First, this game is not for me. That's OK. I might play a couple more hours of it, but this cycle of violent failure after violent failure just does not excite me as it has thousands of others. Of course I take the blame for this entirely. The game simply clashes with my own play styles and preferences
Secondly, when I do succeed, I find myself attributing luck more than any sort of skill. See, Hotline is fast, very fast. A little tip at the screen in fact encouraged me to go quickly and a point calculator at the end of every match restates the value of a mad horrendous dash through the level. Yet this high-speed careening into mayhem does not lend itself to calm analysis and strategic execution. The pace of the game creates a strong sense of randomness.
|Hotline Miami screen via Steam|
Of course the difference between the two runs is the hair's breadth distance that kept me out of line-of-sight from the second armed guard. Still, since the game values speed, and the controls themselves send me zipping around the level, I have no time to measure my way through the level. Instead, I slam up against that wall just to reload and before I know, I'm done. I have killed everything in the room.
I should feel good about my victory, like I overcame the challenge. Instead I just feel lucky.
Yes, I imagine as the game continues the difficulty will ramp up and any illusion of luck will fly out the window as every mistake is severely punished. Still, for my first foray into the game, the sense of randomness undermines my enjoyment. As far as my personal tastes go, the bigger role chance plays in a game, the less likely I am to enjoy it.
I know in this case, luck is, for the most part, an illusion built on finicky controls and high-speed gameplay, but I still can't shake the feeling that my victories are not my own.