Free fan game released on PC
Team Fortress 2 and Hotline Miami are an unlikely match, but in the realm of just-go-for-it-and-see-what-sticks fan games, this funky fusion works well enough. Midnight Mercenaries, a top-down action game released for free on Game Jolt, lets you cleave through heavily armed enemies as familiar TF2 classes like the Scout, Heavy, and Spy. It’s definitely worth a run-through if you’ve got the time. (Thanks, Rock, Paper, Shotgun.)
Imagine smacking a Hotline Miami goon from afar with a baseball, or unloading a minigun on a room of baddies (then blowing yourself up with a barrel). That’s Midnight Mercenaries.
The creator, GermanPeter, also has an extended playthrough on YouTube (embedded here) if you just want to take a peek without committing to a full install on Windows.
Much like the source material, the action can be frenetic until you get a proper feel for the floor plans and how the AI might react to your plan of attack. Sometimes, you have the right idea, but there’s something off and the whole thing gets derailed. Death can be instantaneous — for you and your foes. And beyond the iconic Hotline Miami framing, Midnight Mercenaries also works to replicate the unique kits for each TF2 class.
As much as I often stuck with a shotgun in the Hotline games, I don’t mind adapting to different playstyles, and that’s kind of the appeal here. Some of the old tricks still work against the super lethal but less-than-bright AI, while other times, depending on the level layout, it’s crucial to work with — not against — your character’s particular set of skills.
It’ll keep you on your toes, but it’s not unfair
According to the developer, the intention is to have “fair enemy placement that prevents enemies from sniping you from off-screen.” There’s also a respawn option, so you can take another crack at the current floor without a ton of pressure. Of course, high score chasing is a major part of Hotline Miami, and that holds true for Midnight Mercenaries too.
The story setup isn’t particularly memorable — I found it hard to buy into, given the characters involved. There’s also no topping the real deal’s soundtrack. But if you’re looking for familiar Hotline Miami action with a neat enough TF2 twist, this is it.
Just watch out for those blended-in bottomless pits. Every dang time!