Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Review
 CHEATfactor Game Review by:  Joe Sinicki Reviewed on: PC 

Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.

.At it's core, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is very much like it's predecessor, but Devolver Digital was wise enough to know that it needed to change up the formula a bit to keep players coming back. Wrong Number is in a way a violent love letter to the original game, continuing what so many loved about it, but there are some bold choices here that will change how even the most experienced players will get through the experience. If you had even a mild interest in the original Hotline Miami, it's sequel is more of the same and you should definitely check it out, but if you're turned off by the uber violence and old school visuals, there's not much here to change your mind.

...oh and it's violent, like super violent.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Review Screenshot

For the uninitiated, the game functions as a top down shooter of sorts, except you're free to approach most situations any way you want - oh and it's violent, like super violent. It's tough but rewarding and you'll die a lot but somehow it'll all be worth it when you finally finish a level. With most games, I wouldn't sit and try the same level over and over for nearly an hour, but there's something about Hotline Miami and it's sequel that makes it all seem worth it. The difficulty is almost excruciatingly cheap too, as one wrong move can send you back to the starting point and each stage is never one hundred percent like it was on the last play through, which makes things even more interesting. By now you should have decided whether you're part of the camp that has the patience for Hotline Miami, or the other that wants nothing to do with it.

This go-round, Devolver Digital seems more intent on telling a story with Hotline Miami 2. While the first was an interesting journey into the mind and how it can be manipulated into doing terrible things, Wrong Number is far more bold and grandiose. You're not limited to one character wearing a slew of different masks, you'll step into the murderous shoes of a number of different characters in a number of different and often surprising situations and locations. While the game starts off with more of the same type buildings you saw in the first games it soon opens up to be more, much more. I was most amazed by the actual war zone levels which took the game into an entirely different direction than I think anyone was expecting. As someone who played through the original game numerous times and will likely do the same with the sequel, the departure from the regular locations the series is known for is sure to add a lot of playtime for me.

The different characters go a long way in making things feel fresh as well. While it does take away from some of the choice players had in the original game since you won't really be able to choose how you go about certain levels, it does add a huge level of challenge. Abilities like rolling under bullets are incredibly useful, but take some time to get used to since by default it's mapped to the same button that finishes off downed opponents. There are other abilities like having all of your throws be lethal that are expected but useful and then there are the ones that are sure to surprise like the character that doesn't kill and just knocks enemies unconscious and disables their weapons in a completely badass Batman style or the twin characters that sport chainsaws and pistols but are dependent on each other for their survival. In most cases each level was balanced in a way that almost forced me to use these abilities since most of Wrong Number's environments are a lot more open than those of it's predecessor. In the original I found myself waiting on the side of rooms just waiting for the perfect time to strike but with the sequel there's a lot of open space and you'll actually have to plot through some of your attacks if you want to be successful. That doesn't mean it's not insanely rewarding when you're able to just run in and clear rooms quickly though.

...the PC version of the game comes with a level editor...
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Review Screenshot

If all that's not enough, the PC version of the game comes with a level editor that's sure to add a ton of replay value to the game. It's a pretty bare bones feature really, but the Steam community behind the game is already coming up with some great levels and I'm constantly checking to see what's been updated by some of my favorite creators. As someone who played the original Hotline Miami levels over and over again, doing my best to complete them in the fastest time possible for the best score, the level creator is at best an interesting idea that shows a lot of interesting promise. I've tried my hand at making levels and it's pretty easy to start and much like the game itself, find yourself still working on a level over an hour later. Hey, at least it's a feature to keep an eye on.

Much like in the original game, Hotline Miami 2 is at the top of it's game musically. I don't even like techno or house music and the game's stellar soundtrack does a fantastic job keeping me plotting forward even in the face of repeated and vicious death. This is not a rhythm game but I constantly found myself, even unknowingly matching my kills to the beat of the music. It's the perfect accompaniment to the retro style top simple top down visuals that the series is known for. It's got to say something when I don't even mind listening to the same songs over and over even if I don't like the music style itself.

With Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, Devolver takes the if it's not broke, don't fix it approach, but takes some risks and makes some bold choices to add to the formula. These choices mostly pay off and make Hotline Miami 2 feel like a new experience rather than just another sequel. If you liked the original Hotline Miami, you'll find much to love with the sequel, but if not, you're likely not going to find much to change your mind.

Overall:  8/10 Presentation: 8 Gameplay: 8 
Lasting Appeal: 7 CHEATfactor: 9 
CHEATS USED: Freeze AI, Enemies Cant Shoot, Unlimited Ammo, more

The trainer for Hotline Miami 2 from Cheat Happens has a cheat that stops your enemies from shooting. How awesome is that? Don’t worry though, it also has a cheat for freezing enemy AI, allowing you to take care of your enemies without guns. Much like the game itself, the trainer for Hotline Miami 2 is better when you take everything into account, and turn everything on.

Stick with Cheat Happens for more on Hotline Miami 2 as it becomes available!