- Very challenging and great overall gameplay that blends tactics and reflexes
- Twisted multi-layered storyline with several different perspectives and characters
- Unlockable masks and weapons with new unique features
- Fantastic soundtrack that nails the atmosphere
- Uneven difficulty progression due to occasional difficulty spikes
- Some areas tend to be too big and can lead to unfair feeling deaths
- The game's trippy final level.
Though not as evenly paced in its difficulty progression as its predecessor, Hotline Miami 2 is bigger and better in almost every other regard.
Devolver Digital really took full advantage of the game's unique retro over-the-top perspective artstyle to tell a story that in many ways feels more fleshed out than the one of the original. From assaults on Russian gang hideouts, over bank heists, and even military operations in the Hawaiian jungle, Hotline Miami 2 features a refreshingly bigger variety of levels to test your skills in. This is mostly thanks to the game's multi-layered story that has you experience several different character related story threads that eventually intertwine.
Furtermore, Hotline Miami 2's gameplay is the same hyper violent blend of tactics and quick reflexes that fans have come to love from the series. Sure enough, it's somewhat more of the same but that's not a bad thing since Hotline Miami 2 is more of a sequel that improves rather than reinvents itself. With that said, although the spectrum of different unlockable masks seems a bit more limited this time around, the masks' unique features, like dual wielding guns or even controlling two characters at once, come off as not essential but nice additions to the formula that can significantly change how you approach a level.
Although some fans might still prefer the original's more linear storyline and difficulty pace, there's no denying that Hotline Miami 2 is overall a worthy successor to the fantastic original. While it updates the gameplay occasionally with some new ideas, it's most notably the great storytelling and big variety in level design that marks the biggest improvement in this sequel. On top of that, it doesn't hurt that the game's soundtrack once again is ridiculously awesome.
Final Verdict: 9 out of 10