Developer: Dennaton Games
While the title eeked into the waning moments of 2012 for Windows users, Mac and Linux users had to wait till 2013 to be able to experience the blood soaked perfection of Hotline Miami.
While an overly simplistic definition of the top-down shooter might be Drive: The Video Game, the game leans on Nicolas Winding Refn's 2011 Ryan Gosling vehicle only as much as it needs to.
Sure the PERFECT soundtrack of droning synth from the likes of Sun Araw, El Huervo, and M.O.O.N propel the game into a trance-induced altered state, it's the game's unflinching embrace of ultra-violence that many pointed to with jaws hanging open. The neo-noir title has players take control of an anonymous, possibly insane, hit-man that takes commands from the voices (possibly in his own head) on his answering machine.
Jacket, as he is informally known, is the 'hero'. And he owes his nickname to his unchanging wardrobe of a varsity high school letter jacket. Each completed level sees the player rewarded with a new animal mask that grant you both anonymity and a changing power-up: invisibility to guard dogs, the ability to take more than one bullet, starting a level with a switch blade all offer players strategy suited to their play-style.
You will die A LOT in Hotline Miami, let's just make that very clear. The twitch fueled gunplay makes death seem like less of a scolding setback and more of a coke-fueled invincibility potion to be guzzled until your blood soaked varsity letter jacket needs to be wrung out. Again and again and again.