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Hotline Miami 2 is the sequel to the cult classic video game Hotline Miami and I can say as someone who played the first, Hotline Miami 2 does not disappoint. The story takes place for the most part, after the events of the first game with flashbacks to before both games. And this brings me to one of the cool parts of Hotline Miami already: When you progress through the game, the scenes are out of chronological order and the only thing you get are timestamps at the beginning of every scene to show you what happens when. This leaves you to put the pieces together and find out things that might just make the story that much more murky and unclear.
Over the course of the game, you will play as 13 different characters, each with different reasons behind their actions. Alex, Ash, Corey, Mark and Tony are the Fans, a group of thrill-seeking veterans following in the trail of Jacket and killing everyone they deem a valid target for kicks. Evan Wright is a writer writing a book about the Masked Maniac killings that took place years ago who'll go to great lengths just to get information for his book. Beard is a soldier fighting against increasingly insurmountable odds in a war that has no end in sight. And these are just some of the very different characters that you play as, each with their own distinct fighting style and background.
The soundtrack of Hotline Miami 2 is something that doesn't disappoint either. Thanks to the killer soundtrack, you feel like you've been transported back in time and you're in 90s Miami while you're making your way through your enemies. The funky music, paired with the intense combat and mysterious story comes together to make an experience that grabs on to you and doesn't let go.
But enough about the story and all that, let's get to the gameplay and what makes it so much fun, at least in my humble opinion. When you start a level, there are countless combinations of ways to take down all the enemies and they're all at your disposal. If you have the time and patience, you can take the time to learn the positioning of all the enemies and make a carefully thought out plan to dispatch every last enemy quickly and efficiently. Or, it's also possible to burst in guns blazing and mow down everybody that you see, making it up as you go. And the ways that you can go about executing either of these approaches is endless. Some of the weapons you'll get to use include katanas, chain link, a skateboard, M16s, shotguns, a nail gun, and so many more weapons that give you so many different ways to kill your enemies. Although, for all the planning or lack thereof, it's almost guaranteed that you will die at least a few times on every level but that's all just part of the fun. The formula of kill, die, repeat is fun and challenges you to come up with new and creative ways to make it through the level, and with users constantly creating new content with the level editor, Hotline Miami 2 has very good replayability that'll ensure you never get tired of the game.
In conclusion, Hotline Miami 2 is an amazing mix of story, soundtrack and gameplay that comes together to give you an amazing experience that'll leave you wanting more.