I’m not going to tiptoe around The Hong Kong Massacre‘s apparent motivations. Novice designer Vreski didn’t — with fantastic success! — so why should I? This video game is Hotline Miami satisfies Max Payne, with a heaping side of John Woo. It’s amazing.
If you’re familiar with all of those things and are currently screaming in enjoyment, there’s no requirement to check out any even more. Simply go play the video game. It presses all of those buttons with aplomb. Hey, considering that you’re currently here, let’s talk about how these 3 pieces fit together.
The Hong Kong Massacre is an action video game played from a bird’s-eye-view viewpoint. It’s what’s frequently called a “twin-stick shooter,” with one controller thumbstick utilized to move your avatar and the other devoted totally to intending your weapons. Having the flexibility to shoot and move in different instructions is the pounding heart of a video game like this.
That’s what made Hotline Miami Sticky. In the earlier video game, you ‘d work your method through a series of corridors and spaces, counting on reflexes to assassinate opponents prior to they might get you. Mechanically, The Hong Kong Massacre operate in precisely the exact same method — other than for one crucial peculiarity: bullet time.
As you’re tackling the grisly job of clearing bad guy-filled spaces, you can provide yourself an edge by pushing and holding a button that decreases time. You’ve got about 5 seconds of breathing space to step aside or dodge-roll as bullets whiz by, all while you’re still doing your “shoot everybody in sight” thing. Hello There Max Payne, we see you now.
It ends up being an extremely satisfying and — when you do it right — deeply pleasing mix. If Hotline Miami was a lo-fi action-puzzle video game, The Hong Kong Massacre is its spiffy-looking HD cousin that puts more of a focus on design. You feel like a badass as you wade your method through groups of baddies, dropping whole teams in an eyeblink whenever you sluggish things down.
That video isn’t synthetically decreased. What you’re seeing is the video game performing at complete speed. As soon as bullet time begins, the little red meter in the bottom righthand corner begins to drain pipes (and yes, you can extend your downturn time by landing succeeding eliminates — design is rewarded).
Everything else in The Hong Kong Massacre is notified by that John Woo ambiance I discussed at the start. You’re a line-toeing police officer who’s out for vengeance. The story, which unfolds mainly in movement comic-like cutscenes, matters just insofar as it establishes your next bloodbath.
There are echoes of Woo’s neo-noir cops-and-robbers classics all over. Hell, the introduction to Hong Kong functions a neon-lit street in the putting rain. Our hero police shows up as a shape in a medium-long shot and a flock of doves flies — a Woo hallmark — as he makes his method down the street.
Woo’s impact is likewise present in every level. The lighting, the sprays of blood, the cinematic dodge-rolls that render you briefly invincible, there are all stylistic flourishes the filmmaker is understood for. In a great deal of methods, The Hong Kong Massacre seems like more of a John Woo item than even Stranglehold, the 2007 action video game he produced.
Your toolbox is restricted to simply 4 kinds of weapons: handguns, SMGs, shotguns, and attack rifles. Finishing levels and level-specific difficulties, like ending up in a particular quantity of time or without utilizing your slow-mo, rewards you with points you can utilize to update each weapon type. Ammunition is constantly restricted however, so you’re continuously anticipated to renew your killing tools by getting the weapons that downed opponents drop.
I do want there had actually been a larger selection of play grounds for all of your shooty-shooty. Throughout 35 levels spread out throughout 5 chapters — every one ending with a manager battle (we’ll get to those), you wind up going to a lot of places that feel comparable.
It’s not entirely dull. For each 4 or 5 non-descript sets of roofs, homes, or alleys you combat your method through, there’s something truly captivating. A police headquarters. A prohibited gambling establishment. Some elegant bad man penthouse.
After a while, those same-y levels all begin to feel too comparable. It’s not like there wasn’t more to draw from in Woo’s work. Who can forget The Killer‘s church face-off? Or the medical facility shootout in Hard Boiled! .?.!? The Hong Kong Massacre would have gained from a bit more of that range.
The employer battles are likewise uncreative. These encounters divided the screen in 2, with the one in charge inhabiting the best half of the screen and your avatar inhabiting the left side. You’re separated by a wall or a fence of some sort, so you can contend each other however never ever get close.
Each employer utilizes a various weapon, however the battles versus them are otherwise similar: you trade fire backward and forward throughout the screen, hiding when you can and assassinating the periodic solo bad person that appears on your half of the screen. Bring the one in charge’s health down all the method — it takes around 10 effective shots — and you win.
The issue is that the stakes do not feel any greater throughout these encounters. On the contrary, I had a much easier time clearing employer levels than the majority of others. When you master The Hong Kong Massacre‘s rhythm, beating an employer ends up being kid’s play. And considering that each of those battles is essentially similar, they’re a genuine buzzkill to go through at the end of each chapter.
But let’s be genuine: is anybody in fact here for a complicated plotline and significant narrative closure? I hope not! If so, this isn’t the video game for you. And none of the downer bits matter when you’re in the heat of a pitched shootout, evading to and fro as you dip in and out of bullet time while bullets shred whatever around you.
The Hong Kong Massacre exists to let you tactically assassinate armies of bad people and look cool while doing it. What it does not have in creativity it more than offsets in stylishly bloody great times.