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Zelda Maniac avatar 12:55 PM on 02.20.2013  (server time)
Hotline Miami and audio-visual trickery

I recently finished Hotline Miami, Iím going to assume you know about it so Iíll save some space and not explain it. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, Iím usually against unnecessary violence in games (probably because Iím not technically allowed 18s) but this game was different. Every time I died, my rage grew, I was crying out for pixellated death, and it was beautiful. I found myself grinning with pleasure when I finally smashed one of the more annoying guards head so hard his brain leaked onto the floor. At that point I stopped playing for a while, I was slowly turning into an expert serial killer, and I loved it.

The ultra-violence is only one part of this game though, I think the main reason I love this game so much is itís art styling and music. The pixels, bright colours and slowly pulsating backgrounds melted into the 80s inspired chiptunes to create an acid trip styled aesthetic. Iím gonna stop using big words now and put in a picture.

The game looks good, sounds good and has brilliant gameplay, but my favourite part is the story. The story is very well told, with subtle clues to tell you the majority, occasional visits from scary men in animal masks and seemingly innocent phone-calls It was the revelations that occur after the main ending that won me over though, I wonít spoil so donít worry, but lets just say that you need to pay attention during the start. Hallucinations are also present in the game, empty bars you visited earlier now have headless corpses talking to you, peoples faces all seem the same and dialogue gets slowly more strange. And this brings me on to my main topic, when games destroy your expectations.

I enjoyed Hotline Miami because it didnít follow my expectations, I didnít think Iíd like the violence but I did, that made me like it. The story constantly tricks you and hallucinations are awesome, that made me like it. Itís the same in other games as well. I really enjoyed Lone Survivor last year for the hallucinations that he has, especially when the (spoilers kinda) ďpartyĒ he visits turns out to be a figment of his imagination and everyone turns out to be dead. Also in Antichamber (more on this later) when staircases disappear and you turn around and the room has changed. Maybe Iím just crazy or a drug addict in the making but these moments are what make games for me.

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