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Hotline Miami wins rave reviews

Game of the Year contender released on the Steam Store

Blood-soaked top-down shooter Hotline Miami is garnering rave reviews following its release on the Steam Store this week, and looks set to build a cult following among gamers thanks to its low price-point.

The $10 (£6.20) release has been hotly anticipated since its debut at the Eurogamer Expo earlier this month, and sees gamers take control of a nameless killer as he goes about mauling a seemingly endless number of baddies in various ways - scoring points for extra schlock.

"I should feel worse about all this," said Videogamer's Phill Cameron. "I've sliced throats with broken bottles, beaten in heads with golfclubs, and cut through all sorts of blood, guts and tissue to eviscerate fat guys with a shotgun. I've murdered dogs, and gouged out eyeballs. I've thrown knives through windows and sprayed a sprinkler of hot lead into rooms full of goons. I've killed so very, very many people."

Hotline Miami's visual invokes the original Grand Theft Auto game as well as the classic Smash TV - top down, 2D, lots of gore and blood. It's definitely a title for adult gamers, but its also one that is perfect for those fans of Scarface, Taxi Driver and anything with Joe Pesci in it.

And it's also one for fans of thumping videogame soundtracks. Not usually isolated for praise in gaming reviews, sound is vital to establish the mood of the game, and in itself has garnered enthusiasm from all sectors of the gaming press, including Gamespy's Mike Nelson.

"It's hard to pinpoint when Hotline Miami really got its hooks in me," he said, after previewing the game. "Was it the way the infectious soundtrack nails the whole 80s vibe? The brutal, pixelated violence? Or was it the unique narrative approach in which an answering machine tells my 'hero' what to do?"

"It's been hard to pull myself away from playing this preview build, and I hope the final version isn't too far off."

Although the pixelated gore won't push your gaming rig to its visual limits, a hardware upgrade will allow you to fully enjoy the lush soundtrack - so pick up an Asus Xonar DS 7.1 Soundcard and some new speakers and turn up the bass.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801477183-ADNFCR