When feel is more important than function

Posted by Reisz (1455 posts) -

My previous post about Hotline Miami included the kind of things a man says about his new super amazing girlfriend after their first night together. In essence words fueled by passion, that's a damn good way to feel about anything even when it leads you to say things like "that having been said it has the best AI of any game I have ever played." Hyperbole indeed.

After clocking some 15 hours with Hotline and finishing it rather completely my feelings have changed somewhat, but not in the way I expected. Hotline Miami is still an absolute riot, I love how it plays, it's the most pleasingly dynamic game I have played this year (No I haven't played Dishonored yet, yes I know. I'm working on it.) But I am no longer in the passionate throes of a new relationship so I have tempered my thoughts on the AI.

Hotline Miami's AI is, to be blunt, stupid. I have seen it forget about being shot, I've seen it drop a full shotgun and pick up a lead pipe, get stuck on corners, empty a clip at point blank range into the wall next to me, knock it's buddies out with a door etc. Yet the enemies are still the most visceral, reflexive, dangerous and organic that I have had the pleasure of playing against for as long as I can remember.

It's all bout the feel. That sense of dread when you are about to open a door into three goons with shotguns when all you have in your pixely fingers is a golf club. I haven't felt that in an action game, or even a stealth game since the first time I played Metal Gear. When the mechanics were so new to me that I was genuinely immersed, really worried that I would put a foot wrong. Whereas nowadays, playing MGS4 or Assassins Creed or Mark of the Ninja I have seen behind the curtain so many times that I know exactly how the strings are being pulled. And although I may make a mistake every now and then, jumped when I should have ducked, shot when I should have aimed or grappled to the wrong ledge, I always feel that sense of "I could have done better" some times I will load a save or restart from the last checkpoint to try and do just that and as used to that as I am it still cuts into that sense of continuity, that flow that makes a perfect run so satisfying.

Which is where Hotline Miami stands so much apart, although I have died over a thousand times in 15 hours I never once fel t like it was because of something I hadn't done. Not once. I have played through the entire story twice and I never reloaded a single level. So what if Hotline Miami's AI is mechanically dumb, it feels like the best AI of any game I have ever played.

Somehow, to me that's more impressive.

#1 Posted by Reisz (1455 posts) -

My previous post about Hotline Miami included the kind of things a man says about his new super amazing girlfriend after their first night together. In essence words fueled by passion, that's a damn good way to feel about anything even when it leads you to say things like "that having been said it has the best AI of any game I have ever played." Hyperbole indeed.

After clocking some 15 hours with Hotline and finishing it rather completely my feelings have changed somewhat, but not in the way I expected. Hotline Miami is still an absolute riot, I love how it plays, it's the most pleasingly dynamic game I have played this year (No I haven't played Dishonored yet, yes I know. I'm working on it.) But I am no longer in the passionate throes of a new relationship so I have tempered my thoughts on the AI.

Hotline Miami's AI is, to be blunt, stupid. I have seen it forget about being shot, I've seen it drop a full shotgun and pick up a lead pipe, get stuck on corners, empty a clip at point blank range into the wall next to me, knock it's buddies out with a door etc. Yet the enemies are still the most visceral, reflexive, dangerous and organic that I have had the pleasure of playing against for as long as I can remember.

It's all bout the feel. That sense of dread when you are about to open a door into three goons with shotguns when all you have in your pixely fingers is a golf club. I haven't felt that in an action game, or even a stealth game since the first time I played Metal Gear. When the mechanics were so new to me that I was genuinely immersed, really worried that I would put a foot wrong. Whereas nowadays, playing MGS4 or Assassins Creed or Mark of the Ninja I have seen behind the curtain so many times that I know exactly how the strings are being pulled. And although I may make a mistake every now and then, jumped when I should have ducked, shot when I should have aimed or grappled to the wrong ledge, I always feel that sense of "I could have done better" some times I will load a save or restart from the last checkpoint to try and do just that and as used to that as I am it still cuts into that sense of continuity, that flow that makes a perfect run so satisfying.

Which is where Hotline Miami stands so much apart, although I have died over a thousand times in 15 hours I never once fel t like it was because of something I hadn't done. Not once. I have played through the entire story twice and I never reloaded a single level. So what if Hotline Miami's AI is mechanically dumb, it feels like the best AI of any game I have ever played.

Somehow, to me that's more impressive.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.