When Hotline Miami‘s title screen first appears, it doesn’t simply fade in or precede itself with loud, energetic fanfare. It drenches you with bright neon and deep synth, slowly seeping into your brain until it feels utterly saturated by a vibrant but foreboding sea of color and sound. As the Cyrillic title text gently floats back and forth against a sun-soaked urban skyscape, you experience a sense of being adrift in kind with it, disoriented by a new locale full of promise and mystery. Whatever lies beyond the “New Game” option is going to be unlike anything you have experienced in another game.
In 1991, major events took place that changed the world: Operation Desert Storm began, Boris Yeltsin wins first free elections for Russia’s first popularly-elected president, and cyclones in Bangladesh kill hundreds of thousands. And someone went so far as to recreate the murders seen in the original Hotline Miami. Crazy year, right?