it. Make no mistake, HM2 pushes the boundaries of decency even further than it's forebear did. Even if you take the provided option to skip the scene containing sexual violence (perpetrated by you), you will still end up doing things like sadistically
torturing characters to death as they plead wretchedly for their lives.
Yep. Being asked to identify with an endless stream of murderers can be discomforting at times and your mind will certainly return to some acts after the fact.