Hotline Miami, one of the most anticipated summer releases for the PlayStation 3, is now available for download through the PlayStation Network (PSN). The game, which costs just $10, offers a unique visual and audio experience that is definitely off-limits for the under-18 crowd.
Hotline Miami is set in the spring of 1989, but it’s a throwback in more ways than one — the game features top-down visuals reminiscent of the early 16-bit era. The game also reaches back in time for its audio score, though unlike Grand Theft Auto III: Vice City, it doesn’t feature actual hits from the 1980s. Instead, the musical score is merely inspired by the synth-heavy tunes of bands like Flock of Seagulls and Duran Duran. Think Drive but with a deeper and more frenetic set of beats.
The game is extremely violent; in fact, what happens on screen really is beyond anything we’ve ever seen before. Arms and legs are blown apart by shotgun blasts while throats ooze after being shredded by pocket knives and canine incisors. However, the retro visuals help take the edge off — to a degree.
Hotline Miami is also quite challenging in a Dark Souls kind of way — you’ll die, and you’ll die a lot. However, unlike Dark Souls, it’s easy to jump right back into the action, meaning frustration levels are mostly manageable (it certainly helps that there aren’t any significant loading screens).
It’s somewhat disappointing the game took this long to reach the PlayStation Network and that it hasn’t brought any new content with it. Still, better late than never.