‘Hotline Miami’ is some hot shit right now. Everybody is geeking out about its style, prose, and confidence. I am quite sure it is as, if not more, fantastic than everybody has claimed it to be. Yet, I have little to no desire to play it. I have watched trailers, read reviews, and seen screens, all of which make me slightly giddy, but I will never purchase the smash indie hit. The same goes for ‘Retro City Rampage’; I will never play the game.
I suppose as I get older I have more and more of a desire to game casually and less and less a desire to be engaged by action sequences. I look back at the list of games I have played over the past 8 weeks or so and the list reads as follows: ‘Dark Scavenger’, ‘Death Ray Manta’, ‘Hexagon’, ‘Traffic Cop’, ‘Gnomoria’, ‘Thirty Flights of Loving’, ”Cryptozookeeper’, ‘Micron’, ‘Dedale’, ‘Race the Sun’, ‘Cardinal Quest’, ‘Deponia’, ‘Dear Esther’, ‘To the Moon’, ‘The Sea Will Claim Everything’, ‘Neo Scavenger’, and others. Largely, that list is one of casual games.
I suppose it comes back to me being a moody gamer, or someone who tends to game based on their surroundings and life situation. Currently, I am at school and working a couple jobs. I do not have much free time on my hands, but with my current level of freedom, I want my gaming experiences to be relaxing while remaining mentally engaging. I want to enjoy a cup of coffee while I game. Also, I need gaming to fill multiple entertainment voids caused by time filling activities.
Gaming has, since school began, become my source for music, art, and reading. It is ample in filling all of those needs, and I would not say ‘Hotline Miami’ does not do that, as it is renown in its writing style. I simply do not have the mental fortitude to sit down and enjoy killing things right now. I have not been able to play ‘Dark Souls’, ‘Team Fortress 2’, or ‘Guild Wars 2’ since school started, because to be quite honest, they are not as emotionally filling as a ‘The Sea Will Claim Everything’ or ‘To the Moon’ can be. I feel ‘Hotline Miami’ would be entertaining, but would offer me little emotional value right now.
Yet, that is an amazing quality of video games. They are what you need them to be and what their creators wanted them to be. ‘Neo Scavenger’ is Daniel Fedor’s dream creation, and is as brutal and painstakingly unvideogame-like as a game can be, but it fills an emotional void which I cannot describe. I love it, and despite it only being in beta stages, I know it is the start of something incredibly gripping and emotional. I do not think ‘Hotline Miami’ could fill me emotionally in the same way ‘Neo Scavenger’ has been able, because its theme and style do not attract me.
I am thirsting for something relatable and ‘Hotline Miami’ just does not seem relatable to my current situation and emotional state. The violence seems depressing and I guess I am currently looking for a dosage of dreaming in a world that has become all too real to me. The last thing I need is a dosage of hyper-realism.
Is ‘Hotline Miami’ incredible? Probably, but I will not know for a long time, because I have no intention of playing it anytime soon.