Sooo.... Hotline Miami is out tomorrow and, though there's loads of other important, life maintaining work to be done, I'm really looking forward to spending the evening bludgeoning and being bludgeoned within a sleazy 80s neon malaise (bloody remains apparently spewed over a post-modern hotel interior).
I played a demo of the game several months ago at Rezzed in Brighton where it was very popular among the attendees. It's got an old-school GTA vibe - it reminds me of that guilty, slightly grotesque feeling I got when committing top-down machine gun rampages in my early teens; knowing mum would be genuinely disturbed at my apparent blood lust - yet it's retrograde aesthetic never betrays the gameplay which, as the cues at Rezzed demonstrated, is superbly tight.
As with the recent trend towards seriously hard games, the demo of Hotline Miami seemed to exist within the magical valley between frustration and love. Requiring a good memory and a quick trigger finger each level needed quite a bit of strategy in order to brutally murder each of the levels' equally murderous foes. And so I died quite a bit when I was playing it at Rezzed, but as with games such as Super Meat Boy and Canabalt death is quickly forgotten and life - though forever spilt in florescent pools - is quick to return to the player. With each death you restart the level, seething, though excitedly ready to wreak skull crushing vengeance upon that guy behind the second door.
It's a magical, grizzly, sleazy sport and I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on the full game. Be sure to look out for future posts. Hotline Miami is out tomorrow.